My family has sent out Christmas cards FOREVER…and many of us send out a letter to accompany the picture card. At the suggestion of one of my sisters-in-law, I’m sharing this year’s letter with all of my FB friends, in case you’re curious as to what keeps the Smith family busy and have a few minutes to get through it. 🙂
Merry Christmas Family and Friends!
How time flies, does it not? As a child I could not wait for Christmas, and time seemed to slow to a snail’s pace waiting for it. I vividly recall my mom saying, “Just wait, as you get older it goes by so fast.” At the time, I was clueless, but like every other thing my mom ever told me, turns out she was right. For that matter, over the years, I’ve received some great tips and advice from many people in my life. Some of which I didn’t really “hear” until the “Ah-Ha” moment struck me in the forehead, while others seemed to catch me when my listening ears were on. Let me share a few that hit home this year.
“These are the easy years”. Those words were spoken to me by a seasoned mother of three when my kids were in diapers and I was still tying their shoes. At the time, my thoughts were, “How could I ever be more busy or tired than I am now?!” Ha! I get it now. Guy and I stay busy, BUSY, BUSY transporting kids to baseball games, basketball games, rodeos, jackpot ropings, art classes, piano lessons, church, and school speech contests. Our vehicles look lived in, because they are.
“Enjoy what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Wise words repeated by several important figures in our lives over the years. Guy is in the middle of his 9th year coaching at Western Oklahoma State College. It’s a challenging job, but very rewarding. For the 7th straight year, Guy had athletes qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo. In fact, his talented men’s team finished the year 6th in the nation! As for me, I was honored with the WOSC “Teacher of the Year” award at last May’s graduation, and am happy to say that I truly love my job.
“Celebrate more happy moments”. My mom took on this mantra a few years ago when she realized that too often she and Dad would drop everything to attend a funeral, but wouldn’t do the same to attend a wedding, birthday, or anniversary. Considering that we live so far away from our families in Alberta and Nebraska, often attending family celebrations is a challenge. However, this last year we were excited to make it back to Nebraska for the 4th Annual Schaffer Gymkhana, which is basically an invitational play day and spontaneous family reunion. Taylor and I also attended my Grandpa Gil Poese’s 90th birthday party in November. As a family, we have also made it a priority to attend as many “happy events” as possible in our amazing community.
“Most of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.” I saved this quote from a book I read many years ago, and sadly it recently came to mind when Gary, Guy’s dad, passed away suddenly at the too young age of 69, in November. Gary was admired by many, and we were all comforted to know that nearly 900 people felt the need to honor him at his memorial service. It was truly a celebration, and while the circumstances were not the best, it is always good to see our Canadian friends and family that we don’t see often enough.
“Chase the dream of life.” I wrote these words down from a sermon given by our pastor, Dave Player, in November 2014. We are working on the chase every day – trying to make good choices and to live a life worth living. Brayden still enjoys basketball and his love of baseball was reignited by his junior high coach. In the last year, he has really found his niche in the roping pen and even has a few young horses that he’s working on. Brayden really is a kind soul and we are complimented often on his easy way with young children. Taylor is a unique and artistic individual who constantly reminds us of the schedule we are trying to keep. Much to her father’s chagrin, she loves cats, and would prefer that we have a house full. We like to say that she is her Auntie Hayley and Auntie Kelly all wrapped up into one….aren’t we lucky?! Tilden has the humor and charm of some of our favorite college kids. Couple that with his love of baseball, basketball, horses, and playing the piano and we are worried that we might have our hands full in future years. As for Guy and I, we are just trying to keep our heads above water, but feel fortunate that we have been chasing the dream together for 15 years. As you can see from our picture, we are still in the business of selling horses. The 6 horses pictured are all sons and daughters of AQHA Super Horse, “Popular Resort Figure” (FB Friends…I will post this picture soon). The quote at the start of this paragraph is one of those lessons that is ongoing, but we are very fortunate that we are surrounded by many wonderful people who lead by example and remind us that our lives are best lived when we are helping to promote not just the happiness of ourselves, but of others too.
To close for this year, I’d like to share a note from a father to a son – my great-grandpa to my great-uncle. I saw it several times a week when I was growing up, as the letter hung in my grandparents’ home, however, I didn’t understand its lesson until much later in life. (Note is pictured.)
” ’Tis easy enough to be pleasant when life glides by like a song,
but the man who is worth while is the man who can smile
when everything goes dead wrong.”
Merry CHRISTmas everyone! Stop in and see us!
Guy (old), Emily (just a few week from 40), Brayden (12), Taylor (10), and Tilden (7)
(Upon researching the last quote, I’ve found that it is the opening lines to a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox titled “Worth While”, published in 1906. The poem is worth the read and can be found, in its entirety, at: http://www.ellawheelerwilcox.org/poems/pworthwh.htm)