Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Empty Manger?

I know sometimes I forget that Christmas is not about the gifts we give- however generous or those given to us by family, friends, or others- no matter how wrapped in love. Christmas is about the gift we receive in the birth of the Baby Jesus. It is about the Babe who was laid in that manger so briefly but who leaves it so swiftly to earn our salvation.  He gives us an empty manger, a empty cross, a empty tomb and a life in which we are never alone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week Two,,, Day Six

Of my retirement. You will note that we have a different colored font and no lead off with a photograph. I'm going to post, from time to time, about my retirement. Sometimes there will be an image or even more than one. It will not necessarily have anything to do with the post. I don't feel in any way limited to how or what I do since in the eight or so years I've had this blog I doubt I've ever had more than four or five views a week and less than a half dozen comments over the entire span of years!

When I began actively planning my retirement earlier this year one of my biggest concerns was how long it would take for me to let go of the stresses of my work. Based on previous vacations I expected that to be measured in many months, to say the least. So I've was pleasantly surprised to notice after the first five days I was not thinking about it at all! What a great gift to receive in starting this next chapter of my life.

I have caught some brief glimpses of the beauty of realizing that I don't have to complete anything in a limited time! Not that I don't prefer drinking my coffee while its still hot or eating the ice cream before it melts- but when I don't finish some self assigned task when I thought I would there is this great luxury of knowing that it can be completed later- there are no commitments to my time in the immediate future! And for this I have my wife to thank, who has graciously given me total control over my time for the next few months! That is another great gift! Although I do have to replace a wax ring on our toilet tomorrow!

I'm not counting weekends, holidays, or trips we take as a family as a part of my retirement. I believe it would be unfair to me not to have holidays, weekends, etc. as a part of my life!

So there it is.... Week Two,,, Day Six

This photo was taken where Highway 16 crosses Cherokee Creek 12-20-14 just after sundown. While retirement certainly means I am entering my later years it doesn't mean they can't be filled with peace and beauty. That's up to me!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Last Two Nights

Yesterday- December 12, 2014 was the last day of my working career. I woke this morning not to  Saturday but the first day of my retirement! As part of my job I had to travel at times, not so much in the last ten years- but enough. Many times I woke in a hotel room, absent my family and lay there as it grew light outside. It was always a very lonely process for me. Hotel rooms are curtained to block out all light and our home bedroom windows have no curtains. The light pours in as it rises with the coming of the sun. These photos are of the last two nights I spent away from home for my work career.