Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

Tending the spiritual lives of writers and readers.

2013 Christmas Greetings from the Jarretts

2013 Christmas Greetings from the Jarretts

Our days are gloriously full!  Rather than summarize 2013, we thought we’d give you a day in the life of…

1.  Eats two fried eggs and turnip greens for breakfast.
2.  Waltzes with folks in wheelchairs.
3.  Builds a network with fellow traditional dancers who care about water issues.
4.  Bikes Gwyn home from school in the trailer.
5.  Bakes teddy bear bread.
6.  Goes to Ethnic Dance Theatre rehearsal.
7.  Soaks beans for the next day’s menu.
8.  Updates Elizabeth on what piece of dance music is in her head.

1.  Waxes poetic about how much she loves her morning tea.
2.  Bikes Gwyn to school on the tag-along.
3.  Thinks about how faith works and try to represent that in story.
4.  Eats broiled tortillas and cheese.
5.  Reads stacks of student manuscripts, enjoying their stories and imagining how they might grow.
6.  Hosts a salon for writers to discuss the purpose of their work in the wider world.
7.  Gives Rhia her thyroid pill at the bathroom sink, amid happy purrs.

1.  Runs into Mama and Imma’s room shouting, “I have an idea!”
2.  Creates a theme for her outfit:  Purple girl?  Farmer girl?  Polka-dot girl?
3.  Makes a model airport and airplanes out of toilet paper rolls.
4.  Bikes to preschool.
5.  Plays.  Bakes pretzels.  Plays.  Dips candles.  Plays.  Eats pretzels.  Plays.  Tries to be a good friend.  Plays.  Listens to stories.  Plays.
6.  Bikes home.
7.  Listens to Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed (for the twelfth time) during quiet time.  Memorizes it.
8.  Has great difficulty sitting at the dinner table.
9.  Falls asleep to dance music.

DSC_0788Exceptional Days in 2013

March:  Emily performs dances from Turkey, Romania, Russia, Georgia, and Bulgaria with Ethnic Dance Theatre.  Tickets are already available for her next show, June 27-29!

June:  Elizabeth finds a publisher for her first novel!  Hannah, Delivered will come out in paperback and ebook next May, but it’s available for preorder now.Hannah Delivered cover sm

July:  Emily loses her wedding ring in the shallows of Lake Nokomis.  Six hours of searching and metal-detecting later, the ring is still missing but Gwyn has learned to love the water.  By the end of the summer, she boasts to another kid,  “I can swim.  I can swim without a life jacket!  I can swim without a swim suit!!  I CAN SKINNY DIP!”  A treasure hunter finds Emily’s ring and returns it to her because he likes doing such things.

DSC_1630August:  At the Minnesota State Fair with Nancie and Tom, we “just happened” to run into friends toting a marriage license on a stick.  Would we like to get legally married?  Why, yes!  Nancie and Tom were thrilled.  Thanks to the DNR for providing the perfect setting (the junk sculpture) and to the people of Minnesota for making this possible.

September:  Elizabeth joins Helen and Len for a week in southern Italy to learn about her Italian origins:  Days of hiking through tiny hill towns in Basilicata, meeting with Municipio officials, eating homemade pasta, drinking wine for lunch and dinner, and reclaiming her Lucana roots.  Turns out Len’s paternal grandfather was descended from Albanians.IMG_3078

September:  The Jarretts celebrate Thomas and Billy’s wedding in Guerneville, CA.  Highlights:  Gwyn being the only one escorted to her seat, Thomas and Billy doing Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who would say his vow first, jumping into the Russian River, glow-in-the-dark bocce ball, and Gwyn and Aunt Lori bonding over a diner breakfast.  On the flight home, after a flight attendant’s announcement, Gwyn says, “I know what an aircraft is!  It’s a decorated airplane”–and gets inspiration for a craft.

DSC_0140_2Fall:  After receiving fiscal sponsorship for Wisdom Dances, Emily is given financial incentive to approach her supporters for donations.  She gets an overwhelming response.  A week later, the Capitol Region Watershed District gives her a $10,000 grant to use dance to promote water stewardship.  Wisdom Dances is on a roll!

December:  After a full month of preparations, Gwyn hosts her fifth birthday party.  “And now, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you, not to just a basement, but to a marsh!”  Ten kids dressed as bugs fly around the basement trying to steal cheese-puff pollen from a grown-up frog.  Then we eat bugs for lunch.

We’re so grateful for our good health, for a year packed with creative fun, and for our dear neighbors, our strong community, and our beloved family.  Many blessings on your Christmas and New Year!

Love Elizabeth, Emily, and Gwyn

IMG_0586IMG_0706Thanks to Jenny Larson for so many of these awesome photos!


