Thursday, December 30, 2010

To Be Continued

New Year's resolutions make little sense, especially in light of the biblical practice of daily confession of sin and repentance. Renewal must be constant in Christian growth. Daily confession cleanses the conscience, and daily Bible reading/study gives guidance and direction, transforming those who apply Scripture into the image of the Lord. Thus, new beginnings need not wait until January 1st. Renewal can start today, if you like!

During the past few months, the Lord has taught me much through my study of 1 Peter. It's been slow; I started on May 10, 2010 with 1 Peter 1:1, and today I finished 3:16. In October, I pulled back from closely examining each phrase to do an overview of the book (as I'd done the first week of May), wanting to remind myself of the context and over-all message. Here and there (especially on days when we had Boston Adventures), I skipped days. But usually, I'll spend between 30 and 60 minutes researching a phrase with Bible Dictionaries (John gave me The Complete Word Study Dictionary for Christmas) and commentaries, typing notes on how I can apply the principles. As slow as the work has been, however, the Holy Spirit has been using it to change my perspective on my earthly life.

Peter's premise is that born-again Christians are aliens to the culture at large. We know that our lives extend far beyond our mortal time-span. As Paul writes in Philippians 3:20, our citizenship is in heaven. Peter's terminology differs only slightly from Paul's, as he writes of our "inheritance" (1 Peter 1:3-9). The overarching idea is that God has regenerated us as His children, and thus we are to resemble Him. We have His values--His priorities. Those values, of course, are foreign to those who don't know Jesus and, consequently, have no interest in Him.

Peter makes the case that, because we are now God's children, expecting an eternal inheritance, we will consequently live according to heavenly standards. Such conduct, of course, invites ridicule. The world sees us as self-righteous, narrow-minded bigots because we reject its celebration of sinful behavior.  Non-Christians, according to 1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 3:15-16 and 1 Peter 4:4-5 will not tolerate our opposition to sin.

Recently, for example, I experienced such a reaction on Facebook when I lamented the fact that San Francisco's gay community interpreted the Giants' World Series victory as somehow validating their political agenda. Yes, I felt offended that suddenly the team became champions of a sinful lifestyle, and I verbalized my dismay. My presentation of my anger, I'll readily admit, was more than inappropriate, and I found it necessary to apologize for my outburst. But two women continued making angry posts. Why? Because I refused to embrace homosexuality as being morally neutral. I chose to accept the Bible's claim that it's one of many sins, and can be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That's only one instance of how I've begun living differently from those who either don't accept Jesus or have merely a nominal relationship with Him. As I've studied 1 Peter, the Lord has shown me numerous ways that I don't fit in with the world. I will not look at certain paintings at the museum, believing that truly great art doesn't require an abandonment of modesty. I will refuse to participate in gossip. Although anger and its twin sister worry come naturally to me, I will keep confessing them as sin, and will choose to combat them by remembering that God is both sovereign and faithful. In short, I will increasingly live in the Spirit by aligning my thoughts, attitudes and actions with God's Word (Scripture). Sadly, I'll do so imperfectly, as always. But I'll keep on the track that I began this past May. In so doing, I can rest assured that 2011 is a continuation of
"resolutions" that God the Father made by claiming me as one of His children.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Let It Snow," and Other Stupid Sentiments

After our snowstorm Sunday and yesterday, I just don't want to hear how pretty snow is, thank you very much! To me, a "Winter Wonderland" would be...oh, I don't know...perhaps a beach in Tahiti? Some place warm, with nothing knocking out all three Comcast services (TV, Internet and phone) and then (four short hours after Comcast is restored) knocking out electricity for ten hours. 

No, I'm not making things up! We did have attendant care during the blizzard, praise God, but Comcast went out (as I said, TV, Internet and phone) all morning. All was restored at 2:00 pm, but at 6:00 pm we lost electricity in the bedroom, bathroom and much of our living room (our apartment, thankfully, has two circuits). We got a long extension cord to plug in John's ventilator. Power was restored at 4:00 am.

So, please think twice about singing "Let It Snow" in my presence, but enjoy these pictures from our apartment building:
Snowman our neighbors built in back of the apartment building

Tree outside our living room window

Path from the building's front door

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Betty

Before Church of the Open Door (my church in California) finished merging with the group of "Jesus People" called House Ministries, Betty served as a house leader of House Ministries' New Jerusalem House, as well as the manager for Christian General Store. She was in her mid to late forties, a generation older than most of us in House Ministries. When we merged with Open Door on Mother's Day, 1975, she remained the matriarch of New Jerusalem House, and the bookstore had become an established evangelistic outreach.

Over the years, we remained warm toward each other, and her face always brightened when she saw me. Once she overheard me call her "Mother Superior" in reference to leading the house of young, unmarried women. She pretended to be insulted, but I think she secretly found my remark amusing. I'm not sure why we grew apart, but the mutual admiration between us remained sweet.

As she aged, she developed COPD, and retired from the bookstore. By then, New Jerusalem House had closed, and she shared an apartment with another woman from church. She came to Sunday services as often as she could, but didn't stay around much afterward. I don't think she knew I was in a long-distance relationship with John until a few weeks before our engagement (we'd been dating for three years). But her illness had decreased her ability to understand my impaired speech over the phone, so conversations usually limited themselves to me reminding her when she was scheduled to man the Welcome Table at church. 

She missed my bridal shower and (two days later) my going-away party in 2002, but her note with her shower gift to me touchingly expressed her affection for me.

I visited San Rafael in 2005, three years after moving to Boston. At Open Door's Women's Retreat that weekend, Betty literally staggered with shock when she saw me. Knowing she had struggled with poor health, I feared I'd given her a heart attack. While I'd wanted to surprise everyone by my visit, I wish we had prepared Betty. Thankfully, she recovered, and I got someone to take our picture:

Betty passed away a year or two later, and I thought of all the young women she had mentored at New Jerusalem House. What a service she performed! Not all of them have continued with the Lord, but each of them must remember her patient, persevering love for them.

So, as I've persevered in painting her portrait these past four months (using the photo from the 2005 retreat), I've enjoyed memories of this godly woman. Yes, painting her posed challenges, but she overcame so many life challenges that trivialize any difficulty in painting her. I'm pleased that my portrait conveys her joy in Christ and her sweetness.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Twas The Cold Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas,
And oh!--My poor nose!
How it hurt from the wiping,
The sneezing, the blows!

Like Rudolph, my nose
Was a bright cherry red,
And my tummy...well, some things
Are just better unsaid.

Sweet cookies were placed
In the kitchen with care.
But eat them? I couldn't!
I just didn't dare!

I wondered if Santa Claus
Ever gets sick.
But somehow, I doubt it.
Wish I knew his trick!

The kids' Christmas pageant
I couldn't attend,
For my sneezing and coughing
Would surely offend.

On Mucinex, Sudafed!
And on chicken soup!
Though not Santa's reindeer,
You make a good group.

"This cold is a Grinch,"
I complained with a sigh,
As I wished, very strongly,
It had passed me by.

The point of the story
That I have just told
Is: The week before Christmas
Is no time for a cold!
 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scandlous Monarchs and Christmas

Funny how a biographical movie about England's King George VI and his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon can start a progression of thought that ends up as a Christmas meditation, but Masterpiece Theatre's 2002 movie, Bertie and Elizabeth (which we rented from Netflix) managed the feat quite handily.

As the movie portrayed, King George ascended the throne as a result of his brother's love affair with Wallis Simpson, an American woman who was still married to her second husband. Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson made no secret of their relationship, and on December 11, 1936, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry her once her divorce was finalized. His decision avoided a constitutional crisis of all U.K. prime ministers resigning in opposition to the marriage. As Head of the Church of England, marriage to a twice-divorced woman would have also been obviously problematic.

In his abdication speech, Edward explained, "But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

Let's leave the story there, at the apex of romantic self-sacrifice. I woke up early this morning, thinking about Jesus leaving the glory He had with the Father in order to take on human flesh. Analogies, of course, only go so far, and there's no way to construe Edward as a Christ figure. His sacrifice for Wallis pales in comparison to what Christ did for His Bride, the Church. To quote Charles Wesley's magnificent hymn:

He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beware of Memorizing Scripture

Early in 2010, as I did a topical study of Christ's Incarnation, I took on the task of memorizing Philippians 2:5-11:
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

How's that for ambitious?

