Priscilla's World | A Family Christmas in 2007
A Family Christmas in 2007

The journey home is apt to make me wonder … was the event worth it? The three hours we experienced last night getting into the Atlanta Airport —- going through customs and then getting out to go to a hotel sort of shook the good memories. But the laughs, experiences, adventures and sheer fun this last week were unforgettably awesome.

When Marcel expressed thanks in the San Jose airport, I explained to him who we all owe our thanks to. My grandfather, T.D. Hobart, purchased his first piece of land on the Washita River in Hemphill County in the Texas Panhandle from William W. Quillin, an Indian trader in 1887, a year before he returned to Vermont for Minnie, his childhood sweetheart.

His purchases of land were made years before there was a hint of natural gas or oil anywhere in the Panhandle. Without that chain of events long before I was born, we couldn’t have had our week of Christmas, New Years and Birthday celebrations. So it is to my pioneer grandparents that we owe a grateful thanks. My grandfather would be pleased that his heritage enabled our once in a lifetime family reunion.

Memorable moments were so many. I know we each have our favorite ones. The zip line for the bravest (I loved being able to watch it all), the catamaran ride and seeing the dolphins, the photo-ing of monkeys, sloths, sunsets and kids playing. The family laughter, the care and grace of the Costa Ricans who work at Buena Vista, the stories of Christmas memories, the Mariposa Hotel dinner, the group photos the lovely Casas, the birds, even the steps and hills, the stunning scenery — so much to look back on with joy in my heart. Take it personally when I say, to know you is to love you and we’re proud to be in a family with you.

Though our world is one of chaos, pain and violence, we deeply believe that life is a gift and is good. One of the wise men long ago said that if you pray only one prayer … make it a prayer of gratitude. My prayer of gratitude is for our lives, our family, our opportunities to give of ourselves and our goods in the ongoing civilizing process. I grew up listening to my Father’s mantra: “To whom much has been given, much is required.” Part of the much that I have been given is the gift of my family … whether born into this family, adopted into, or married into.

All of you are precious and special and you help shape how I try to relate to all people. Thanks you for a spectacular end to 2006 and beginning of 2007. We hope to continue to greet life’s ups and downs with grateful hearts, delight, courage and hope. I am personally grateful for the chance to “be family” with each and every one of you.

One of the rituals we use in our household is from the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, 1953-61: “For all that has been, thanks; for all that will be, yes.”