  1. Gloriously full, indeed! Such a fine (and accurate) representation of that fullness. So glad to be close by soaking up the fullness together with you, dear friends.

  2. Thanks for sharing your lives with us! You all look so very happy and we couldn’t be happier for you! Happy Holidays and here’s to a wonderful New Year. –The Pipers in Atlanta (Richard, Deborah, Victoria, William & Rex (our sweet dog)

  3. Clare Tallon Ruen

    December 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I love this letter! I feel kind of like I just visited you. But I didn’t, and I want to! love and gratitude to you dear people.

  4. Merry Christmas to my Minnesota friends!

  5. So nice to share your day(s). Congrats on all of your big events, but most especially your two weddings…as ivy clings to oak, so be it with these marriages. I send a plate of (unfortunately virtual) Christmas cookies, best wishes to you and your parents and siblings, and hopes for a happy 2014.

  6. Such richness of life: you 3 are such fine beings of light that are sharing your love in every letter of your Christmas Greeting. I am only so blessed to receive all the love you 3 share!! I will send your gifts flowing through me to join with the Nile, West Bank of Luxor where I now live, and all of Africa. Now you have really expanded your loving influence. Emily, I am sandwiched in between Temples and Tombs at the foot of a huge mt right before it all spreads out into the expanse of farm fields. I married Oct 12, 2013…got off the late plane @ 1 am and my skype sculptor buddy I met through the Louvre,proposed to me . We got married at 2 am Islamic Holy Man style with the connecting of our hands. I really see the influence of the Torah through out Islam. Have two 5 year olds in my extended family, plus a 21/2 year old. We are so blessed to have so much joy in our lives.

  7. Hello Elizabeth and Emily,

    We always look forward to your Christmas letter. We too are friends with Michael & Jenny Bischoff. Loved the photos of Gwyn! It was good to see Marriage Equality come to Minnesota this year. I’m glad you finally recovered your lost wedding ring, Elizabeth. I lost mine too in early October in a swimming pool on a cruise ship but with a little help I found it at the deep end of the pool and was able to recover it with a dive. What a relief!

    Congratulations on finding a publisher for your novel, Elizabeth. One of my long time friends in Minneapolis, Chet Meyers, just published his book: Four Traditions – One Spirit. It looks at the commonalities found in the spiritual traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Native American people.

    If your travels bring you to Michigan, please let us know. We have a nice guest room and it would be wonderful to see you. Our home phone is 616 863-6849.

    Blessings in the New Year!

    Love, Monty & Ginger

  8. Loved reading this!! Love to you all.

  9. It was a very full year, i forgot all this went on. Congrats on the novel Elizabeth and to you Emily on all your important work regarding dance and the enviroment.

  10. Emily and Elton Brown

    December 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Fabulous Christmas letter – pictures, news. Can’t wait for HANNAH DELIVERED! Are those your feet, Elizabeth, at Kowakan???

  11. Amazing, you all ~ love the pix. And I want more! Like tales from my beloved Italia. You are such treats in my life. Love you!!! wa

  12. What a wonderful holiday letter!– one that is a delight to read and think about. It made your lives so very imaginable and your personalities come alive. All three of you sound like what you’re doing and how you’re living are truly fulfilling. I feel privileged to have received it and wish I could respond with big bear hugs. (Leon loved reading your letter, too–and I’m going to forward it to Jerry and Maddy, who think fondly of “the Hugheses” and have been interested in hearing about your ongoing lives.)
    Congratulations to you, Emily, on the grant, and to you, Elizabeth, on your book, which I look forward to reading as soon as it arrives.
    Much love to the three of you.

  13. What a lovely letter from you three lively lights in the world. How fun to see many of my photos in here — and have the privilege of being such a part of your lives! I’m grateful that you three are part of our family. Love you.

  14. Loved the holiday letter and photos. You lead rich, wonderful, creative lives and it was so much fun to read about your year.

  15. Christine Sikorski

    December 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for such delight!

  16. Wishing you as happy, healthy, and as delightful a 2014 as it appears your 2013 was.
    Art and Nona

  17. Linnea Lindroth

    January 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    So thrilled to hear that Emily got a grant for dancing! And Elizabeth, your book is published! A banner year. Hope 2014 is just as great for you all. Love, Linnea

  18. Dear Elizabeth, Emily, and Gwyn,

    What a thrilling Christmas card with all of this news! Money for dancing and water awareness, your novel finally published, Gwyn having emotional intelligence and creativity off the charts. Wow, this was such fun to read. I’m overjoyed that your lives are so full and ripe with generativity. May 2014 continue in this very same vein.

    love, Julie (Neraas)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *