Puddle Jump Through Life With Us - Living... Loving... Growing... washed in the love of Christ

Puddle Jump Through Life With Us - Living... Loving... Growing... washed in the love of Christ

Become a Fan on Facebook

Twitter Followers

Flowing River of Blessings

It's time for a good book

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Our 2020 Christmas Year End Letter

 Hope this Christmas finds you well and happy!



UPDATE AS OF 12/27/20 -  After I wrote this letter, I sealed the year off too soon. A lot of additional very significant events took place. On December 10, John was in a really bad car accident. He was traveling down a road he has traveled daily for years. It's a bad intersection where cars are merging from the Highway. He was proceeding with the right of way getting ready to turn, almost home. A young driver in a Mustang was waiting at a red light waiting to merge when a truck behind him started getting angry that he wasn't moving fast enough. So, all of a sudden, with no warning, the Mustang flew in front of John. There was no time to react. The next thing John knew, his van was up against a guard rail, and he thought he was dying, in so much pain in his chest from the seatbelt pulling him back. The van was our very first ever brand new van we had purchased in 2009. It was a showroom model. We took it on numerous trips to beach houses with the Wells family reunions and on tour for weeks up to Michigan and Wisconsin. It was a good van. It is totaled now and has been towed off. We have found a replacement van, A Honda Odyssey, that is not a new showroom model but hopefully has a lot of life left in it.

Almost exactly a week after John's bad wreck, his dad was in an even worse accident. The side air bag went off and smashed into this man. He ended up with a lot of damage to his brain. As of this writing, he is lying in a hospital where only a miracle healing touch will bring him back. Medically, the doctors have prepared the family for the worst. The next steps are in God's hands, and John and his sister will be needing prayers for strength and wisdom as to how they can help their mom, who is currently staying at John's sister's house.

MOST RECENT UPDATE AS OF 12/29/20 - We received that dreaded phone call early this morning. Harold Scott, John's dad, went home to be with Jesus.

Now, on with the original letter...

Well, the year had a good start and high hopes for success! 

...I'm sure, like the rest of you, our year has been upside-down. We have often felt like we are both hanging in the balance waiting... And, at the same time watching time fly by faster than the speed of light. 

But, here we are at another Holiday season and another year coming to a close. I feel like it's by the grace and mercies of God that we are all still surviving to tell about it.

A synopsis of our year in brief: 

  • This year, we saw our daughter graduate
  • Made adjustments to how we make a living, and
  • Said goodbye to Tere's dad. 
Here's how everyone's year looked in a little more personalized detail:


Imagine learning to maneuver life again when your brain doesn't work as quickly as it once did, and you fight to come up with what an object is called. Oh, you can describe it in great detail, but that one precise word of what it is called is a struggle to find.

... Now, imagine starting to get your life back, performing again, driving again, and even having a year's worth of shows booked and then.... HAVING ALL OF THAT COME TO A SCREECHING HALT AND FLIPPED UPSIDEDOWN because now you have to learn to maneuver this new world

........A midst COVID shut downs that impacted the entertainment industry and retirement centers first and hard, like a rug was pulled out from under our feet.

That pretty much sums up John's year. 

...November marked 1 1/2 years from John's hemorrhagic stroke. He has made a remarkable recovery with one fairly minor set back in January. He had been driving again and life was seeming normal again, but then January's visit to the hospital showed seizure activity which meant another 6 months without driving. This meant whenever he had a gig, Tere was the chauffer once again, and he was in the passenger seat. But, ever so thankfully, by November he had worked hard to re-earn his privilege to drive and with extra studying and hard work going into passing the sign and eye test (again, the main area of struggle are those short, precise identifying object (signs) words. But, HE DID IT! (pRAISE the Living Lord!) 

Still, when you are a musician who does the bulk of his shows at retirement centers during a pandemic, and the rest of your shows are at restaurants which shut down or limited to outside eating, there aren't many chances for work. 

Out of the 272 scheduled shows this year, we have had to cancel 168 with many more cancellations coming in December, I'm sure!

Since he plays the bulk of his shows at retirement centers, he felt the brunt of the shut downs before the rest of the general public, starting at the end of February. And, it continues as of this writing. Since, any show he has been able to do has been outside, the winter months currently look pretty grim for work opportunities.

That is, except for a few very creative activity directors who figured out a way to have him play outside and distanced. Yes, he played in some pretty severe heat indexes, wind, and even under a canopy in the rain. But, he's always so elated to have any and every opportunity to entertain.

Through it all, he had a few highlights. 

-He got to play a very special wedding in October,

-And, he got to serenade a favorite resident for her 100th birthday.




Then came shut downs and Zoom concerts and outdoor events:

One place even had him sing one song per resident outside of their windows:




In some of our down time, we set up John's old stereo, and he broke out some albums he had learned to play guitar with:



He even played out back by the dumpster at one gig:


And, of course shut downs meant more down time around the house:


She has officially hung up her chauffer's hat for now with no regrets. She thought she was done driving John around last November, and then had to pick up the chauffer role again in January for 6 more months, but has now relinquished that duty, hopefully forever this time around. While every show that John needed to be driven to and from meant Tere dropped everything and juggled her day's schedule in exchange for an impromptu working date, even if it did involve also helping with equipment set up and tear downs, the only part of it she misses is the bonus time spent with John. Though, she did surprise herself in becoming more relaxed behind the wheel.

