2022 Hanson Christmas Letter

We’re so looking forward to having the kids home for Christmas tonight. I guess I shouldn’t call them kids anymore. I like to imagine that we’ll cozy up together and read a book and drink hot chocolate but in reality they’ll likely spend time making fun of the things I say and do and then we’ll all pick on Duane for his crazy sarcastic comebacks and then we’ll bring up memories that make us laugh and things will happen that make us even laugh harder and the days will all flow into each other until before we know it, it’s time for them to go back to their new homes away from home.

This past year has seemed to go by like a shot. So many changes and new experiences. Who knows what adventures await. I’ve been told by a few that I like to cram as many things as I can into a schedule lol. There are so many things to do in life and it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough time to do them all does it?

In the past year Duane and I adjusted to no jobs, then new jobs, back to the old jobs, and also keeping up the odd jobs we do on the side.

Jayne continues with her Nursing education, worked for the RM in Val Marie before heading to the Yukon with her brother to work for Midnight Sun Outfitting, enjoys playing rugby in Kelowna and working on her old Dodge truck when she can. She says Roller Derby is next on her list. Knowing Jayne, that would be right up her alley!

Arlis took carpentry at Polytech in Saskatoon and got his Class 1A before starting to work for the Val Marie Community pasture for a couple months. Then he was off to the Yukon to guide for the rest of the summer when he came back to start Animal Biosciences and flying lessons in Saskatoon. Once in a while, when Arlis feels bored, he’ll try something new like singing on stage at the rodeo or joining a rec hockey team. His old Cadillac driving days are on hold for now since the trip home from Saskatoon when a sword fight with a cattle cane broke out in the back seat and took out a window. Boys will be boys! Arlis squeezes time in to hunt every chance he gets, and often it’s with Jayne and his friends. 

We’ve said goodbye to Jaynie’s cat Poncho, my old mare Shady (and Esther the chicken) but the hardest was saying farewell to our dog Clyde. He was a good one!  We’ve also mourned with family and friends over the loss of loved ones. And we’ve celebrated new family additions as well.

We realize that life just keeps rolling on without waiting for us. At times we wish it could just stand still for a while till we catch up. As we close chapters, we keep positive memories and try to learn from the rest and carry on with the days ahead.

To my dismay, Jayne and Arlis have retired from writing the annual Christmas letter and have passed the hot potato to me. I’m unlikely to fill their shoes this go around, lol, but I’ll continue to recap some of what sticks out in my mind.

 Last year, we couldn’t ask for a better calving season and with the purebreds any day now, we’ll be at it again. Hopefully, the first baby doesn’t come while it’s still -30. I enjoyed watching the sunrise through the windshield of the school bus, viewing wildlife, and greeting Neko and Joey for the start of their school day. It is always fun to spend time with the Youth Group in Val Marie. I watch as they grow up, each with their unique style. We try to do the things they enjoy like playing games, shooting guns, having campfires and learning about the Lord and, in many ways throughout the year, they share their awesome hearts for people.

Duane and I both turned 50 and had a few adventures including our drive with a load of horses up to the Yukon for the Young gang of Midnight Sun. We did a little Wild West Shooting, flew around in a zero-gravity tunnel, and went to a few Hot Springs in BC with the kids. At home, we enjoy working cattle and riding with family and friends, doing chores, hunting and once in a while I get the privilege of attending a new birth as a Doula. That is my favorite!

 It’s hard to keep up with what is going on in our country and on our planet these days and to try and decipher the truth through it all. The Freedom Convoy was a timely encouragement to show the unity and strength between ordinary people.

As I get ready for Christmas, the decorations, traditional family recipes and the holiday activities remind me at times of Christmas when I was a little girl with all the wonder and special events that happened during the Christmas season.

            I remember doing chores with Dad on Christmas morning. He’d make us a hockey rink on a dam or dugout where we spent hours skating and freezing our feet. And he’d be singing Elvis Christmas songs along with the record player in his comical blues fashion– It’s Christmas Time Pretty Baby and Blue Christmas always make me smile.

            Mom would take us kids tobogganing and show us how to make an igloo by cutting snow cubes with the dust pan and she had fun with us making snow angels. She’d stay up most of the night on Christmas Eve playing Mrs Claus and taking care of all the special details for the next morning.

            As I did when I was young, I still enjoy spending time decorating, winter activities, baking, cooking meals, shopping for Christmas gifts, watching the Nativity movie, sending out Christmas cards, the Christmas get-togethers, and now having the kids home for a couple weeks.

And, because of reality, it’s never all candy canes and caroling in our family lol! Yup, life is not perfect. As I finish up this letter, the kids are now home and wrapping Christmas gifts.  At lunch time I reminded Jayne and Arlis of the household chores that could be done today since it’s so cold outside. Specifically, I figured that the timing was perfect for them to clean out their bedroom closets, since it has likely been years since the last time. Arlis quickly tells me they have decided to go and sort cows instead, to separate the early calvers from the rest and expresses his disappointment that Duane and I haven’t done that already. He also adds that he’s now decided he doesn’t do ANY inside chores. And then Jayne, to back her brother, says that there will be no Christmas presents under the tree for me and if I do find any “To Mom” written on them, it’s because she misspelled the word Dad lol !

So- back to work I go- Hi Ho Hi Ho! Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! Enjoy all of it!

Love, Carmen and family

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God-C.S. Lewis