After a *grueling* train ride to Michigan on Friday (the train from Chi-town to EL was 3.5 hours late due to a derailment which necessitated our train using different tracks that needed a different engineer, who couldn't make it to our train for 1.5 hours)...and after 24 hours of blowing, gusty high winds and powdery, horizontal snow...and after some last minute christmas shopping...and after a lovely first birthday party for little baby S. and visit with friends...and after 2 delicious meals at Zingerman's...I'm here in good ol' western Michigan, in a white winter wonderland, ready to celebrate with my family. Our traditions are shifting this year and it's a year of transitions. It's good to remember that times, circumstances, and people change and sometimes our rituals need to alter as well.
As Zora Neale Hurston writes in one of my favorite novels, *Their Eyes Were Watching God,* "there are years that ask questions and years that provide answers"...I would add that there are years for new beginnings, and years when we survey all around us with fresh eyes. This year has been one of questions and answers, and many blessings. I'm grateful for all of the wonderful people who continue to touch my life with their kindness and generosity. I hope you know how special you are, and how I treasure you. I know it sounds trite and hackneyed, but you are my greatest gift.