Christmas Eve Thoughts

Christmas is tomorrow and the New Year not far behind. I thought I would take a few minutes and record my thoughts and musing for posterity. It has been a year of ups and downs, as all years are. I can’t say it has been a particularly good year or a bad year.

I have had health issues that have plagued me. Three cases of diverticulitis that have landed me twice in the ER and once in the hospital. In fact it has been just over a week since I got out of the hospital after having spent 3 1/2 days there for a hole in my colon. I’m on the mend but there will probably be elective surgery next year to remove the offending section of colon that is causing all the problems.

My house search continues. The interest rates are at the highest they have been in 7 years and my stocks have taken a terrible beating in the last couple of months, making it even more difficult to find and buy a house. Did I mention house prices are up considerably too. But I haven’t given up yet although I may end up renting until the economy and my finances improve.

I am still pretty active even though I will be 70 years old in January. But age has finally prevented me from doing some of the the things I used to do, or at least curtailed them somewhat. I still would love to travel but with my health issues, did I mention my heart problems also, I have to temper where and for how long I can travel. But some things, like reading, studying, and photography, have not been affected by my getting older. Good.

But mostly I chose to write this to talk about how my recent hospitalization has made me realize how blessed I am. A big part of my life for the last decade + has been the church I attend and its members. Our church continues to thrive even though our pastor of the last 4 years has resigned to accept a ministry at another church. But church is more that just a beloved pastor. Tonight we are having our Christmas Eve service ‘Into the Light’, and it is going to be the best service ever. We have a lot of new young and very talented members who have become an important part of the church family. We now have a praise group  and a morning modern service featuring our praise group ‘Son Rise’.

While I was in the hospital my church family came to visit. Both the young ones and the older ones came out to see me.  After I got out of the hospital, my church family again came bearing beef stew, biscuits, soup, and offers to shop for me and do whatever they could to help me while I was recovering. They are the blessing I am writing about. That God put such caring, loving people into my life is a blessing beyond anything else I could imagine or want.

So whatever the new year brings, I know that not only my family but my church family will be there to make things better. I couldn’t ask for more. So in a few hours I will be heading to the Christmas Eve service, where I will be one of the narrators of the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. What a great way to end the year. I am truly blessed.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Seasons Greetings to all. Have a wonderful holiday and a great new year.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

NativityChristmas if my favorite holiday and Advent is my favorite time of the year. As a child it was all about Santa, the Christmas tree, decorations, cookies, and the anticipation of Christmas Day and presents. It really was hard to sleep Christmas Eve as the excitement and anticipation was more than a child could handle.

Over the years Christmas has become less about presents, Santa is gone, and my son is all grown up. Now Christmas is more about family and the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I still enjoy decorating the tree, the food, and I wouldn’t mind getting a present or two. My family has grown in some ways and shrunk in others. My Grandparents, Mother, Father, and most of my Aunts and Uncles are gone. But my brothers, my son, and my Church family have made Christmas as joyous as it was when I was a small child. But the biggest joy of the Advent Season and Christmas is God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As a child, Jesus was not on my mind during Christmas. There was only Santa, presents, and my family. But today, I have so much more to be grateful for. Looking back over the many Christmases of my life, I can truly say that I have been blessed each time with so much love and happiness. I pray that you and your family will experience the same joy and happiness that I feel every Christmas. Just as long as you remember the real reason for the season, all your Christmases will be joyful, no matter your circumstances.

Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year to all…

Now if only it would snow.


Happy New Year

It has been a while since I last posted here. There are a few reasons why I have not been very prolific but I won’t go into them. We had a low-key Christmas this year. No one in my family was in much of a Christmas spirit since our mother died and it showed at Christmas time. I only bought a few presents this year and received only a few. Teresa gave me a new wallet and some clothes and I got her a years subscription to the Wall Street Journal. For my son Jason I bought him a nice folding pocket knife. I was Santa for a child in Portsmouth and contributed to the world wide Christmas shoe box project. We did have a live tree this year instead of the usual artificial one. The New Year also came and went quietly. I am cautiously optimistic that 2010 will be a better year than 2009.

I guess the big news is that I am now the treasurer for my church. The former treasurer resigned after serving as treasurer for 28 years. I really didn’t want the job but since no one else stepped forward I reluctantly accepted. I am a little intimidated by the position but I think things will work out OK. I had been warned that being retired does not always translate into doing only what you want to do with your time. But I should be honored that the members of my church has enough confidence in me to elect me to the position.

Since joining the Airfield Shooting Club in Wakefield I have been shooting more frequently. I really enjoy going to the range as you have more control over the operation and oftentimes I am the only one there. I have made a couple videos of me shooting there and I hope I can embed one in this post. More to talk about but I want to keep this post brief. Hopefully it won’t be such a long time between posts in this new year. That’s it for now.

One Day Left in 2008

Tomorrow will be New Years Eve. 2008 has been a very good year in many ways and I hope that 2009 will continue in that trend. 2009 should be a very interesting year with a new President in Barack Obama. On the home front our Christmas was very good. Lots of presents for everyone. Dana got a new 32 inch HDTV which she immediately traded in for a larger plasma TV. Teresa got a day bed set and a new rotisserie. I got a new Panasonic Lumix camera and some new hiking boots. We had our traditional Christmas day brunch at my brother Chris and his wife Regina’s house. Lots of great food and it is always great to see my son Jason and the rest of the family.   Before Christmas I broke down and bought a new Glock 23 pistol.

glock23 Jason Kirk

I had planned to wait until January to buy it but I couldn’t wait. I have already fired it at the range and it is a great pistol.

I have a gun class at Bob’s Gun Shop January 3rd after which I will apply for a concealed carry permit for my new Glock. I doubt if I will carry my pistol concealed much but there are times when I would feel safer with it. With the economy the way it is and the never-ending war on terror it is always wise to be prepared for anything. Everything else is much the same with us. Teresa has been having some fainting spells and is having tests done to find the cause. Church has kept me busy as usual and we finally have agreed to let another church share our facilities. This should be a good thing for both the churches as we need the extra income it will bring and the other church has been holding service at a bowling alley.

So I am looking forward to the new year as it will be the first full year that I have been retired. We still plan to move someday and we also plan on at least one trip this year. Now to go take Kirk to the doctor and Max for a walk.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Christmas officially started for us yesterday. Teresa brought down all the Christmas tree ornaments from the attic and we setup and decorated our tree. We already have a number of presents to put under the tree, including a french press, electric percolator and a nice Panasonic Lumix camera. We already have most of the presents we are going to buy as this Christmas our shopping will be drastically curtailed. The shopping reduction is not so much due to the economy as it is the fact that we think Christmas should be less about buying presents and more about family and the birth of Jesus.

As always I am hoping for significant snow before Christmas as it always feels more like Christmas if there is snow on the ground. The chance of snow before Christmas here in Virginia is not very likely but one can always hope. I have been very busy doing things like getting the truck inspected, the oil changed and going to the dentist.  Today I am taking Max to the vet to get a wellness checkup, shots and some other tests done. Tomorrow I hope to go to Nike Park and launch three of the model rockets that I have recently built and are ready to launch. It is really great to be retired and have all this time to do all these things. Doing things in the middle of the week is much easier because most everyone is at work.

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Smithfield Station. Most of Teresa’s family was there as well as my son Jason. I don’t see him as often as I would like so it was great that he could be there. His birthday is the  6th of December so I need to think of something to get him. That is about it for now. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas to you.