“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
~~Anne Bradstreet

Hi all,

Two weeks ago, I offered updates on some of the Friends and Dyelanders but didn't get to finish due to my rather high-maintenance dogs.  Thankfully, we've been blessed with an unseasonably warm day and so Leo is outside and Danika's contentedly watching out the window.  So here's hoping I can finish those this time!

Our next newsletter will be the annual Christmas story and, while I haven't completely decided what I want to do, I'm leaning heavily towards doing what I did last year in "The Golden Cord."  For those who are new or don't recall, on Christmas Day (which will be Christmas Eve this year), I sent the first part of the story and then added onto it on each of the 12 Days of Christmas, concluding it on January 6th aka the Epiphany.  I like this idea because it offers me the chance to do some flashbacks to the Friends' 2017 which I largely had to neglect (see high-maintenance dogs) but also spread the holiday cheer out for me and, I hope, those who read it.  So just a heads' up so folks aren't expecting a novel on Christmas Eve.  ;-)

Anyway, enjoy the next two weeks and stay warm!

God bless,

An Update on the Dyelanders and Friends- Part II- December 2017

Emma and Peter Garcia-Campbell- Following another successful year and a stellar production of Jesus Christ Superstar at St. Genesius', Emma and Peter took a much deserved vacation.  After traveling to Texas to spend some time with Peter's extended family, the couple ventured onto Florida where they embraced their inner children at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.  Following a romantic dinner, the couple unwittingly created their own little souvenir back at the hotel.  Now they're anxiously awaiting the birth of their son in mid-April.

Arthur Reese and Monica- The two are still loving life over on Veritas with Liam and his faithful canine companion, Conan.  Arthur is continuing to run the True Light shelter and related services while Monica remains at her food truck, taking on assignments as she can.  As the Friends continue to multiply, both Arthur and Monica occasionally wish they could have another child but Liam keeps them busy and they're always eager to babysit their little nieces and nephews.  They're also enjoying spending more time with Arthur's parents, Molly and Grant. 

Liam Tierney Reese- Now eight, Liam has become a very good student who his Grandpa Vincent can count on to help the other children.  He still loves palling around with Jacob and, while his patience sometimes gets a little thin, is generally a good sport about little Belle fawning over him.  Liam experienced some distress over the summer when his Grandma Molly had a stroke but is now enjoying having his paternal grandparents nearby.

Molly and Grant Reese- Following Molly's health setback, the couple realized that they needed to be closer to their son and his family.  For a few weeks, they stayed at Veritas but with some rest and physical therapy, Molly was back on her feet and eager to return to a life of service.  Grant readily agreed.  The two ended up moving into the True Light shelter where they're the resident parents and grandparents of the men and children who find themselves there.  They make a point of sharing at least one weekday dinner and Sunday brunch with Arthur, Monica, and Liam.

Raquel and Nico Moretti- Though not inspired by a health crisis, they've also decided to move and be closer to family.  While they still go on the occasional cruise, Raquel and Nico made a permanent move to Dyeland early in the autumn.  They stayed with Andrew, JenniAnn, and Belle at Willowveil for a few weeks before settling into a cabin not far from Isolde's and Marco's.  They're loving being around Andrew and his expansive family!

Isolde and Marco Crocetti- Since May 14th when Joshua showed up on their doorstep with the cure for vampirism in his pocket, the couple have been living it up as regular ol' humans again.  While Marco was briefly out of commission and consigned to hospital food while his TB was being treated, he and Isolde have since indulged in the variety of cuisines NYC offers.  They've also enjoyed offering others tasty dishes at Marco's restaurant where they mentor and employ several of the former clientele of True Light, the Chrysalis, and the Phoenix Inn.  They're anxiously awaiting Isolde "eighteenth" birthday when Joshua's given them the all clear to start the family they've wanted for hundreds of years.

