Starting the New Year

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
January 27, 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed being with family and friends for the holidays.  On Christmas Eve, we spent the night with Lindsey and her family at their place in the country, about 80 miles from ours.  The rural church was filled with poinsettias and we sang hymns and worshipped on Christmas Eve.  After eating enchiladas, tamales, guacamole, refried beans and Spanish rice, we turned in early as we knew Santa would be dropping by. The wonder and joy on our grandson’s faces were precious as they discovered what Santa had left for them on Christmas morning.  Cade (almost 7) ripped through the gifts, occasionally opening some without his name on them.  Jake (5) carefully opened each one and played with it before moving to the next one.  Campbell, (13 months) was perfectly content to stick a bow on her head.

My favorite gift I gave was to our son-in-law, Brett, who has recently taken an interest in learning more about his family history.  We gave him a subscription to Ancestry and I prepared a binder with pedigree charts and documents, including proof of eight Revolutionary patriots.  He was absolutely thrilled.

My favorite gift I received was a wonderful 240 page photo book which Steve made of his travels with me in the last year.  It started with our visit to Kate Duncan Smith School for graduation, included awards at the Air Force Academy, Congress, Cathedral of the Pines, the DAR Tour to Scotland, and our visits to chapters in France, England, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany.  The last photo was a picture of us at the ranch with the caption “There is no place like home.”

Steve also made photo books of each of the boy’s team sports and they were delighted to have their own book.

Most of my time in Texas was spent on our ranch with Steve.  We were grateful for the rain we received, which was accompanied by two arctic blasts of cold air.  New Year’s Day found me helping as he put out hay for our cattle. I’ll never be able to drive our tractor as well as he does, so my job was to drive the Gator, opening and closing gates for him, cutting the string around the hay bales and shooing the cattle out of the way.  It was bitterly cold, sloppy and muddy, but the cows had to be fed.  The little calves are so cute but they get over it…

The only way in which Steve could communicate with me was by hand signals which always presents a bit of a challenge.  It reminded me of the time early in our marriage when he had me drive a big red International tractor (about the size of our garage) while he operated a scoop behind it.  Since he had both hands on the scoop, he was nodding his head to give me directions.  A nod to go faster, a nod to go slower, a nod to back up and a nod to go forward.  All while I’m trying to drive a machine I’m terrified of.  Let‘s just say he occasionally had to use verbal instructions and that didn’t go much better… 

The first week of January I had the opportunity to be the Mystery Reader to Cade’s first grade class.  The children were given clues and when I walked in, they were surprised – particularly Cade who exclaimed “Honey!”  His teacher asked him to introduce me and Cade said “She’s the president and she travels all the time.”  It was such fun reading three books on the American Revolution, George Washington’s Teeth, Saving the Liberty Bell and America, a Patriotic Primer.

It was wonderful to have a relaxing time with friends and family over the holidays.  I managed to donate a couple of car loads of items for charity and get back into an exercise routine.  As I headed back to D.C. this week for two weeks of meetings, it was encouraging  to see the Bradford Pear trees in bloom in Houston.  Unfortunately, Spring is a bit further away on the east coast as snow is in the forecast.  I’ll meet with our Department Heads this week to prepare for meetings next week with the Executive Board before we are joined by the National Board of Management.  2015 is going to be a great year!

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