"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
~~Henry Ford

Hi all!

So short intro because I'm going to give a speech shortly... if typing into an HTML document counts as giving a speech.  ;-)  I hope you're all having a great weekend!

God bless,

The State of the JABBers Address
by Jenni

Hello again!  Welcome to one of our longest lasting traditions in which I summarize JABB's previous year and lay out some ideas for the year to come.  It's sort of like New Year's except without fireworks and fancy outfits!  ;-)

First, I want to say just how very much I've enjoyed the past twelve months with this group.  At this point last year, I think I was still wondering just how much longer JABB would be around.  Don't get me wrong.  I was fairly optimistic the last time I wrote one of these.  However, I am something of a realist and I just didn't know how things were going to pan out.  I was feeling fairly blocked as far as writing the fictional aspects of JABB.  The TBAA DVDs were at a standstill.  Often when I contemplated watching a John Dye project, I would have to balance that desire with fear that I would get really upset by some line or expression or even a prop.  None of that really helped with visualizing a long lasting future writing JABB newsletters and maintaining onthisside.net.  But now here we are with Seasons 5 and 6 of TBAA released and Season 7 on its way.  I wrote a story about Andrew that was over 300 pages long so... writer's block over apparently!  And, I think best of all, I no longer feel fearful and, from what I hear, some of you are finding it a lot easier to watch the shows and movies of John's that we hold dear.  I think that's truly wonderful!  And it all *definitely* helps with visualizing a long lasting future for all aspects of JABB.  Yay!

And now to the part in which I highlight the changes that have come to our web site.  Last year I reported that I was nearly done with the TBAA Photo Gallery and Episode Guide.  Ha!  Right...  When the Season 5 DVDs came out, I went right back to upgrading both those pages.  At the time of this writing, I'm now working on the Season 6 sections of the two.  Soon I hope we will have a TBAA Photo Gallery free of annoying Hallmark Channel logos!  I also took some time to start and complete the Murder, She Wrote Gallery.  Look at how cute Andy and Movie Jesus are!  (Hi, JABB YG!)  I mean Andy and Ray.  ;-)  Soon after I also got the Sioux City Gallery up along with one for The Perfect Weapon.  The movies were fun to cap but I am soooo looking forward to being able to redo TBAA's Season 7 Gallery.  Clearer images from "God Bless the Child," "The Sign of the Dove," and other favorites will be great to have.  

As much as I enjoy the screen shot thing, my first love with the JABB site has always been the writing of it.  I feel so much more confident about that now and have many of you to thank for that.  I think especially in 2011 but also a lot in 2012, I was afraid to write much for the same reason I was afraid to watch some of John's projects.  But at some point I had this breakthrough: I've spent all these years publicly praising John Dye for helping me cope with death and loss.  And wouldn't those words seem pretty cheap and insincere if I just gave this all up because it was too hard in the wake of his death?  Wouldn't that be like admitting that his work just plain wasn't powerful enough with me?  Well it was!  And it was time to show it!  I have tons of fun writing goofy JABB stories like "Andrew and the Unwanted Phone Calls" or "Andrew's First (Dyeland) Haircut."  However, I've always been more drawn to drama both in what I take in from movies, TV, and theatre and in what I write.  So it was really healing for me to be able to enter 2012 and write serious pieces like "The Walk" and "Abide With Me" in which Andrew struggled, felt pain, and, yes, got his heart broken... and healed.  I want to thank each of you who encouraged me whether you took the time to read those stories or counseled me as I wrote them.  I also want to thank the Person whose appearances in those last two stories not only helped iron out some plot issues but, more importantly, gave me the hope I needed.  I guess it makes sense that when one's trying to rebuild something... one should call in a carpenter. 

So what do I want to see happen for us in 2013?  First, I'm so looking forward to many more great conversations about all manner of topics on the JABB YG.  I've learned so much from all of you there!  As far as the site, I hope to keep going with my regular updates but then I'm also going to really try to get back to the now re-designed AndrewBlog in some manner.  I also would very much like to return to the long-abandoned JABB Jeopardy.  I've missed that!  So... here's hoping!  If any of you have things you'd like to see happen or return this year, please let me know. 

So seems like it's also tradition for me to end this on a reflection about a theme that has reigned supreme in the Dyeland stories.  This year it's a no-brainer.  As I found my footing again with the ongoing tale of Andrew and his eclectic band of friends, one word kept coming up again and again.  If it weren't such an important word, I probably would have told myself to knock it off and move on for gosh sakes!  But that word is... family.  Family is more than who you're related to by blood.  Family is the people you count on, the people you love, the people who love you, the people who will listen when you need to talk and, yes, the people who will tell you to just shut up and settle down when that is exactly what you need to do.  It's been wonderful writing about Andrew's family but it's been even more wonderful to share this time with my family here on JABB.  I thank the Father for each and every one of you.

