Happy New Year Family

January 2017
Dawson Creek, BC
Hello Family;
January is when we reread Christmas greetings, recalling memories of people, who have made significant contributions to our lives. We cherish our friendships, they are like quilts – they age with us and yet, never lose their warmth. We’re just glad all of you are in our life!

We have survived 2016, into 2017. We remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from us and that winter was so far off that we could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is…. our age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be. We enter this season of our lives unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that we wish we had done but never did! Each day now, we find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! We tend to use more 4 letter words, …..what??…..when??…..where??….and taking a nap is not a treat anymore…..it’s mandatory! If we don’t do it on our won free will,…..we just fall asleep where we sit, it’s called “presleep”. Mundane things consume much of our time, but, at our age, the mundane things are at once comfortable, exciting, humbling,or sobering. The number “80” is looming large on the horizon. With that reality comes the realization that we are becoming the older generation. Predictability and routine feels pretty good! I guess if we were ice cream we would be called “vanilla”. We are content, grateful for good health, inspired as we watch our children grow older, grandchildren making their way in their world, and challenged at times to think outside the box.

Me thinks I’d like to share some random thoughts that have engulfed me during this past year regarding what I’ve learned over all my years. Responsibility for my actions and decisions was pounded into my head, (probably according to the one doing the pounding not too successfully), at an early age. But some stuck. The unstuck choices were accompanied by pain and distress and I learned. Pain has a way of doing that. Today I sense that many people would like to avoid that pain and let, or even expect, others, including our government, to protect them from the results of their decisions. If others do this it won’t last. And never will. So their independence is lost and they continue to make the same mistakes. The pain is still there. I have come to appreciate the attempted pounding that took place in my early years. This, in my old age, has made me see the need of family and friends. To make my self vulnerable by seeking their advice and experience. Even when I knew I wouldn’t want to hear some of it. I believe taking responsibility for one’s choices is a key to freedom and success. But then my definition of success may be on the low level of those who would agree with that definition. Somewhere from the dark past of my “Good” ancestors, I acquired the trait of asking lots of questions and not being much of a follower. For those who know me, this would be no surprise. Maybe that’s why God put such a long span of years between Abraham, the patriarch in the book of Genesis, and myself. Both of us unafraid to ask questions when an injustice appears about to be done. I fear for the lives of people who merely accept what they’re told, what they read, or what they are “tweeted” (whatever that is). And this seems to me to be the trend in 2016. I pray that the trend will not continue in 2017.

Good News:
Presently we are having a respite from cold temperatures.
Days are getting longer: sunrise today-9:17a – sunset-5:06p
Bad News:
Warm temperatures create ice – dangerous for walking and driving – Yikes!
It is still dark out when we get up and dark when we go to bed.

God’s engagement in the world is not one of obligation or duty, but one of generosity and will. Flawed as we are, we are capable of great acts of compassion that we are not obliged to do. We are impelled, but not compelled.
It is these moments when we perfectly fulfill the promise of the being created in God’s image.