Mick and Beth St. John- Like his fellow vampires, Mick's been enjoying life as a full-fledged human again.  While Beth has to occasionally speak up and warn him against downing a whole bag of M&Ms in one sitting, she's delighted with her husband's new lease on life.  Unlike Isolde and Marco, the St. Johns aren't waiting on having kids.  While they haven't yet conceived, they trust in Joshua's promise that they'll be parents... and are having fun working towards that goal.

Josef- On the same day he paid the Crocettis a visit, Joshua also visited Josef.  Because of Josef's sometimes dangerous work with FS, he was torn about taking the cure and thus losing the abilities that had often helped him to rescue victims of trafficking.  Joshua offered a compromise which left Josef with all his powers but needing neither blood nor normal food and drink.  I really want to do a story about all this so won't say much more except Josef remains a very proud papa to Daisy and is enjoying having a proper home with her and Amber-Marie.

Dr. Amber-Marie Sayer- Life at the Chrysalis keeps Amber-Marie and her longtime friend and associate, Gayle, quite busy.  Nonetheless, Amber-Marie always makes time for her favorite job: being Daisy's mommy.  While she adores her adoptive daughter and the life they share with Josef, things have also taken a more complicated turn for Amber-Marie who isn't quite sure her feelings for Josef have remained in the sisterly vein...

Daisy- While continuing to heal from the abuse she suffered before being rescued by Josef, Daisy is largely a happy, healthy, and confident little girl.  She's still "forever and ever and ever best friends" with Aiyla and the two girls make the most of living next door to each other with regular sleepovers.  Daisy adores Vincent and loves attending school in the Tunnels... especially since it means being near her crush, Jacob.

Adam- While still very much a presence there, Adam is spending less and less time in Dyeland in favor of hanging around Albany where he dotes on his niece, Ada-Marie, helps Kylie around the house, and co-coaches basketball at the local high school with Clay.  He does all of this while balancing the occasional AOD assignment with his current role as a therapist for troubled angels.  Adam organizes counseling sessions and recreational therapy for the angels he's taken under his wing and has wonderful success with his program.

Rabbi Yakov and Tiva Levine- The couple remain devoted to their synagogue but always make a point to attend the Friends' Bible study.  Both remain active in the ecumenical group they started with Fr. Mike.  In what they all admit sounds like the punchline of a bad joke, Tiva is fulfilling a lifelong dream of taking ballroom dancing lessons... with the priest as her partner since her husband has two left feet.  Yakov comes along every week to cheer them on... and to help Tiva keep an eye on Fr. Mike.

Fr. Mike Solas- He continues to love shepherding his flock at St. Mary Magdalene's but is growing increasingly frustrated with a new cardinal who keeps interfering.  While never missing a chance to be there for his parishioners, Mike is spending more and more time at the Levines' and in Dyeland and the Sibling Cities.  He constantly prays to Joshua for guidance and to John for support, dearly missing having the two around in physical form.

JenniAnn- From the outside looking in, JenniAnn's 2017 has been rather unspectacular.  Her life is mostly a predictable blend of mothering her kids, teaching, attending the Friends' assorted events, and supporting and loving Andrew.  She and the angel hit a rough patch in the spring but have grown even closer... and that's a story for another day... hopefully a day coming up soon because I've been working on that story for what seems like ages!

Andrew- In addition to what I hinted at above regarding him and JenniAnn, Andrew continues to revel in fatherhood and sharing a life and home with his anam cara.  He's had some difficult assignments this year but God always ensures he's never separated from his family and friends for very long.  He continues to find peace and contentment with his carpentry work. 

And I'm gonna end this here because 1. my dogs are demanding my attention, 2. there are some things I'm keeping secret until the Christmas story hence deliberately leaving some characters out, and 3. it's getting close to dinner time and my tummy knows it.  If there's a particular character you're hoping to hear more about, let me know.  If you have a character and would like them included in something like this or even the Christmas story, please get in touch with me.  Thanks!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for making winter-wear look so darn appealing.  ;-)

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(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.)