Here we are once again at the end of another year. How the weeks and months whiz by. God has certainly been good to us through all the up's (a spot here in the Tennessee mountains that we can call home, full pantry & freezer, fresh brown eggs from the chickens, new hen house close to the back door, caring home health nurse & physical therapist that sees Dana weekly, children and grandchildren only a phone call away and always ready to help, wonderful pastor and church family, and a host of wonderful friends like you) and down's (Dana's two hospital episodes- in the spring when I was battling a flare-up of my RA- and later in July, three falls that thankfully didn't result in any broken bones, tick bites, black bears invading our property, another mini stroke that set Dana back, rat infestation in the hen house, having a wreck where no one got hurt, prolonged mouth bleeding from a pulled tooth, and Dwight's internal chronic back muscle bleed that continues to flare up) of life. Just skimming through my journal of the past months is enough to make me dizzy. I'm so glad that God is always by our side as we never know what another day will bring. Having the confidence of God's faithfulness in the past we can face what lies ahead in the future.
Halfway through November, we took Dana to the lung specialist, who was quite concerned about Dana's low oxygen level despite being on oxygen. She set up tests to rule out blood clots. So the day before Thanksgiving (the very day Dawn and her family were coming that evening) I had to run Dana back down to Cookeville for scans at two different places. They were able to do two of the tests, but couldn't do the third as they were unable to get access in a vein. Dana's increased weight and fluid is making it difficult to do any blood work on him. Dawn brought lots of food with her- Randy smoked a turkey- and with all the baking I had done the day before we had a loaded table for Thanksgiving. What a joy having everyone gather around our table once again.
The next two days were a whirlwind as Randy, Dawn, Dwight, Annette, and William built a new pen and fixed up the small barn/shed turning it into a hen house. Saturday morning they moved all the hens in their new place. While 6-year-old Katie Dawn babysat Grandma everyone else was a buzz of activity. I mainly stayed out of the way and kept food going. At one point, William was up on the roof sweeping it and clearing out the gutters as Annette ran back and forth to town on errands. What a joy to have Katie beside me helping gather eggs, learning to crochet, and baking cookies!
Winter has arrived here on the mountain with freezing temperatures, biting winds, and snow flurries that dust the ground. I stay busy keeping the wood stoves going- nothing like a cozy crackling fire to warm the bones- and making pots of soup to nourish the body.
Our wish for you in the coming New Year is for God's presence to daily surround you with the assurance of His everlasting arms to hold, guide, and strengthen you.
Dorcas and Family
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!