From the moment COVID started shutting down John's live performances, Tere's fingers went to work writing. While everyone else was going stir crazy on lockdown, Tere was frantically taking any and every writing gig that could come her way. She ghost wrote two or three e-books and numerous articles for various web sites She stopped count at something like 100,000 words written as of May. I'm sure the total is so much more by now. 

She also did 30-days of quarantine doodles with Eliana and helped John clean more of the basement and garage, listing everything she got her hands on to eBay, Poshmark, and discovered Facebook Marketplace. Everything included some old classic toys of John's with his permission.



Sadly, 2020 took a very sad turn in October. Tere's dad went home to be with the Lord and to be forever reunited with her mother who passed away in December, 2018. On October 26, her dad breathed his last on this earth.



As he was honored to be asked to be a pallbearer at his grandma's funeral in 2018, he was once again honored to be included for his grandpa as well. 

Pictured below is Tere's dad with Graham on the first Father's Day Graham was alive to celebrate. 

The next picture is Graham helping as a pallbearer for his granddad's coffin (he's the one on the far right when looking at the picture).

In other words: You see grandpa holding grandson - And, then grandson carrying grandpa!

Graham had some other not so sad moments of the year. He turned 20 in May and voted in his first elections.


Sonic was the last movie we got to see before things shut down. (Graham is a long-time Sonic gaming fan)

He's also been our chief lawn mower this year. Previously, when we went on tour most of the summer, we hired someone to do our yard. But, this year it didn't make sense to hire out when we have a son willing to help. He mowed so much that the old mower he was using finally gave out, and we got a great deal on a type of mower completely new to us. It's a battery-operated/no gasoline model. He and dad absolutely love it! There is also a somewhat funny story behind it all. Bottom line is that we ended up driving all the way to Sullivan, MO to find one of the last available ones.

Other than that, he has been working on some computer programs, some tools, and a game that he hopes to put on the market. He is challenging himself to work with an old computer to do it all, since his motherboard is going out on the one he built when he was 14.  He's trying to build his resume' and gaining experience he needs for a future in programming as a career.

Jaléna - 

Lockdown was possibly the hardest on this girl, or maybe it was mama who took it so hard to watch her high school senior wait in limbo to see if she was going to get the opportunity to walk the stage for graduation, or would it be canceled? Would she get to perform in her last Lifelight performance, or would it be canceled? Let me tell you, the wait was filled with hopes and dashed hopes. 

In the end, her graduation was grander and bigger than we could have ever dreamed. She auditioned and was chosen to give the speech and did such a fantastic job. It was even better since it was up on a Jumbotron. Sadly, her final musical, where she would have sung a solo as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and her final summer camp show, The Music Man, had to be canceled due to COVID. 










As if peering into the future:


Before lockdown happened in March, she was able to perform a song she wrote at her senior banquet and perform her Spring choir performance. She finished up her theatre classes and did her final dance recital on Zoom. During the summer, she even took part in summer camps that performed socially distanced outside shows. 


She turned 18 in February, and voted in her first elections this year as well.


Her Spring Formal was socially distanced:



She was plunged into adult life without the Rite of Passage she had dreamed of, but is doing so with grace and depth of character. This fall, she started teaching voice through Lifelight Youth Theatre. Of course, mom had to get a picture of her first day of work:

When she isn't working, she enjoys spending time with Andrew, a God-send of a boy she has been seeing for awhile now. We couldn't have asked for a better choice in boyfriends. 


The youngest is now in high school. She has many versatile talents and likes to explore and learn new things. She wants to one day be a Registered Nurse, so her studies have turned to online college-level courses to help her pursue these medical nursing goals. She likes to play tennis, is learning Korean, and still is amazing at drawing, painting, and cooking masterpiece dishes. She turned 14 in September but had to forfeit her normal trip to the zoo, but we all adapted with a nice celebration at home. Oh, and yes! She got her hair cut. She had donated her hair to a charity and then decided she wanted it even shorter, and now with bangs.

Before the pandemic, she had a personal instruction on how to wear an isolation gown and mask when she accompanied mom to the hospital several times to see her grandpa who started off the year sick, recovered and then took another bad turn in August before going home to be with the Lord in October. 

She is learning to play the violin, and has learned quite a bit of Japanese. Her brother got her this Japanese musical instrument Otamatone for her birthday. She had a lot of fun playing tunes on it.

As part of her natural nursing ability, she won a plant last year at the Mother Daughter banquet and chose the sickliest one available. She nursed it back to health, but when it outgrew its container the transfer didn't go well, so she nursed it back to health yet another time. This plant continues to thrive and bloom under her care. If she's this good with human patients one day, she'll make a great nurse.

On Valentine's Day Weekend, she and dad had their own private Daddy-Daughter dance in our basement.

And, of course, life was fun with various ice cream, frozen yogurt, and custard spots before COVID restrictions were set in place:

We hope this letter finds you well and happy and giving thanks for all God has done in your life!

Til next time - Love, The Scotts!