This is the cornerstone passage for studying the Incarnation because it describes God coming to earth as Jesus, laying aside His right to be worshiped in order to suffer the punishment for our sins. As I studied this passage all those months ago, Christmas 2009 still reverberated in my heart, and the wonder of God becoming Man grew as I consulted cross-references and commentaries. And that's really the purpose of Bible study: to plunge us into deeper adoration of Jesus.


I'm notoriously bad at Scripture memorization, so I find it necessary to review the passages on my list daily, long after I've "officially" memorized them. So Philippians 2:5-11 keeps fresh in my mind. As I review it, I meditate on its meaning. Lately, I've been focusing on its opening phrase, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." While its crucial not to neglect the great doctrine of the Incarnation, Paul's primary point centers on Christ's humility and our responsibility to follow His example by serving others.

So often, I believe my interests and pursuits should take precedence over the needs of others. But Jesus certainly didn't have such arrogance. Think of it: He was the Word by which God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:3-27, John 1:1-3, Colosians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:1-4), but He allowed Himself to be born in a smelly animal shelter, with a feeding trough as His cradle and a criminal's cross as His destiny. He deserved all praise, and yet those who claimed to love Him most not only failed to recognize Him, but plotted to cover up His resurrection. Still, He willingly gave Himself for us! How dare I ignore His example, when I'm merely human! Truly, Philippians 2:5-11 describes the Incarnation in a context of showing me how to die to myself.

Memorizing Scripture seems like a safe academic practice. But no...God uses the discipline to work His Word into me until I conform to Him. And that's a healthy "danger."

Friday, December 17, 2010

He Used His Illness Well

Bob Winter had wandered far from his childhood faith in Christ, becoming very deeply entrenched in homosexual behavior. His mother, Dorothy, continually sent him Christian literature and cassette tapes, pleading with him to return to the Lord. But Bob stubbornly ignored her, going (in his words) "deeper and deeper into sexual perversion with both men and women."

He reached a point of having all he wanted: a nice house, a car and a boyfriend who absolutely adored him! As he found himself incapable of remaining faithful to his boyfriend, he realized that he had serious problems. At that point, he dug up the literature and tapes his mom had sent him. He read and listened. Finally, he committed his life to Jesus Christ, forever closing the door on his homosexual lifestyle. Excitedly, he envisioned a future as a husband and father, praising God that such a life had now become possible for him!

Two weeks later, he sat in the doctor's office, stunned by the diagnosis: AIDS. His initial reaction was anger towards God. Hadn't he given up everything for Him just two weeks earlier? How could the Lord, who claimed to be so loving and forgiving, treat him this way? But as Bob calmed down, he realized that God had not betrayed his trust. Instead, being a loving Father, the Lord had allowed Bob to suffer the consequences of his rebellion, in order that this obviously severe discipline would lead Bob into holiness (see Hebrews 12:5-11).

Choosing to follow Jesus, Bob moved to San Rafael, CA to participate in Love In Action, a residential ex-gay ministry that has since relocated from San Rafael to Memphis, TN. There, he learned to go to the Lord for the affirmation he had always sought through homosexual encounters. He commented, "I'm learning, when I'm tempted to have sex with a guy, to analyze what my deeper need is. Then I think of all the ways God the Father meets those needs." He began living in obedience to the Lord, even finding various ways to serve others instead of wallowing in self-pity (he was extremely sick, and had one lengthy hospitalization that year).

After completing his year-long program, Bob began speaking to various churches, Youth Groups and high school assemblies about living with AIDS. While candidly admitting his pain (which was physical, emotional and sometimes spiritual), he always emphasized God's goodness. Although he never stopped asking the Lord to physically heal him, he'd tell his audiences, he trusted God's wisdom and looked forward to heaven.

