Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy New Year!

      Hiatus over. Wow, what a busy month. We took the family to Branson after Christmas and for the New Year. Branson, Missouri is hailed as the Las Vegas of the Midwest. There are many performers, shows and acts. Our family took in the Chinese Acrobats, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, the Titanic Museum, the Dinosaur Museum and more. My highlight was discovering Table Rock Lake with Marie. It’s hard to get the ocean out of the East-Coaster; I love just about any water and this man-made lake was gorgeous. The Corps of Engineers built the dam to protect surrounding areas from seasonal flooding and with the idea that it would provide boating, swimming, fishing and recreation for the locals and future tourists. It was beautiful even in the middle of winter.

A peaceful moment

Bruce and Max, Christmas

Christmas Morning

She's a Roeder; telling how she see's it

Playgrounds are a good thing, even on vacation

They didn't tell Mom that the Dinosaur Museum was dangerous!

A lone island on the lake

Marie on Table Rock

Jim keeping up with his big sisters!

18 month olds don't need Branson, just a faucet...

Bobby's first real snow. Of course, we put him to work!
      Since coming home we’ve been kept busy by a winter storm, three snow days which the kids loved, wedding planning, the Settlers of Catan/Cities & Knights edition, the “Roeder-Roto” (Margaret had a stomach bug, probably a roto-virus…bad stuff!), and the general happenings of your basic farm with 12 people in the house.

     Time. Where does it go? Why can’t there be more of it? How do we get all that we need and want done? I’ve been stressing over these issues. My brother had me read a book called, “Getting It Done,” by David Allan. I highly recommend it. My files and office are in much better order and I’m slowly getting better with the general management of the place. I’ve also been reading, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body,” by Daniel Amen, MD. Lots of interesting info on brain chemistry, neurotransmitters and health. I hope he’s not a quack. I don’t have time to waste!

     I wondered this morning how I'd feel about time if I found that I didn’t have much of it left? What if the last days involved pain and suffering? I realized in a split second that the suffering would then be a given or a constant, so that my attitude and interactions with my family would be paramount. The right thing would be to choose to go out being an inspiration to them, letting them know how loved they are--more than my life itself. But really, I don’t have to have a fatal diagnosis or suffering or pain to make those choices now. Life is hard. We’re living in a time where gratification is instant and we expect it to be so. Where people are dealing with cyber-community more than real community and are, in truth, less and less nice with each other. There are more and more decisions and demands on us. So, what is most important? How I live the here and now, trying to do right, and searching for truth.

     This morning I read a quote from St. Augustine (Sermon 169, 18):

     “On earth we are wayfarers, always on the go. This means that we have to keep on moving forward. Therefore be always unhappy about what you are if you want to reach what you are not. If you are pleased with what you are, you have stopped already. If you say; ‘It is enough,’ you are lost. Keep on walking, moving forward, trying for the goal. Don’t try to stop on the way, or to go back, or to deviate from it.”

     I felt relief in knowing that my feelings that “I should be a lot further along at this point in my life” are perhaps okay. We’re all works in progress. May you progress steadily in 2011!


The Abbey Farm

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