Hawaii 2010

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Thankful Reprieve on the health front

This was July 2001, about the time this health thing all began.

Since most of my readers are family and friends, I will fill in the blanks on my good news about living with recurrent issues related to diabetes and arteriosclerosis. I was diagosed and began to live with adult onset type II diabetes at age 50. At 51 I had a heart attack that I misdiagnosed and walked around with for 10 hours that did some permanent damage. Two years later chest pains that caused me to drive to the ER, both these attacks led to the insertion of stents. Two years later in the afternoon with family here I was transported to the ER with more chest pains.

This began the practice of having yearly stress tests at the end of August, and though I have never had chest pains, I often felt more winded or tired, and each year I would pass the resting test and the running test would indicate a blockage, not in all, but just in one place, unlike most folks who find blockages in two or three major arteries and end up with by passes.

This spotty blocking may be the result of good exercise and eating, but the small narrowings could each have resulted in eventuary heart attacks, so I went under voluntary heart caths for five years in a row, each time they successfully ballooned or stented the problems and life went on.

Since the last years in my ministry began to be a struggle to sustain growth and deal with tensions of my changing views in a traditional church, I knew I was feeling stressed out, and we all hoped that retirement would help.  So far it may have, at least for now. I take this as an invitation to continue the good habits, and develop better ones with the free time we now enjoy. I have to be careful not to let the issues of finances and finding continued meaning and usefulness in this stage of life not become new sources of stress.

So, that is my health update, and thanks for caring.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I shared a platform with Patsy Ramsey Once

I watched the 20 year reinvestigation of the Jon Benet Ramsey Death with great interest the last two nights. We may never know but the recreation and reexamination of the original case and the subsequent foul ups made for a fascinating TV event.

I found myself agreeing with the plausibility of their conclusion of an accidental death by the son's hand, and a deliberate cover up by the family.

Before Patsy Ramsey died of Cancer, she attended and spoke at the funeral of one of her suitemates at the cancer treatment center who had died and had her mother plan the service and invite me to officiate.

I did not know until I showed up that Patsy Ramsey was there. Something about her fame and notoriety made her seem larger than life, and her tribute to her friend was powerful, poised, and genuine. I remember thinking that this woman could not have killed her daughter.  Her Christian faith was very evident in her presentation and of course you could tell that she had endured much scrutiny and much anxiety about her own life since the loss of her daughter and through the battle with cancer.

Laura and I enjoyed a powerful movie last weekend, The Light between Oceans, about a man of principle and integrity who gave in to the passion and love he had for his wife, and committed a crime. Know what I know now, this successful attempt to protect their son and disrupt the search for the truth was wrong, and just like in the movie, they all paid a price for their errors, if indeed this is the correct conclusion.  It was for me an interesting opportunity to share a closer look at a headline that became a real person to me that weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rest in Peace Tim Rose

Beautiful Utah landscape and beautiful wife.

The gaps in my posting indicate not much is going on in my retirement life of late. I am going through my yearly tests for heart health condition and will keep you posted.

Heard from friends that one of my college buddies died last week. We are reaching that age where this can be a regular fact. Tim was unique, short of stature, one of those whose Christian faith was real but subtle, and whose embrace of the Christian freedoms of smoking and card playing was evident to all. Both a loner and a team player, better in quiet conversation than public speaking.

We spent a lot of time together in Christian fraternity projects, and just hanging out and eating together. He fell hard for a beautiful younger class girl, got married and left my circle of life. I saw them briefly in an early teaching post near the gulf coast, and then they returned to home base in Miami.

You never forget those early friends, and though seperated by decades, I miss his presence as part of the fabric of my own life.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Labor Day Retirement Thoughts

Been retired for five months, Labor Day weekend. We both have enjoyed our new home as a never ending project of care, improvement, and relaxation.

We had time away, I had my first extended golf outing, which wore me out, and we enjoyed a great quick round trip through the scenic southwest to Denver and back.

We have sort of honored the time honored practice of staying out of the church business  after you leave, which has created a vacuum of
friendships for us so far.

We both miss the world of labor, God said it was a good thing right?  I am now praying for a friend who retired once, and started a retirement business he ran daily for 12 years, and just a few months into a real and final retirement, has taken seriously ill. He would not regret never really retiring, he was not really equipped for it.

Laura is going to try the world of teacher substitution, and I am knocking on part time doors as well.
Back to labor day....is there any way our country can recreate a real middle class with well paying jobs?  Can those not gifted with tech or leadership skills not find manufacturing or labor intensive work?  How can we make improving our economy more than an empty campaign rhetoric? Labor made us great.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I am a miracle of modern medicine

This is a Disney shot from 2005.  A sweet memory of one of many of our days at Disneyland.

This week I start my yearly check up and test with my excellent cardiologist.  I have a genetic propensity for plaquing in my arteries that first showed up with a heart attack in the year 2000.

Yes, it is acerbated by my propensity to accumulate too much fat around my belly area, as the picture attests.

Two more quick trips to the hospital with chest pains led to us being proactive and we successfully intercepted five potential areas of arterial narrowing over the last five years.  I tend to  have very few symptoms when these life threatening clogs are developing, and tend to pass the non stress part of the test, ie plenty of oxygen for day to day living, but then I fail the stress part of the test which shows the narrowing of the arteries.

Yes, I try to eat healthy, yes I exercise regularly, yes I pray about it, yes I meditate about healing, yes to everything. But the reality is that I have a problem that might lead to sudden health emergencies, or lead to arterial bypass surgery.

So, with thankfulness, peace in my mind, I begin the yearly testing. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Congrats to Alan and Sally

My ministry friends are beginning to retire. Sally H and I went to High School together, she was a prom date for Senior Prom. Married a Seminary Friend Alan C. I remember once we met while on a hospital visit and discussed our frustrations with our early pastoral ministry. He said may we had to be 30 to get respect in the ministry.

He and Sally just retired after 30 years in the same church as Senior Pastor. I saw him showered with respect at his going away party. You have to really respect a couple that stayed in one place that long with all the coming and going of people. Long relationships, lots of ups and downs, but no endings and beginnings the way my ministry history turned out. That's Sally and Allen C. in the middle.

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.