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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The End of 2016

2016 has been a dramatic year in our lives.   I have looked over my posts for the last year in preparation for making another Blog2Print book and am glad for having recorded the events, good and bad.

A hospitalization for me in February and the idea that several hours of my life were gone with "transient global amnesia" is not something I want to think about very often.   Nor does Jim when he wondered if this was going to be the beginnning of his being a care-giver!  I have hesitated to go off on my own as a result, but have begun to do so again.  Jim has a "find my friends" app if he remembers to use it!   I have not taken care of my grandchildren alone but may feel confident again to do that too.

Jim's official retirement on July 1 has affected our lives in many ways.  Decisions had to be made about health insurance and finances and we made them with help from advisors.  So far, we have been happy with our medical costs and we should know what our regular income will be soon.  It will be enough and more than enough.  Jim continues to go into his Notre Dame office for at least a few hours each day. 

Another milestone was having our oldest grandchild begin college at Duke.  We would have loved to have had her at Notre Dame, but this was probably a better decision for her.

I am very pleaed with several home improvements made in 2016-installing kitchen cabinet doors, bedroom closet doors, and countertops in both the bathroom and kitchen.  Due to the "1000 year rain," we have had to spend plenty on extraction of water and carpet cleaning and are now in the middle of major landscaping improvements to draw water away from the basement.  All of these expenditures are based on our staying in South Bend for at least a few more years.  

I have a recurring nightmare about packing suitcases and missing flights.  When I looked back at 2016, I realized I did pack suitcases for seven flights, three train trips, and five car trips.  I did a lot of travelling this year--on my own and with Jim.  I'm glad that we are no longer limited by the academic schedule--although we may be again when Jim teaches his Wednesday seminar in the spring.  If I can't be Grandma-in-residence on the East coast, I will at least make frequent trips there.  

We are limited somewhat by our night driving.  I am the designated night driver now, but I try to avoid it too.  When Jim has cataract surgery on his good eye, he may be able to take over that duty again but for now we are postponing that inevitability.  The risk is low, but so was the risk on his failed retinal surgery.  

What will 2017 bring?  For us personally, we don't know, of course.  For our country and our world, we are very concerned with the election of Donald Trump.  We have not been reassured since November 8 with his continual impulsive and vindictive tweets and his radical appointments of advisors and cabinet officers.  In some ways, I hope he fails miserably and has to leave office early.  And yet I know we need for him to succeed for the sake of all of us and our children and grandchildren. I struggle a lot with knowing that he was elected with the help of many "evangelical Christians."

Today's lectionary reading is from John 1:

  In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  My prayer is to go into 2017 with a sense of God's presence among us--with Jim and me, our family, our church, and our world.  

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