Advent, Christmas, and Hopefully a Happy New Year

Dec 8, 2016 by

Advent, Christmas, and Hopefully a Happy New Year

Now that the Advent season has begun, I am beginning to be more hopeful with each passing day. This year has been a tough one for me. I was hospitalized three times this year with heart problems. Prior to this year I had only been in the hospital twice in my life.  I spent a good portion of the year grieving over the death of my beloved dog Max. Max had been my constant companion and great source of love and happiness for 12 years. His death left a gaping hole in my heart and life. Max kept me busy.  I took him for a walk every morning and almost daily we took a ride to one of the nearby parks for another walk. His absence left me with a lot of time that I suddenly had no way to fill. I never really descended into depression, but I did find myself crying much too often. I have yet to scatter his ashes, I’m waiting for December 23rd, the day Max died, to do that.

So being festive, joyful, and happy, with Christmas this year being so close to the anniversary of Max’s death, has been something I didn’t think I would be. But strangely I am feeling the Holiday spirit in a way I never thought I would again. I have been Christmas shopping, and enjoying it, and decorating the church for Advent. While I don’t have a tree to put up myself, I have helped my friend Teresa decorate hers. While picking up poinsettia’s for church at the local nursery I really enjoyed the winter wonderland that the nursery had setup. I enjoyed last Christmas season right up until the day Max died so suddenly. I am finding that I am enjoying this one almost as much.

I am looking forward to seeing the train display that a local church is sponsoring, and looking forward to seeing my son Jason and my family for Christmas breakfast December 17th. While I still don’t have plans for Christmas day yet, I expect to have a wonderful Christmas. Max will always be a part of my Christmas, even though he is no longer with me. I choose to remember only the joy and happiness Max blessed me with, and will put away my grief as best I can.

Christmas season is by far the best season of all. The anticipation of celebrating the birth of my Savior, the Christmas  music, Christmas lights and decorations, seeing family, food, and just the very special feeling that comes only with Christmas has lifted my spirits to the highest they have been in this difficult year. I find myself busy with a myriad of things now, when for the first few months of the year I had lost interest in doing just about everything, I had put on weight because I was not taking walks with Max anymore. But now I am taking courses on Gimp2, and Adobe Lightroom through Udemy.com. I am back out taking photographs again, as well as reading books and taking little excursions. I find myself pressed for time to do all the things I want to do where earlier in the year the days stretched emptily.

So I am thinking the New Year will be a good one. I have a new dog, Cali, a treeing walker coonhound, to keep me company as well as occupied. My days will hopefully be filled with new and exciting things to do. I plan on spending much more time reading the Bible, in prayer, and doing church business. I hope to get back to exercising more, and maybe even take a vacation somewhere exotic, or as exotic as a 67 year old man can stand. I am both thankful and hopeful.

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Pet Peeve/Rant

Jul 4, 2015 by

American-flag-Independence-dayToday is Independence Day in the United States. It is the day we celebrate our independence from the tyrannical British government on July 4th 1776. It is the day that marks the beginning of the greatest nation that every was and still is.

So why do we in fact celebrate the 4th of July instead of Independence Day? Do a Google search for Independence Day and the majority of returns are for the Independence Day of India, not the United States. We are not celebrating a particular day on the Gregorian calendar, we are celebrating one of the most monumental events in world history.

So when did the celebration of Independence Day turn into a celebration of a particular date on a calendar? This may seem trivial to some of you, but to me it is anything but trivial. We don’t celebrate December 25th, we celebrate Christmas. Look at this list of holidays and events celebrated in the U.S. and tell me which ones go by the name of the date on which they are celebrated.

Holidays in the U.S. in 2015

I am afraid too many people are associating Independence Day with fireworks, cookouts, and parties, and marginalize the fact that it is the day our Independence was established. I know there are a lot of staged events commemorating our independence, but I am curious as to why this is the only holiday (other than Cinco de Mayo ) that is labeled as it is. Anyone out there have an idea as to why it has become labeled this way? I’m interested in hearing from you.

Happy Independence Day everyone. In between fireworks and cookouts, take some time to read the Declaration of Independence. I hear the Constitution makes good summer reading too.

 

God Bess America.

Google’s salute to Independence Day

Google

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Birthday and the New Year

Jan 24, 2015 by

January 27th will be my 66th birthday. I have been retired since April of 2008. So far retirement has been pretty much what I expected. I spend my time between walking my dog Max, doing social media, reading, including the Bible and my daily devotionals, and going to the gym. I spend a bit every day doing various church work.

A few things I want to do this year include travel, more study time, and shooting my guns. I have not been to the outdoor range in a couple of years. I want to join the Nansemond Suffolk shooting range so I can shoot my M4, AK47, M1 carbine, Mossberg shotgun, and my Mosin Nagant. I really miss shooting them. I have only fired my handguns in the indoor range in Norfolk.

The reason I haven’t gone to an outdoor range is that they are so far away. One is in Wakefield and the other in Pungo, both over an hour drive. The Nansemond Suffolk range will be much closer.

As for travel, I really want to go to Alaska. It is the one state that, although I have been to it briefly while traveling to Vietnam, have always wanted to visit. It is one of the last remaining wilderness areas in America. I have been to the Rockies and was thrilled by them but Alaska will be so much more.

I hope to be able to realize all my aspirations this year but as with everything, things seldom go as you wish or plan. But I am ever hopeful. Wish me luck in the New Year. I wish the same for you.

Alaska

Alaska

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One Wild Ride

Dec 31, 2014 by

Happy New YearI know, my last post was titled One Wild Ride. But I couldn’t think of a more apt title for this post. 2014 for me was ‘One Wild Ride.’ I won’t go into details but it was a roller coaster year. Did it end on an overall good note or a bad one? I am still pondering that but my first impression tends towards a good one. I am alive, in reasonable health, have lots of family and friends that I love and love me.

What am I looking forward to for 2015 and do I have any resolutions? First and foremost is a world where bad headlines don’t flood out the good headlines. Is that a foolish thing to hope for? Probably, but I wish for that anyway. On a personal note, I hope to have a place of my own to live in the not too distant future. Along with that would be a wish to hold my first grandchild, but I’m not sure that is going to happen any time soon either.

Resolutions? To be a better person overall. To be of more service to my community. To be a better Christian, to grow in faith and hope. Those are resolutions I think I can make progress towards. I am counting on 2015 to be less of a wild ride. I’m getting too old for all the drama.

I wish you and yours the very best 2015 possible. God bless you all.

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Happy Father’s Day

Jun 21, 2009 by

What Makes A Dad

fatherGod took the strength of a mountain, The majesty of a tree, The warmth of a summer sun, The calm of a quiet sea, The generous soul of nature, The comforting arm of night, The wisdom of the ages, The power of the eagle’s flight, The joy of a morning in spring, The faith of a mustard seed, The patience of eternity, The depth of a family need, Then God combined these qualities, When there was nothing more to add, He knew His masterpiece was complete, And so,

He called it Dad

(by: Anonymous)

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Hope to be back blogging soon.

May 24, 2009 by

I have not written much since my Mother died unexpectedly May 2nd. Her funeral service was yesterday. I hope to be back to posting soon.

family

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