Christmas greetings to all of our friends from Mert and Doris Hibbard
Yes, that is the right address. After spending 7+ years in New Mexico, it seemed that the time was right for us to come home and fix up the log house. Work had slowed down in the Four Corner’s area. We had both of our homes up for sale and the one there sold first. We were talking about buying another one through the Real Estate office, but when it did not close when it was supposed to – and Mert was laid off again – we came home to the log house in the woods. We arrived here July 24 and by Aug. 24 we had the well drilled and all of the plumbing done. It has been Christmas for us since as we have had to replace appliances and furniture that we sold when we left N.M. Also we redid the fireplace and put in an insert and have been getting ready for real winter. Mert has a large pile of wood cut and we even bought ourselves some boots!
I know some of you wonder what happened to a letter last year – well the writer was sick with some kind of bug and running 2-3 weeks behind so it just never did get written. In May I had gall bladder problems and possibly that was what was wrong in November, but since I have been careful of what I eat, I am much better. Mert is quite well and happy to be back where there is green grass, trees and snow?? He was quite worn down from some of the trucking jobs where they had him going nights instead of days but is feeling well now and certainly has been working very hard on all of the household projects and wood cutting. After four months of not working (away from home) I have started a temporary position back in the registrar’s Office at Corning Community college. This might last 6 to 12 months and we will see what happens after that, but I am glad to have to opportunity as I think I can get in the missing months I need for 10 years under NYS Civil Service. Maybe I can get more than that eventually.
Our family continues to be scattered around the country with Melvin’s moving from Vestal, NY to a new position within NYSEG at Plattsburg, NY. A step up but also 5-6 hours farther away. They are near the Canadian border in the Adirondack Mtns. or possibly I should say at the edge of them. Matthew is in high school this year and plays in the band and has just signed up for the wrestling team. Kathy Jo plays the flue, twirls the baton, was a great soccer player in Vestal and an excellent student. Quite the grown-up little girl anymore. Going to be tall. Her dad says a Hibbard girl. She is in 6th grade. Lucas is in first grade and is quite grown up and is a boy that is concerned about others. Mel used to be on the road quite a bit and Luke would worry about him driving, etc. even though he is only a little boy, he was Daddy’s boy and glad that he will be home each night now. Deanna keeps busy being a homemaker and chauffeur.
Joan’s family are down around the Ozark’s in Arkansas or so Mert says when he is telling about the location of our children. Last year she went back to college at the local school and this year she has a scholarship at the university about 40 minutes away based on her grades from last year. I think she hopes to teach eventually. Her boys are growing up, too. Mark is in 7th grade and is a real computer bug. They have one and he is at it every minute he can be. Mert is in 5th grade and his aim is to be the top one in his class and reaching that goal the last I heard. Nathan is the socialite – he likes everyone and enjoys talking to them, but can be a good student when he puts his mind to it. Sharon Joy is in pre-school. She is 4 and the little blonde, blue-eyed girl that Joan kept waiting for. She likes school, but does not like take a nap on the days Joan is in college all day. Joseph has a good position in Cooper Rubber and I think they really like living in the South.
Hope this long letter does not bore you all, but it does seem that our family keeps growing. Joan’s oldest stepson is in the service, married and has a little girl, but we have not seen them in a long while. The other boy is living in Indiana with his mother as he did not like leaving all of his friends. He went down there one summer to live, but went back home in mid-fall.
Jane and her family are still in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. They had a huge lay-off (70 percent) at the coal mine last year about now, but Mike survived it even though he had to go back to working as a laborer but when they had picked back up, he took a step up and though there are several on his level, there is only one higher, a mine superintendent. They hope things stay on a level keel as they really like living in the area they are in. Jane says that this year she is not worrying about mountain passes, whether they or we can get over them to see each other. I think they have had an addition since I last wrote as they have another little boy born May 6, 1984 on Burnett’s 27th birthday. She named her baby Daniel Burnett Vigueria. He is a precious little guy and seems to be a combination of all his older brothers rolled into one. They all think he is great. Stephen just turned 11 and Jane thinks she is ready to cope with an almost teenager, says she has been preparing for it quite a while. All of the boys are into archery like their Dad and they make it a family affair to go to shoots and meets. They do very well, also.
Michael is in third grade and likes sports while Stephen can take them or leave them but enjoys reading. Joseph is in first grade and likes people, too, they are all good students and as I said, the boys think little Daniel is just about the nicest guy they could have for a baby brother. Jane is bringing the boys up to help around the house and seems to have her gang under good control.
Sharon and her two boys are the ones that live the closest to us now that Mel’s’ just moved. She is in Rochester and her Jeremy is in third grade and another big tall Hibbard boy – looks a lot like his Grandpa Hibbard in some ways. He is very interested in discovering things and can really enjoy a good Monopoly game – even if he has to play against himself sometimes. Benjamin is in first grade and I guess there is something about those first grade grandsons, they all seem to be quite friendly little guys and like people. He can sure give you a winning smile when he want to. Sharon works part time at the school in the lunch room and enjoys the contact with the school children and is taking her second year studying to do taxes for H&R Block again this year. Her husband forgot to ask (as Joan says) “What is best for all of us” and decided he should move out this fall but continues to provide for them and to see the boys. We knew there was a problem, but thought maybe it would all work out. He came down and helped Mert put in our waterpipes, but then one weekend, when Sharon came to visit he left, couldn’t do it when the boys were there? And Sharon? I think she is hoping that all will eventually work itself out, but meanwhile, her church family is very supportive of her and we are glad that we are in the area to see for ourselves how she is doing and help what we can. I think she is really leaving it all in the hands of the Lord and I guess that is really the only way to do.
Another new little boy in the family! Yes, Burnett and Julie had a baby boy on April 13, 1985 (Lucas Hibbard’s 7th birthday) and they named their baby Jonathan James. He is the joy of their life and I think of the whole community since they are both teaching and Burnie coaches volleyball in the fall and tennis in the spring as well as his high school an college math courses. We didn’t get to see him very much before we left New Mexico, but he is a cute little guy and of course blue-eyed and very blonde with his Mom and Dad that both shouldn’t get into very much hot sun, but of course BJ does his coaching (which he loves). They are still in Bagdad and as Mert says, one of our children is in the desert not far from the Mexican border and one near the Great Lakes (Sharon) and the other three live in the mountains. We live in the woods!
Love to all – the writer and her husband.