The Freeland 2018 Christmas Letter

2018 has been a year of changes. Jacob graduated from high school and went off to college.  A.J. is a senior in high school, and Wendy went back to school.

Wendy started the year with very limited mobility after her foot surgery in late 2017 but has seen significant improvement. While she is unable to do many of her former activities, being able to walk without pain is a huge improvement.  She is very grateful to have had a successful, if slow, recovery.  She is about 1/3 of the way through earning a Certificate in Paralegal Studies at IUPUI.  If all goes according to plan, she could be finished December 2019 and will begin to look for a paralegal position.

Jacob finished out high school by taking almost all AP or dual credit classes.  Wendy and I added to his misery by insisting that he apply for more than a couple of scholarships which we thought were a good match for his interests and abilities.  Those two things combined made it a pretty rough and exhausting senior year.  Jacob was accepted by his first choice and started at Hillsdale College at the end of August.  While he has enjoyed his classes, the professors and has done well academically, the transition to college has not been without bumps.

A.J. was watching Jacob’s journey through senior year and decided he wanted a take a more balanced approach to his schedule so has a mixture of AP/dual credit and regular classes. His favorite class by far is AP Art.  The Fall semester was dedicated to working in a variety of mediums and a lot of different subjects.  Spring semester will be focused on creating a portfolio of work based on a common theme.  He has continued to do puppetry, pottery and has been enjoying volunteering at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin where classic movies are projected by an actual film projector in a 95 year old restored movie theatre.

The highlight of A.J.’s summer was learning about working with stained glass. A friend of ours, who is an accomplished artist, helped A.J. create a beautiful piece of a peonie blossom that now hangs in our north dining room window.  The plan is to create a second similar piece this summer to hang in the south window.    We were kind of surprised when A.J. decided  the only place he wanted to apply was Hillsdale College. He will be joining Jacob there in August.

I have had a good year and a very bad year!  A hard fought US Senate race meant lots of extra work for me. And Camera Partners, a rental business a friend of mine and I started ten years ago, was seeing a very significant increase in rentals.  However, one rental of very expenses lenses (which were never returned) by a guy from NYC using a stolen identity has turned into a painful financial set back.  All three insurance companies involved have denied the claim. Our colleague who owned the stolen lenses we had sub-rented has been very patient through the process of trying everything possible to get an insurance company to pay and then figuring out a way to pay him ourselves when that failed.

We continue to enjoy living out in the country.  It is heartwarming to have neighbors we have gotten to know and consider to be friends.  Wendy continues to enjoy her flowers and is glad to be able to do most of the work caring for them again now that her feet are better.  And there’s usually at least one sunrise or sunset a week that is so beautiful that we can’t help but stop and admire it.

During the year, we lost Holly to poisoning  (we think) and Kyoke to kidney failure.  We are now providing Nishibi with hospice care in her last months as she also is experiencing kidney failure.  We are kicking around the idea of moving Nala, Scarlett and Munch inside to be indoor companions when Nishibi is gone. They really are much more to us than barn cats so think they would enjoy life inside the Freeland home.

Many good things have happened and are happening in our lives. We are proud of Jacob and A.J. both for the accomplishments they have achieved and the men of character they are becoming.  Wendy is hopeful she can return to the workforce doing something that will be both challenging and enjoyable.  I’m very glad that when the career counselor we met with told her she should have been an attorney that she turned to me and laughed instead of having an expression of anger or rage. (I talked Wendy out of going to law school when we were in our 20’s.)  Life as empty nesters is just nine months away which will be a big change! 

He fulfills the desires of those who who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.  Psalm 145:19

We wish you Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

The Freelands

John, Wendy, Jacob, AJ, and the remaining cats


If you would like to look back at past years, here are the links: