Hawaii 2010

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

A new direction

Christmas 2010, how quickly kids grow up. Ben is 11 and Shannon is 17 today.

Talking to a man in his 80's who said he retired at 58 and never looked back, still commuting back and forth from AZ to Wisconsin and his inherited Green Bay Packers Season tickets. I did not know their was a 40,000 person waiting list for the season tickets.

Talked to a man in his mid 80s, who talked about how hard owning his own small business was and how he managed to lose so much money during the last decade of his working life,....and he is still working in the same business and loves it.

Talked to a man in his mid 70s, who never retired from ministry, and now comes to work early to be home for his ailing wife suffering from dementia.

Been wrestling with this for a long time, but I am just not ready to retire and sit around playing golf and relaxing. It just does not fulfill me.  I feel like I have so much to offer from my life of study and experience.

More to follow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Casita Project



One of the great features of our home is a separate third bedroom with a full bath and shower, with a walk in closet. Matthew got a cat when he lived with us, and the cat played "let me out" for quite a while till the decent carpet had a big hole near the door.

So, this month our project is to rip out the carpet, repaint the walls, and install a new floor and make it into a space for visitors, for a man cave getaway, or whatever. We are installing the new flooring that looks like wood but is a very sturdy vinyl product. One of the hardest parts is ripping up the carpet braces and the nails that are pounded into the cement all around the room.

The Casita forms a delightful front courtyard with a nice fountain that we enjoy, although it has been acting up lately. Geez houses take constant maintenance!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Centering on the Macys Parade

Turkey does this for me every time.

There is just something about that 90 year tradition we all grew up with. The relaxing Sunday Morning of Thanksgiving links me to all those that have gone before and allows me to reflect on reasons to be Thankful.

This year we are in the fourth home we have owned in our marriage, which feels new, and this year I am dealing with the changes of my retirement from pastoral ministry has created.

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon Melissa and her family, great food, great tech talk about making our cordless TV life work more smoothly, and football of course.

Ready for the end of the year and the joys of another year, Lord willing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

R.I.P. Half Ear the Rhino

I shared our special visit with the Rhinoceros at the Phoenix Zoo, and we learned tonight on the news that he was euthanized today, because of a long period of physical deterioration brought on by old age, and the loss several years ago by his mate.  We read that he was in his mid 40s so he had a rich long life, longer than the 30 years they average in the wild.

I have to confess our deep sadness, because we watched him for almost ten minutes and I starred into those sad eyes of his and wondered what was going on. After the footage I shot he actually broke into a trot and headed to the corner of the pen. The whole experience was special for us, and although I sometimes feel sad for animals confined to zoos, I know they are well cared for and well fed, and that they connect us to the amazing animal kingdom.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rhino on Display



One of the things Laura and I decided to do with out retirement was to purchase an annual Zoo pass. Today was our third visit, in which we walked slowly and discovered that each exhibit decides when to reward the visitor, like today when we found an attendant giving the orangutans a nail job with a dremel. They all lined up for the treats and obediently poked their fingers through the cage and seemed to enjoy the process.

Or the Rhino, who normally sits way back in the corner, came out and showed his massive body to all of us from 15 feet.  We were also mesmerized by the large pink Flamingos who seemed to be walking and running in a concerted dance, first left that right, then in the water running in mad circles with those long stick legs. This fits so well with my devotional reading of Richard Rohr, a Franciscan teacher who reminds us that creation really is the handy work of God and the marvels of the animal kingdom are so amazing to watch and appreciate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Protesting an election?



Civility is the root of civilization. Lets be civil about this transition folks. FB has reveled in the comments and memes designed to make the other person look stupid and us look brilliant. Both sides play a destructive game with no winners.

I did not waste my vote, I voted, and those who voted for President Elect Donald Trump will win the electoral college unless something evil lurks underneath the process.

The protests are so odd, so strange and completely undemocractic and unrepublican that the source must be something deeper.  And the alienation that the left is feeling is probably not unlike the alienation I have felt in many election cycles. My reaction and those who share like convictions has not and would not reach this level and this length.

The healing of these feelings is possible, although the new people in power are already beginning to do and act in a way that causes power to corrupt in the first place.

I have a feeling that Christians were always supposed to stand between the two poles of expressing life, we are neither conservative nor liberal, we are citizens of another government of the heart under a new rule of life, being love and the spirit of reconciliation.

Not seeing too much of that spirit anywhere this week. Hoping for the best.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So, Here we Go!

If I leave this continent it will be to move to Hawaii.

Life long Republican congratulates President Trump. We have elected an odd man, a unique man, a man whose flaws in character and maturity are visible.


I believe in the importance of civility, and hope and pray that both sides learn the blessing of being civil in a world that is obviously divided in many basic beliefs and hopes.

I believe that compromise is the very work of government for anything to go forward. Power is a privilege, and a responsibility. Our President has never been a politician, and he needs to listen to and trust many voices in playing catch up with how the system works.

I pray the most divisive comments and the most insensitive attitudes that Trump expressed will fall into the quiet background and his hopes for building unity and a healthy economy will become a reality.