So I'm dead - so what? I have more time to write the annual Christmas letter and it's a nice way to check in on my family from beyond. So let's do that, shall we?
It’s been a year of transition for the Johnson family. After 2012, many of you are feeling the shift in consciousness, and we on The Other Side are helping with your transition into a 4th or even 5th dimensional world – so if you’re having more physical issues, or things seem particularly confusing, be patient. Meet uncertainty with love instead of fear; what appears as chaos is only the birth of a new age. Trust me, you’ll love it! I’ve been living in Spirit for 17 years, and it’s a blast!
But, as always, the routines and financial realities of daily life take precedence for you Earth beings. The Johnsons have given sanctuary to more than a dozen local cats, some of whom were born on their property. When Tony the Tan begged entry to the house with the message, “Please let me in – I’m tired of fighting for my life” they couldn’t say no, and then his adoptive family chose a dog (yuck – really??) instead.
Tony is now the largest of the tribe, and his policy of making friends by chasing and jumping on the others hasn’t worked well for him. In response, he emulates the first grader who hides in the cloakroom and eats the other kids’ lunches, and is now the fattest of the group. Food bowls are being rearranged and feeding stations sequestered (no, not like the one in Washington), as dietary needs shift, and avoiding diabetes and pancreatitis become the new priorities.
Dave is doing the brunt of the maintenance for the outside cat colony while they are being prepared for adoption through Tree House Human Society. The “gang of six” led by Brave, a grey tabby, includes two more grey tabbies (Misty and Rusty), Sunny (a creamy Siamese look-alike), long, sleek black Ebony, and the sole survivor of another litter – Fluffy Herbert, the long-haired grey. When Dave walks around the corner to his parents’ house, or arrives home, they follow him looking for attention. Less social are the tabby mothers, Elmie and Sassy, the tiny black mother Poppy, and Mad Max, a long-haired tabby who seems to be the source of the population explosion – and the most likely to be caught last.
Denise and Dave are hoping to receive health care for them from the government, since they are unable to use the maternity or childcare provisions required under the new health insurance regulations – or they could solicit contributions as a fake non-profit, like the Clinton Foundation. Someone has to pay the bills for this clan! So, faithful reader, how many cats would you like?
Meanwhile, Dave continues to hold the rudder of the Johnson ship, and works ONE JOB in operations for Lake Star, where he balances negotiations with city regulators and utilities, financing sources, and the incubator-like community of small business tenants. He also does some private math tutoring and consulting with former clients.
This summer, Dave finally took some time for himself to enjoy the lake and his fishing boat at Svecia, the Swedish commune in Northern Wisconsin. He hones his bowling skills twice a week, travels to the occasional tournament, and works on his golf game when possible.
Denise is still a program auditor for NCCER-accredited construction training and assessment programs, and writes financial columns and features for Electrical Contractor magazine. She picked up a new gig as a virtual instructor for Edgenuity, working with high school students (yes, we ALL thought the insanity was behind us). Her first book (Defyning Moments – Lessons from an Ordinary Life) is in print, and the website of the same name is already undergoing revision. She writes a blog (I know, it sounds like someone vomiting) “Animals Know!” for Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune blogger community. Her first stand-up comedy routine at The Laugh Factory was a sure success with jokes about teaching high school (but did nothing to recover the $14,000 cost of the teaching credentials). As soon as she revisits her hypnotherapist (no, I am not kidding), she’ll write the second book (Animals Know! – What Animals Teach Us) and start cleaning out the basement.
With retirement a distant and murky possibility, the Johnsons are evaluating their future direction. Denise continues to expand her animal communication services through workshops, sessions at local stores, and outreach to help shelters incorporate animal preferences into their adoption systems. Dave is reviewing his skill set and resisting the recruitment efforts of his wife and her relatives, who are playing in the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, where he and his French horn would undoubtedly be of great value. The Johnsons are hoping that their 16 nieces and nephews will step up and support them in their dotage, if necessary.
The Johnsons wish all of you great abundance in 2014. Know that you are exactly where you are meant to be at each moment, remember that our bodies are meant to heal and become whole, and consider the Sufi tradition to filter your words through four gates before you speak them: Are these words true? Are they necessary? Are they beneficial? Are they kind? In the season of love, peace, and forgiveness, we are all connected through the God that lives within each of us, and it matters what we say in His name.
Signing off, now and returning to The Other Side - Until next year...
Boo The Cat (aka Stockholm) for the Johnsons and their OTHER cats...
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