Friday, December 31, 2010

Year's End, Year's Beginning

It has been a while since I last blogged. Our lives have become so complicated that the idea of -- and the time to dedicate to -- writing a blog has been difficult to attain. I hope to do better, but over the next several months our lives are still in limbo and I keep spending my time in frustration: hurry up and wait. I wish things could be finished, and yet wish they never happened. Major changes in our lives offer me the opportunity to grow and remind me of what is really important.

Enough said.

Oh, one more observation: it took me until I was 60 before I began to understand all those things I have come to believe about stuff. I knew it in my head, but my heart held out for more ----- stuff. Stuff is nice. It makes life easier to go through. But what matters are the people in our lives and how we treat them. I know that sounds trite, but when you look around you and really see what others feel, the words ring true. Stuff -- stuff -- doesn’t matter.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my stuff. I only realize how wrapped up in getting stuff I had become and I lost sight, lost touch, lost meaning along the way. I only hope I genuinely am on the right road once again. Which doesn’t mean I won’t go out and get Mark Twain’s Autobiography or the newest Christopher Moore novel fresh off the press. It means I would rather spend time with any of you.

Now for a note of a more positive nature. Earlier this month Richard and Caiti Devine-McPalmer welcomed their second son into the world. His name, in keeping with their own tradition, is Franklin Finnegan Devine-McPalmer. Richard likes Presidential names -- but when I heard the choice I was puzzled. After all, Benjamin Franklin was never a President. But then I remembered Franklin Pearce (okay, I’m the only one who does, and that’s barely), and then FDR, author of the second and tragically unfulfilled Bill of Rights.

Caiti likes Sesame Street characters. They kicked around the name Grover for awhile but waited until the baby arrived and told them his name himself. Good choice, Franklin.

On a scarier note, a good friend has had major heart surgery -- a wakeup call that helped us get our priorities in order and gave us much needed perspective. Prompt attention to subtle symptoms probably saved his life. Recovery will be difficult but he is well on the way.

Enough welcome myself back blather. I a looking forward to 2011 as a year filled with promise and appropriate conclusions. May each of you be blessed with curiosity and wisdom, and of course, peace.