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Newsletter April 2013


Going back and forth has its toll

We returned to Belfast International (BFS) on Friday, 26 April 2013.  We easily took the bus back into town, then taxi home for only £5 plus a £2 tip.  Cabbie was happy; we were happy.  We caught up with our new colleague, Jon, who seems to have fared well during his time alone.  The three of us bused into town for the prayer at church headquarters and later joined Ethel's monthly Friday dinner.  Dutifully staying awake until 9 pm and then straight to bed.  Even with this good practice we were severely fatigued for many days!

We were in California for five perfect weather weeks.  This planned trip was to allow time for new Visas, two years of

taxes, our nephew Daniel's wedding, a quick trip to Los Angeles, Easter, two "greetings" to churches who support us, telephone and DMV issues, and prep for the re-roof and upgrades to our house in Berkeley. 

The Visas came back approved in three weeks.  We are grateful for the stress this alleviated.  Our new tax preparer finished our taxes before the first meeting, for this we are also grateful.  Daniel and Julie's wedding at the Faculty Club of the UC Berkeley campus was beautiful and afforded us a chance to host good friends at our home.  The trip to Los Angeles was made easier by a stop on the way down to visit with ADX sister Jean Woodruff in Lompoc and a stop on the way back at Jim and Lori Haynes' (another ADX sister) in Pine Mountain Home.  Meatloaf from the famous Harris Ranch on Hwy 5, was actually consumed in Belfast.  Yummy!

In between these activities were the many people to see.  Some of you were missed, and for some the visit was not long enough, for this we are sorry.

We told our children we had many tasks but as they were available being with them was primary for our time at home.  We had several meaningful times together, individually and as a family.  We enjoyed times with Chris, Genevieve, and briefly Jessica, our tenants at the Warring Street house.  Our extended family came up for Daniel and Julie's wedding.

We say all this as a reminder to pause and spend time with those you love.  Spend time with those who might need you, and with those who might feed you.  Many good Samaritans stopped to help us on our California furlough.

Everything got done.  It was a miracle.  Our "take-away" from this home visit is we do have a mission, and are ministered to, in Berkeley.  The weather is certainly better.  The support structure is more complicated for Ward medically and physically.  Our mission is to encourage by words and deeds.  Perhaps next year Ward's book will be published and he can attend book signings, launches, and readings.  Let us know if you have an idea in this area of our developing work.

After five years things are changing.  Marda noticed that the service industry has improved considerably.  We hope us baby boomers will influence the care structure for the elderly (us), and especially for those who need assistance.

Our culture ignores the elderly to its peril for the wisdom we have.  Several have spoken about the growing experienced labor shortage which will match with baby boomers needs or desires for more income.  Work whether paid or unpaid is a vital part of health.  We work and rest until we die.  Labor is physical and a strength of the young and service and experience is a strength of the mature.  Both are needed for the economy to function well.

In Belfast our planned visit from the LMU students in mid April happened despiste our absence.  This was a dry run for a programmed week next year.  Members of Townsend St church obliged and the Unity Pilgrims from Clonard Monastery and The Dock Church all played their part.

Concluding we had a great time in California.  So many blessings and kindnesses shown.  Thank you every one.

September into October are filled up with three sets of visitors.   June 1-9 we are away to Northumbria, but summer is nice and our guest rooms are available.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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