The Coyne'r'Butch Christmas Letter 2010

  Hi, Everyone! It's another Christmas letter from Coyne'r'Butch.


May the hope that was born that silent, holy night remain in your heart throughout the year.


I M Not Ready

I can plan ahead. Honest. Maybe someday I'll plan far enough ahead to actually be able to build a letter and send cards before Christmas instead of after.

Ah, but procrastination is so easy.

The picture at the left was taken with my webcam, which sits below the monitor.


Okay, so I've been doing this counseling, see...

Actually, I was shanghaied. They invited me for a little get-together and surprised me with the first session; not long after my trip to the hospital in 2009. (Did I mention that?)

Anyway, I'm glad they did.

The program is called The Journey and runs through four parts of group counseling. It is aimed at helping a person to better understand themselves and their relationship to other people.

It has helped and continues to help me understand certain things that I have misunderstood in the past; things that keep me from having optimum relationships and optimum use of my skills (some of which I'm just discovering).

Which brings us to... is a site I put together to publish 2 political comics I made.

Now, if you'd asked me a year ago if I could draw political comics, I would have said, "Not possible." Counseling has lead me to start re-investigating myself, to find out if some of those personal opinions were, well, not accurately reflected.

Now, my first comic wasn't a prize-winner, but it looks like something to me and I was certainly surprised to find out I could do it at all.

Maybe I won't continue doing these, we'll see. That wasn't really the point; the point was to see if I could, rather than assuming I couldn't.


I've come full circle at work.

When I originally started at Florida Hospital, I worked on the business/purchasing team. In 2003, I moved to a job with the Systems administrators. Later that year, I moved to an Architecture group position. This year, I have moved back to a position with...the business/purchasing team.

That team was losing its core technical lead and so they asked me to join the team as a replacement. So here I am.

Small world, huh?


Like everyone else my family is struggling.

My Dad, Coyne Lenard Tibbets
I am very sorry to report that my Dad passed away in January. He had been in a nursing home for nearly a year, with COPD and Parkinson's disease.
My Mom, Margaret Ann Leland Tibbets
Mom is getting up up in years and struggles with Epstein-Barr and severly disarticulated ankles. It is hard for her to get around. But she still seems to have high spirits.
My oldest sister, Diane Elaine Tibbets Campbell
She has had serious money difficulties this year, and had to go through gall-bladder surgery as well.

Her husband, Glenn, is not well. He went to Salt Lake City in July, and was basically told there wasn't much that could be done. He has COPD, mostly as a result of the Agent Orange he experienced first hand in Vietnam.

My oldest brother, Michael Archie Tibbets
He is still working in the gas fields in Powder River Basin, Wyoming. (Note: Powder River Basin is not and never has been in Georgia, where it was reported to be by our ever-so-accurate media.)

He is their general fix-everything, do-everthing expert mechanic and roust-about.

My middle sister, Susan Marie Tibbets Rochelle
Works part time at the parochial school and went back to college this year.
My youngest sister, Elizabeth Ann Tibbets Welsh
I have a new nephew, Dante Alexander Mark Welsh, born to Beth on March 6.

I saw Beth in person for the first time in 5 years (I think) this summer. We both visited my Mother in Sheridan, WY.

I also met the modern version of Paul Matthew Welsh. He was a real handful but is now improving, now that they have diagnosed him with a sensory processing disorder.

My youngest brother, David Andrew Tibbets
Still no news. He has been estranged from the family for many years.


Oh, and yes, I should tell you about my trip to the hospital. It was actually in July 2009, and should have been in last year's letter. Except, of course, I never did a letter last year.

Anyway, I caught something (the Doctor thinks) called "undulant fever", from a deer tick bite. It gives you this roller-coaster fever, which goes down almost to normal and then back up to 101 or so; on-and-on.

Maybe I'd have recovered. I don't know. What got me into the hospital was dehydration. I wasn't eating much because of the illness (I was in bed for about 12 days before going to the hospital) and became electrolyte-depleted. I was drinking plenty of water, but you can't retain water if your electrolytes are down.

I was in the hospital for 3 days, most of the time on saline drip while they tried to normalize my electrolytes.

So much for walking through the nature reserves in Florida.

Pink Christmas Tree??

Okay, this tree (at the right) that I saw at a local Borders bookstore is...well...definitely Florida!

In case it's not clear from the picture, this thing was 7 feet tall. As for the hot pink, all I could say was, "Please! Turn it down!"

Pink Christmas tree at borders.
My sister Diane's pink Christmas tree.
(See a full-size image of the tree above.)


Then my sister Diane sent me a picture of another pink tree (at the left). She made this tree for a charity auction, and I understand it sold for a good price.

To me, the color seems slightly more tasteful than the one above. But it's still not something I can look at and say, "This was a good idea." (Sorry, Sis! You did good, but your lame brother can't adapt to the concept.)

(...and I thought the trees with white, iridescent plastic needles were bad.)

Shattered Glass

This is an excerpt from a message titled "Shattered Glass" sent to us by our campus Chaplain, Lori Engel.

Out in California, a delivery man was taking a beautiful pane of glass to a cathedral. It was going to be the centerpiece. Unfortunately, there was an accident on the freeway, and the glass shattered into a million shards. The guy called the designer, who told him not to move a shard until he got there. When the designer arrived, he carefully picked up every single shard. In time, he used every shard to create a beautiful glass mosaic in the cathedral. And through the cracks of the reassembled pieces shone a brilliant radiance that lit up the cathedral with diamond-drops of light.

God, the designer, is using every broken piece of your life to create something beautiful, more beautiful than it would have been in its wholeness. God won't waste a single shard of pain. He is creating a beautiful mosaic. You may not see the whole picture now, but you will one day in the future.

And from another of her messages, a prayer:

Dear Lord, I don’t want to live a me-colored life. Please show me how, through dying to self, Your brilliant colors can be displayed in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Merry Christmas
and a
Peaceful and Happy New Year.