In late November of 1989, after a long illness incurred when he drove back to resume his life in Southern California, Bob entered the hospital. There, he steadily grew weaker. On December 17, he told his mother that Jesus wanted him to go Home...to heaven. That evening, surrounded by his mom, her pastor, and people from their church, he removed his oxygen mask. The group stayed with him, praying and singing praise songs. At about 11:35, he announced, "I see Jesus." He took a few labored breaths, and willingly (perhaps triumphantly) followed His Savior Home.

This post, and yesterday's, are lovingly dedicated to the memory of Robert Winter, 1952-1989.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Compassion In His Eyes

From 1985 to 1997, Love In Action (an ex-gay ministry currently based in Memphis, TN) allowed me to work for them as a correspondence counselor. During the first two years, I typed from my bedroom in San Rafael, CA, using an electric typewriter. Frank Worthen, the founder and then director of Love In Action, decided in 1987 to start a fund to provide me with a computer. In the spring of 1988, the computer was in my bedroom, waiting for me to learn to use it!

Those were the days of DOS, and learning to use WordPerfect entailed much more effort than today's word processing programs do. But Frank assigned Bob Winter to help me. Bob, one of the men in that year's residential program, had AIDS, and was available to help me because his health prevented him from working. As he had predicted, learning to use a computer took roughly ten weeks. And, as he'd further predicted, those ten weeks were indeed rough! Thankfully, Monday through Friday, Bob was usually just a phone call away, able to help me figure out how to do things. I heard him comment to my mom that I was learning quickly.

Evidently, overhearing his praise must have given me a little too much self-confidence, because one Saturday (dismissing the awareness that I wasn't supposed to call Bob on his "day off,") I turned on the computer to practice. I have no clue what I did wrong, but suddenly the monitor's screen went blank!

Of course I called Bob's private phone immediately (those were the days before cell phones, remember). No answer, so I left a panicked message on his answering machine. Still hoping to find him, I called the main house phone, only to be told that Bob was out for the day, and wouldn't be back till late. I asked them to tell him I'd broken the computer. Few people back then had personal computers, but I finally located (of all things) a Mac user with enough computer savvy to help my rectify my mistake and get the computer going again.

Then I felt shame. How arrogant I'd been to try using that computer on a Saturday, knowing that Bob had no obligation to be available to me that day! Although I called his phone again to leave a message that the crisis had been averted, I felt embarrassed by the whole episode. 

As you can imagine, I was incredibly relieved the next day that he sat quite a distance away from me, thinking I would avoid an awkward conversation. Oh, did I praise the Lord during the singing time! By the time I'd see him at Bible Study Tuesday night, I assured myself, Bob would have forgotten all about the frantic messages on his answering machine and everything would be okay.

But as my friend pushed me toward the church's exit after the service, Bob stopped us. He asked her to let him talk to me for five minutes, taking a seat facing me. I began apologizing for my presumption, but he interrupted. His steel blue eyes pierced me, not with indignation, but with compassion as he gently said, "Deb, I'm here to help you. I want you to call me when you're in trouble!"

I knew Bob Winter wasn't the only one speaking those words to me. I knew, as I looked into those earnest, penetrating eyes, that I'd just seen the eyes of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spoiled Gifts

 It seemed, to my ten-year-old mind, very reasonable. As I gazed longingly at the cheerful array of packages, all wrapped in decorative red and green paper, I wondered what treasures awaited me. I wasn't quite sure Mommy had been altogether justified in commanding me to wait. And, after all, it was Christmas Eve, so what difference would it really make if I opened my presents early? I mean, they really were addressed to me! 

So, I scooted over to the Christmas tree, and found a present addressed to me from one of the high school girls that volunteered at the school for "orthopedically handicapped" children that I attended. It was a flat package, leading me to conclude that it as a more grown-up gift. The prospect of a grown-up gift reinforced the idea that I was old enough to determine when to open Christmas gifts!

I ripped the paper eagerly, unveiling a framed, illustrated copy of the Girl Scout Laws (I had recently "flown up" from Brownies to Girl Scouts). I read:

The Girl Scout Laws
1. A Girl Scout's Honor Is to be Trusted
2. A Girl Scout Is Loyal
3. A Girl Scout's Duty Is to be Useful and to Help Others
4. A Girl Scout is a Friend to All, and a Sister to every other Girl Scout
5. A Girl Scout Is Courteous
6. A Girl Scout Is a Friend to Animals
7. A Girl Scout Obeys Orders
8. A Girl Scout is Cheerful
9. A Girl Scout is Thrifty
10. A Girl Scout is Clean in Thought, Word and Deed.
 As I read, Mommy (who also happened to be the leader of my Girl Scout troop that year), entered the room, and the feelings of guilt started. She knelt beside me and said reprovingly, "You broke laws 1, 7 and 10." Suddenly, the present my friend had given with the intention of affirming my good standing as a Girl Scout became my accuser. It reminded me, every time a looked at it, that I had been untrustworthy.

I don't remember any more of the incident, but I learned never to open Christmas gifts early again. I never wanted my impatience to spoil another present.

So many of us are like I was as a ten-year-old. Feeling entitled to the things we want, we seize them instead of waiting for the Lord to bestow them in His time and His way. Premarital sex, of course, is the obvious example of opening a gift before the time, but I think there are hundreds of ways besides that to run ahead of the Lord. When I catch myself going ahead of Him, or thinking I have a better plan than His, I remember how it felt to open that Christmas present. Cheating isn't worth it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Apology Necessary

Doesn't it seem, lately, that most of these posts revolve around Jesus? For a while, I felt somewhat apologetic about writing so many "religious" posts, and I wondered if this trend explained why my readership has been dwindling lately. Well, perhaps so. Jesus has always offended people, and He told His disciples point-blank that the world would not tolerate His followers any more than it tolerates Him (John 15:18-21).

But lately, I've remembered the title of this blog. It's not The Things That I Think People Want To Read. Nor is it The Things For Polite Company. Maybe such blogs would attract more readers, and I'll admit the cowardly part of me would relish such comfort. But winter has arrived in New England, and the temperatures that sink in the 20s and 30s make Boston adventures quite impossible. So my thoughts turn more toward the Lord. And thus, the things that come out of my head fill the posts of The Things That Come Out Of My Head.

The First Century writers and orators used the word, "heart," to denote the center of our thought life. "Bowels" represented emotions, but in many cases (not all, I admit), "heart" encompassed the center of a person, including the intellect. Therefore, when Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (see Luke 6:44-46), He essentially means that people usually end up saying what is on our minds. So, it's really quite normal that I would write about the Lord at a time when Boston can't distract me from Him.

So, as much as I'd like more readers, I'm glad I feel such compulsion to write about the Lord. Maybe my head is in the right place!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Smell of Christmas

My family of origin always had live Christmas trees. When we'd set them up, the subtle fragrance of pine would float through the house, and invariably one of us (after breathing in deeply to savor the familiar aroma that we had missed for eleven months) would smile in satisfaction and happily declare: "Now it smells like Christmas!"

Marriage has been a dream-come-true for me, but I always felt a slight sense of longing at Christmas. John's family members all had artificial trees. They were beautiful, but of course they lacked that wonderful smell that I had enjoyed so much at home. I felt somewhat wistful, missing San Rafael Christmases with the glorious pine scent always in the background.

So yesterday morning, when Terry Alli (John's PCA) bounded into our apartment carrying a freshly-cut Christmas tree (he and John had been conspiring for about a week to surprise me with it), my delight left me speechless! Last night, Terry was here till minutes before midnight setting it up.


One of our other PCAs got some LED lights at Walgreen's today, and strung them. Then we hung my Victorian angel ornament that usually graces our front door this time of year, and she looks so comfortable resting on her bed of soft branches. My sister agreed to send "Sister Nicholas," an ornament from home that is in the form of a nun and resembles my favorite English professor from college.  And oh--our sweet little Christmas tree is so pretty!



Best of all, our apartment smells like Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Subject of Angel Songs

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing" has always impressed me with its strong theology of Christ's Incarnation. With the exception of singing angels (Luke 2:8-14 says they spoke), this song really nails the doctrine!

