Time of rest and change

Six weeks since my last post. In some ways it seems like I am starting over, and yet, not starting over. I didn’t realize how tired I had become, 4 years in the making. Not a tiredness that is solved by two good nights of sleep. A tiredness that needs more.

Vacation to Minnesota

In early June we made a 5200+ mile trip to visit families. And to say goodbye. My wife’s brother was succumbing to the cancer, with chemo no longer an option; we hoped to make it there before he died. We visited him for seven days: talking with him sharing Scripture readings and praying with him. He had not been part of a church for 40+ years. That’s how long we prayed for the Lord to draw him back. In the last few months of his life that drawing came to completion. He confessed Christ and began receiving communion regularly at the house, then hospice care. We rejoiced with him.

My wife also visited with her mother and sister during that week. Her mother is 88 and was the primary care giver for him until he eventually went into hospice care at assisted living about a month before he died. That’s a heavy burden at that age, but then to watch your own child deteriorate with the cancer.

While sad, it was good time and we are glad that we made the trip. Just eight days after leaving Minnesota we learned that he died early on Father’s day.

How important it was for us to go. We could have waited a few more weeks, which might have been more convenient. But we didn’t wait—lesson learned. If you have someone that you have not seen or who is struggling with serious conditions, don’t put off that visit or phone call.

My mother’s health has deteriorated over the past year. And she has fallen several times recently. She lives just 2 miles from my wife’s mother. So I got to spend some time with her as well. On her birthday, we went to visit the man who taught me to play guitar 54 years ago. His sons were there (they are in their 50’s). So we all played for about 1½ hours. What a great time! And perhaps the best gift I could have given my mother on her 88th birthday.

We may not see her again, either. So it was another chance to say goodbye in person.

Had the delight of visiting with my younger brother who lives in that same area. We have become very close over the past 25 years. And had a great visit with his wife, two daughters, and grandchildren. Family is special, even when we see each other only once a year.

We also did something unusual on the way home. We took an extra day of travel. The first day was 560 miles, the second 757 miles. Then 490 miles, 350, and finally 280. What a good idea. We drove along the Columbia River Gorge, ate lunch at a pub/bar/restaurant. And the last two nights were actually very nice because we didn’t chase the clock. Very unusual for us over the past 44 years.


As wonderful as the vacation was, it took its emotional and physical toll on both of us. There were times I needed to sleep for 2-3 hours in the afternoon, which has never been part of my life. I read books, but slowly, which I seldom do. I began walking regularly, reducing my three lap trip (in the neighborhood) from 36 minutes to this morning 32½ minutes.

And my blog. I couldn’t write during the last six weeks. Nothing to write? No, plenty, but I needed time away from that. I have played guitar a little more. So much so that even last Sunday I accompanied our lead singer on a song in worship. It’s been many years since I played for worship. Went well and I enjoyed it.

Much has happened in the past two weeks. Yes, the SCOTUS decisions occupying most of the attention. Sadly much that has been written on both sides of the decisions has been less than helpful from a Christian perspective.

But I returned to my old ways. Yep, Monday night I was going out to the garage (out our front porch, turn left and go into the garage). Easy, I do it every day. But Monday it was exceptionally dark, but I didn’t turn on the light. Smart. Anyway, I had bent down to get something, turned left, two feet too early, smacked my head against the wall. And broke my nose for the 7th time. No nosebleed, but my head has been hurting since then. (sorry no photos!)

So, almost back to normal.