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I think this time of year is a powerful reminder of what was, is, and what can be. All of us find ourselves at different places than we were last year. Some of you have moved and are getting accustomed to new environs, establishing new relationships, and building community. Others have moved back to “home” and are reconnecting, reestablishing old relationships and rebuilding a sense of community.

Some of you are welcoming new family members—a new son in law or daughter in law or maybe a new future prospect for marrying into the family. Others are welcoming new children and introducing them to the wonder and awe that is life and life at Christmas. And a few more of us are welcoming grandchildren to their first Christmas’s.

Like many of you, I find myself experiencing life at warp speed. But one thing that is not lost on me is that I am a year older this Christmas and so are most of the important people who are in my life–except Arlo and Nathan our newest grandsons experiencing Christmas for the first time and joining our other grandchildren Kaden, Hadlee and Grayson. It is going to be a lot of fun around the farm this holiday season.

Joelle and I are in that middle spot. We have grandchildren, and children and older parents. It is a beautiful season in life, but a full one. It makes me think about Grandpa Hank. It has been years since he passed away, but what is forever etched in my memory are his eyes. If there ever was a tinkerer or inventor, it was Grandpa Hank. He built a riding lawnmower that could also be used to split wood and another attachment to mow the hillsides. Good old-fashioned ingenuity!

Funny thing about Grandpa Hank, his great grandson Aaron got the “bug” one day and took two riding lawnmowers and found a way to attach them and make an articulating lawnmower that was steered using pulleys and a winch. In many ways Grandpa Hank still lives and his talents and gifts are passed on, just like each of our talents and gifts will be passed on.

But back to Grandpa Hank’s eyes. As dusk was setting on his earthly life, I would watch his interactions with the family—all those little ones running around, stopping by for a hug or the newest little one landing in his lap. His eyes were always focused and taking in the entire scene. I think he was still a big kid, with an even bigger appreciation for life. The wonder and awe of life was not lost on him.

Love is a gift and is best passed on, but we will have to keep our eyes open to be able to not only share our love, but also to receive love. We can love and be loved because a baby boy born on that Christmas morning first loved us.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the most blessed of Holiday seasons,



Farmer, Health Advocate