Hawaii 2010

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from Don in AZ. Make your own badge here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts as August winds down

This is my selfish little Hummer who is hoarding all this delicious nectar to himself. He would have more friends if he shared.

We enjoyed Florence Foster Jenkins and BenHur this week, both well done with good food for thought.

The cooler days and nights have my pool just right for a refreshing swim. 82-86, just perfect.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Carbon Monoxide?

An artistic twist from a downed desert tree.

Laura was roused by a loud beeping last night. This new home has a Carbon Monoxide detector which went off registering a 25. The booklet said if it reads 70 leave the house and call 911. HMMM!

An A/C repairman saw it on the wall the other week and told us it was one of the best on the market and incredibly sensitive. So, I got up last night to investigate. Gas stove turned off! No evidence of leaks in gas furnance or gas water heater, the obvious culprits. So we sat up until a reset showed no readings and went back to bed.

Did not wake up dead, so we are keeping an eye on things for a while.

As we reach the end of August we both feel the need to get out and get involved again in our career fields. I am as good as the next guy at doing leisure, but when leisure time is all the time, it just gets to be too much. At least thats how I feel now. It could always change. Still enjoying life, and watching for the silent killer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Recovering from the 100 Year Storm

My heart goes out to the masses of people whose homes are lost or damaged in this years flooding in the deep south. We have been able to dry out and clean our back porch from our recent inundation of water. As we placed the furniture I am reminded how grateful I am to have this outside space for our early retirement years. We meet here with each other, and with our morning devotional reading and spend at least an hour enjoying the morning air, and battling a dozen nasty mosquitoes we can't seem to get rid of.

In the late afternoon and evening we repeat our time outside as the sun sets. In just a few weeks we will be out their anytime during our mild winter days. I keep thinking about that goofy movie line, "Honey, I bought a resort". For some reason maintaining this pool daily reminds me of the happy years of my youth as a life guard and pool cleaning specialist. The Pineapple is a Hawaiian symbol of hospitality and we are planning on using the space for entertaining as we get settled.

Death and Taxes

Of that morbid title comes the reflection, "if your still paying taxes you are not dead". As we take our first faltering steps into this retirement part of life I have been struck by how much the continued taxation of my post retirement benefits and taxation of my savings withdrawals.

This has messed up all my projection planning and budget worksheets. One wonders if it were possible for the rising population of seniors to stage some sort of mass tax revolts for the purpose of limiting the spending and demand for tax dollars on the middle income seniors.

Meanwhile we wonder if we are enjoying total freedom of time or would enjoy part time work to make this all working more smoothly.

Back to the death part, morbidly speaking. It's time for my annual stress test and hopes that whatever is causing the random narrowing of my arteries might be slowed down or stopped by the end of ministry stress and the continued care shown by our diet choices and exercise. I have failed five years in a row, earning what one of the doctors assistants what he called a near bionic artery filled with metal.

Surprisingly, I spend little time thinking this negatively, preferring to enjoy each day as a gift to be together in a lovely place filling our day with conversation, continued learning, and involvement with friends and family.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A tender reflection on Theodicy

Last week a family of five was killed while driving in a construction zone near Denver. An inattentive truck driver plowed into them and took their lives just as they were beginning to train for ministry in Japan. Young couple and three little kids.

How can we rejoice when a "parking angel" opens up a space for us, and we feel so special in God's sight, when this family perished in a painful instant.

Members of a Calvinistic Congregation whose pastor teaches that God is sovereign and foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. No doubt the grieving family rejoices at their joy in heaven, but the lingering sting of death so cruel and so random and so preventable, in a sense that driving responsibly would prevent such accidents.

These family losses sadden me beyond my ability to reason. I think of all the joys of raising family, serving the Lord in a different culture, just gone, five crushed bodies, three sweet children, two loving Christian adults.

One thought, the invention of the auto creates great freedom and connection to move around in this world, and the possibility of accidents thus allows anyone to hit and hurt anyone else. If we say God could prevent any wreck He desired miraculously, then we must also say He allows any wreck he chooses to allow. One of my friends believes we are loved by God but these day by day possibilities of danger, well, God lets it play out, with relentless love and fragile freedom. This allows him to function when our humanity hurts others and limits their freedom and takes their lives.

I continue to reflect.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Road Trip To Denver

We went north through Albuquerque on the way up, two days drive, enjoyed two and 1/2 days at a great conference, walking the .8 of a mile to the church from our Motel and enjoying the speakers and friends we chatted with during our time there.

Home west over the Rockies to Grand Junction, our fist time to see Vail, and Aspen, and the Awesome Glenwood Canyon, and when we headed south we enjoyed The Arches National Park and lots of desert mountains and valleys along the Way, one day we drove almost 12 hours with our side trips, and six more to get home today at 3.