Friday, December 23, 2011

        Rushford Christmas Letter, 2011

Dear Family and Friends!

What a year this has been!  Many of you already know about our trip of a lifetime—a 111 day trip around the world.  It was a working trip—I landed a job teaching creative writing on the ms Amsterdam (Holland America), but oh, what a fantastic journey. We visited over 50 ports in mostly warm places. Ron ran over 300 miles on and off the ship and is looking into presenting running programs for cruise ships. We left January 5th and came back the end of April. 

 Once again, there will be no trip to Grand Forks, or Edmonton, or Idaho, for Christmas as we visited North Dakota and Minnesota in May and October.  (In May, Ron, Jonathan, Ben, Caryl, Nick and Tom ran in the Fargo 5K and half marathon and did very well.)  Ron and I will be home enjoying our tree and celebrating 48 years of marriage.  My mother, Dagny passed away in June, and we miss her—especially now as the holidays are upon us.  
On the family front, Caryl and Ben are hurriedly getting their house in Grand Forks ready to sell. David and Shelley are still in Edmonton, Alberta and David recently received his Canadian citizenship. Corisa and Nick are spending their first Christmas in their new home in Dundas, MN near St. Olaf College. Hannah and her husband, Tom Harmon, have a new baby girl, Adalia Rose. The count on great grandchildren is up to eight now. Andrea (13) and Madelyn (5) have taken up knitting and crocheting—following in their nana's footsteps in the craft department. Corisa will graduate from UND in May of 2012 and we are so proud of her.  Christopher and Kyrstin are working and being wonderful and living in Couer d' Alene. Christian and Jonathan are living at home, working and enjoying their art and music.    

 We just celebrated Andrea’s 13th birthday.   She is very much into horses and through the experience with horses, Caryl and Ben have developed Stable Days Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization providing the horsemanship experience to children.  You'll have to check them out on facebook. 

As for us, Ron is still running nearly every day, working out and staying in great shape.  Unforunately, my health is not so wonderful.  In addition to the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart muscle—a genetic defect) I now have atrial fibrillation and am on a pacemaker-defibrilator.  I actually feel good and my heart is still beating so I’m happy. 

 News on the writing front is exciting. I have a mystery coming out soon and have been putting some of my out-of-print books, like the Angel Delaney Mysteries online for the Kindle and Nook and other e-readers. With no contract, I have had plenty of time to make gifts, which I love doing.    

So—thankfully, life goes on. And here we are celebrating another Christmas with gratefulness and joy in our hearts always remembering the greatest gift of all. We pray that joy will reach out to you as well. With much love,

Pat and Ron Rushford