Although we usually stay home for the holidays, last year during Thanksgiving week we rode the train from Sacramento to Los Angeles. There we spent some time with our daughter Lanita and family who were visiting from Maine. Daughter Linda who lives in that area and is still a busy ER doctor, took us to the National Veterans Cemetery in west Los Angeles one day, where Celian found the grave of his grandfather who fought in the Civil War. On Thanksgiving day we enjoyed spending time with Manuel Hernandez and some of his family, our friends for more than 50 years.
A few days later Fred, Diana, and Daniel along with Diana's mother flew to Florida where they left on a Caribbean cruise where they saw the Panama Canal, Aruba, Costa Rica rain forest, and other interesting places.
While they were gone we had 18 inches of snow which was unusual for us, especially in early December.
We had been hearing about an alumni reunion at the Linda Vista University in Chiapas, Mexico where we had lived for many years before it became a university. Our grandson, Ben Medina was spending the school year there as a volunteer, teaching English, music, and helping with other projects. He insisted that we must come because we were some of the pioneers.
Since our kids all went to school there, Fred taught there, and Daniel was born down there, we decided to make the effort to go. Fred & Diana drove down with Daniel's help, so were able to visit many friends along the way.
We flew to Houston where we met Linda and Lanita, then flew on to Villahermosa, Tabasco together. We were met at the airport by an old friend, one of Betty's former students. After that we were treated royally by many old friends.
A portion of the beautiful Linda Vista University campus in Chiapas, Mexico.
After the three hour drive up the mountains to Linda Vista, we found we would be staying in the house that Fred was building when he became paralyzed more than 20 years ago. It was equipped with a telephone, internet, and furniture just for us, with someone always checking to make sure our needs were being met.
Such a very special time as so many friends from the local area, as well as former students and teachers from all over Mexico came together.
Our family with the Cordova family - they've changed a little from when we first met them at Linda Vista more than 50 years ago!
We were moved to tears as the university president and a group of current teachers and students serenaded us at the entrance as we left.
We were so happy that Ron and Gloria Keeping offered to stay on our ranch and watch over things while we were gone. They also had some snow, and this was the first part of May! Yes, we had a very cool, wet spring so our garden was a couple of months late in getting planted. For awhile we wondered if we would ever get any ripe tomatoes, but once they started there were plenty for us and to share with others, also beans, squash, eggplant, potatoes, peas, beets, and corn.
In mid July while we were having triple digit temperatures, about 50 family and friends from Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Nevada, Idaho, and California joined us on two different weekends to celebrate Celian's 90th birthday.
Since some hadn't been here since his 80th birthday, they
enjoyed sharing memories, good food, and rides in the old vehicles we always
One summer afternoon we had an unexpected visitor that wasn't really a blessing. When Betty looked out the front door and saw a bear walking by a few feet away she grabbed a camera and took a few pictures before the bear ran down the hill and climbed a near-by pine tree.
The next afternoon Celian heard a noise on the shed roof near where he was working and looked up just as Mr. Bear took a swipe at the bee hive near by. When Celian yelled, the bear climbed an oak tree until a few shots from a pellet gun sent him running down the hill. That convinced him he wasn't welcome here.
These days we are happy to stay pretty close to home and let the young folks do the traveling. Daniel has spent quite a bit of the year in Bolivia doing some flying, some work at Familia Feliz orphanage, and some interaction with the children of women prisoners. His cousin Kandice was able to visit him briefly while she was serving as a nurse for three months on a mission launch on the Amazon in Brazil.
She also used her nursing skills with a medical group in Haiti shortly after the earthquake there. Between times she spent seven weeks backpacking through Europe with a friend and as activities director at a summer camp in Maine.
Ben returned from Mexico just in time to work at the same summer camp and is now at college in Nebraska. Krista went on a mission trip to Puerto Rico in the spring where she stayed at the home of our long-time friend, Dr. Aaron Hernandez. It's a small world! She also worked at summer camp and now she's finishing her secondary education at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, keeping busy as SA president and co-captain of the gymnastic team.
Kami Kay, Krista, Kandice & Ben Medina
Great-grand daughter, Laurel Keeping is in her third year at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she is studying to be a nurse.
daughter Kami Kay Medina is learning to play both harp and cello along with
home school in Maine, while great-grand daughters Gillian and Emilia
Trujillo are getting ready for skiing along with home schooling in Reno,
Nevada. It makes our heads spin trying to keep up with them all.
We invite you to join us in counting your blessings and looking forward to a rewarding and happy new year.
~ Celian & Betty Adams ~
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