God bless and love,

So I don't think I ever bothered to make this clear but... Andrew's speech is supposed to be a transcription of an address he actually delivers every year in Dyeland.  So now ya know and here it is.  Wish we were there to see it.  :-) ~Jenni

The State of the Dyelanders Address
by Andrew

First, I want to apologize if this address is not what you're expecting.  When I read it over for JenniAnn as practice, she said she loved it but that it sounded like "snaps" from Legally Blonde.  I didn't know what that meant so then we watched Legally Blonde.  Then JenniAnn felt bad for making me watch Legally Blonde.  It really wasn't so bad.  It was... cute?  Pink?  In any case, we watched Field of Dreams... I love that movie... with Max and Rose after that so I didn't get much practicing or editing in.  So... here I go...

When I last gave this address, I ended it with a reminder that whatever path we find ourselves on... we don't walk it alone.  God is always, always with us.  I also believed with all my heart that we would always have each other.  I didn't have any doubt of that when I wrote it or when I said it to all of you.  However, now I am even more sure of both truths: God is with us and we are together.  This past year brought trials that I could not have imagined.  I wouldn't have wanted to imagine them.  But they happened.  For a while, our paths seemed shaky, treacherous, frightening, and lonely.  There were times that I even wondered if our paths would meet up again outside of Heaven.  But, as He always does, the Father showed us that His
promises will never be broken and that His love endures forever.  The best way I can think of to thank Him for that... and, you know, share about what state we're in... is to tell about some of the great memories I have from the past twelve months.  I know this list won't be anywhere near inclusive enough but I think if I wrote out and told you about all those treasured memories then this human form of mine would end up with carpal tunnel and laryngitis.  So here goes...

Max, there are some things I hope we both forget with time.  However, I always want to hold onto the memory of us belting out Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" that one night... or day.  Whichever it was.  ::shuffling::  Tess... What!?  Like you mean all the lyrics you sing!  And you made me dance with Kate to the words "I'll awaken what's asleep in your eyes.  It may take a kiss or two"!  What was that about!?  All right...  That's all I'm saying...  I love you, too.  And I'm not gonna ever forget all the care and love you showered on me when I first got back here to Dyeland.  Having you and Monica... Gloria and so many of our friends... on my side meant more than any of you will ever know. 

Back to Max... I'm so glad you're here with us now and I know I'm far from the only one.  You will always have a home here.

Adam, buddy... I was lost and you found me.  Thank you.  And I'm also real grateful to you, Henry, and Eli for all those impromptu AOD Band concerts and practices these last months.  The music, as always, has been great but it's the time spent together that's brought me the most joy.  One thing I heard so often when I got back was how much it meant to the girls to have you three around.  Face it: you're all kinda a big deal.  And now you're fist bumping...  All right...

Rose, you make me smile every time I see you.  And, if it wasn't for you, I would never have gone to Hogwarts or learned how to make Butterbeer or had little bits of our home to hold onto while I was away.  I'm so blessed to have you and your aunt in my life.  We all are... even if you do enjoy terrifying the newbies.  Yes, Max told me about when you ran him into the alley wall.  I'm just gonna go out on a limb and guess, though, that he doesn't hold that against you.

C.J., you've taken your love of horses and shared that with all of us.  No matter how bleak things are, I know that they'll seem brighter after a long ride with you and Starbuck.  Can't thank you enough for that.

Yva, thank you for all the visits to Willy's factory.  As you can tell, you're both doing a stellar job on fattening me up with all that chocolate and candy.  You know I can't resist those red velvet truffles.  The both of you have done an amazing thing by using the work you're so passionate about to help others.  It did my heart good to watch the AndrewCam footage of you girls preparing that chocolate for the troops.  I know it means so much to them... a little bit of home and comfort.  Thank you for your generous spirit. 

g of giving back... Lady Beth, you continue to astound me with your abilities not only in the kitchen but also bringing them out into the world.  I know how much your TLC in the form of treats and meals means to everyone.  Thanks for being a great, giving friend to us all.

Laja, for thirteen years we've stood together and watched this world change.  We've waved good bye when old friends left and put out the welcome mat when new friends arrived... thankfully more of the latter than the former lately.  I am so thankful that you were with me through it all.  And I'm really thankful for the group we have now.  Look at em, Laja! 

Violeta, you told me a year and a half ago that one of the reasons you chose me as your supervisor was because you found it curious that I was so wrapped up in the lives of a few humans... something you said you couldn't understand.  Now I look at you and I see so much love for our friends here... love that I know they feel for you, too.  And when we're helping assignments, I see an eagerness in you to not only be part of their lives but to make them better.  I'm so proud of you and so is the Father. 

All of you have brought something to this community... to this family... and your contributions, love, and support are invaluable.  And if that wasn't blessing enough, we have our friends in the Tunnels and in L.A. and London and wherever Raquel and Nico happen to be.  I pray they always know how appreciated they are.  When we started calling their homes the "Sibling Cities," I'm not sure we realized how true that would be.  They are our family, too. 

"Together."  That's our state.  Wherever we go.  However many miles there are between us and even when we're not in the same world at all, we're together in God's hands and in His love.  There's no better place to be.

He loves you and I love you.  Thanks for being you.

This newsletter is dedicated to all the times hope was found in John's work.  Emily Dickinson wrote:

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all"

Like hope itself, John's legacy of extending it to others will never stop.

(Lyrics to "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" were written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman.


JABB 378

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)