Musically, the version below isn't my favorite, but turn the volume down and focus on the words. Realize the incredible wonder of Christmas--that God would come to earth as a Human Baby! As Christmas approaches, remember that His willingness to be "veiled in flesh" is the real wonder of Christmas. And maybe the angels, in awe of Who this Babe was, sang after all.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Lessons from a White Rose

Seven days later, I'm getting around to posting some of the photos John took at the Museum of Fine Arts Tuesday. I can't post everything, but perhaps it will whet your appetite to check the museum out for yourselves (if not in person, at least online).

The third floor of the new Art of the Americas wing showcases 20th Century art, and is our least favorite. But I got a kick out of the furniture from the 1940s and 1950s, which reminded me of the Danish furniture that my father loved so much. These pieces are American, of course, but have the lines that Daddy liked. Did America influence Scandinavian design, or visa-versa?



The next "treasure" I spotted was Norman Rockwell's New in the Neighborhood, which makes a serious social statement and yet retains the whimsy that characterizes Rockwell. To me, it's the best piece on the third floor!


Of course, I also loved seeing Georgia O'Keefe's White Rose:

Seeing O'Keefe's painting inspired me regarding my own art. Maybe I can take more liberties with my subject matter, exploring shapes and colors, while having enough discipline to actually represent an object. The painting reminds me of writing a sonnet--within a very disciplined structure, there's room to play with language.

I still prefer 18th and 19th Century art, but these three examples of 20th Century art challenge my thinking. Maybe, like these three artists, we can be innovative without breaking rules. Chairs can still comfort tired bodies. Social commentary can still be made with gentle humor. And white roses can be abstract without sacrificing their beauty.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interrupted Cheesecake

It's been a busy week. I kept wanting to write a blog post, and thought of so many interesting topics. Sadly, there just hasn't been time for blogging, especially when I want this blog to start feeling like cozy letters from me to you. Setting such a confidential tone takes time. I need to feel released from other priorities so I can focus on sharing my thoughts fully, as if you and I were face-to-face, sharing a piece of cheesecake as we reveal our intimate concerns, our treasured experiences, our exciting ideas and our moments of creativity.

The week started busy because, being an efficient wife, I composed our annual Christmas letter, which I'm emailing one at a time so that I can add personal notes. Sure, it takes longer than emailing them in bulk, but hopefully each recipient will feel special.

Not surprisingly, I've had one comment that email isn't nearly as nice as snail mail. Okay, but anything I do through snail mail requires me to ask people to help. With email, I'm totally responsible, able to do all the addressing, personal notes and sending without interfering with anyone else's schedule. So, while I suppose I'm technically violating a point of etiquette by emailing Christmas letters, actually I'm being considerate of John and my Personal Care Attendants, sparing them hours of work.

Tuesday, taking advantage of the halfway decent weather (cold weather has started to arrive), we went back to the Museum of Fine Arts, mostly to see the Scaasi: American Coturier exhibit. I felt a degree of guilt, mindful of all the Christmas letters I needed to send out, but I really had my heart set on the Scaasi exhibit. Here's a photo of Barbra Streisand's "see-through" jumpsuit that she wore to the 1969 Oscars:

I wish I had time to show you the other photos John took that day, but it would take several hours to explain everything. At least, to explain it all as carefully and thoroughly as I'd like. We also saw the Avedon-Fashion exhibit of photographs by fashion photographer Richard Avedon, finding out after-the-fact that it was permissible to take pictures. We did take pictures in the new Art of The Americas wing; maybe I'll post some of them next week.

Wednesday, I worked on Christmas cards and other email. Not very exciting. I wanted to blog about the museum, but other tasks took precedence. Then yesterday John had a check-up with his cardiologist in Boston, which meant using para-transit and essentially being gone all day. I caught glimpses of Fanueil Hall, The Old State House, The Grainary Burial Ground and Boston Common, feeling a lump in my throat.

So, between Christmas letters today, I decided to check in here, at least to make my presence known. But if you'll excuse me, I have more Christmas letters to send. Sorry I can't savor cheesecake with you today.

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