It's early....4:30am and as I'm waiting for the coffee to finish perking, I am looking at the beautiful wooden, hand-painted pot on my counter. It was a gift from my daughter Amanda. She arrived back home just 5 days ago, from a one week mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, along with three other local girls. My tear-filled eyes share in the sadness of the earthquake that has just stricken this poor country. The group coordinator of their program stayed on to continue her work there longer and was scheduled to leave Haiti yesterday. At this time, her family is unsure of her whereabouts. In a world that can be seemingly filled with an abundance of joy and happiness, it can be filled with equal despair and devastation. For as few, or as many as this blog reaches... a prayer for these people and their country could only help, and also for the safe return of Sue. The clean-up and rebuilding in the aftermath of destruction of this 3rd world country will begin soon - if you would like to help, a contribution could be sent to.... Hands Together P.O. Box 80985 Springfield, MA 01138 Their missionary focus is Haiti, and the funds will get to the right place. Every person, regardless of the most poor or humble conditions deserves food and shelter, love and compassion. I believe, that it is in helping to change the lives of those around us, that our lives change the most! With the close of the holidays, comes the arrival of a new year... filled with high hopes and a 'goal list' a mile long. I have worked through my house, room by room... reorganize, cleaning-out, and tidying up for my own 'fresh beginning'. Not that it will really matter in the big picture of life, but it does make me feel good!! (And sometimes that defines your success!) I plan to be back painting in a day or two, and have several commission projects in the works. (More on these soon!) The children are all settled back into school, the sports and work schedules march along, and the bravest trooper of all (husband John) continues to battle the elements of a cold, cold Minnesota! Enjoy your day... it is the present! Thanks for reading.