• Build Community
• Live simply
• Promoting individual achievement is not a worthy goal.
• My health care this past year has far exceeded a justifiable treatment.
I Invest in Community
Barbara continues to be a saint, and I try to let her know how much I appreciate her. I think this is going OK. I do need to do more work on sorting my papers and music.
Daughters and their families
I continue the same child-care of the granddaughters, driving to Gill to be with Vita (5) on Thursdays and being available to assist Barbara with Bridget (22 months) on Fridays. I continue the practice of creating stories with Vita, but it has been more verbal than written recently. I have begun being more intentional about scheduling time with my daughters, both Anna and Clara.
I visited my mother in April for a few days, and saw her on my road trip in June. She is 101, and other than not being able to see, is doing very well. I will see her again in September. I think every 3 months is a schedule that I will try to maintain. She is near San Diego.
Barbara and I did make the road trip in June, visiting all west coast relatives plus other friends. But there was a new commitment in this area. My brother died in May, and I have tried to be present to his family in a new way. I write monthly letters to his three daughters and wife, and I am planning to bring them on a trip to Nicaragua in January. (more below)
I do continue to sing in the choir. My voice is getting raspy, but I’ll sing as long as I can.
I remain on the Deacons, but my attendance has been spotty. I did take on being the Deacon rep. to the personnel committee, which is another major responsibility. In this capacity, I am also entering into the discussion of relating to the homeless who sleep on our porches.
I continue to attend Nica Companions meetings and contribute where I can
Friends not in Boston
Personal friends who have moved away
Continuing relationships through correspondence is not always easy. Giving and receiving are so similar and I don’t always know which I’m doing, especially in my limited state, which keeps changing. What used to be giving is now receiving. I am learning how to do this and adjusting my correspondence accordingly.
I did visit several old friends on our road trip, one I hadn’t seen in 45 years. I will visit several more when I visit my mother in September. I intend to continue correspondence with friends I visit, finding the right rhythm and media. I now have several regular correspondences which have resulted from renewing friendships from my youth.
It had been my hope to visit several internet friends on my road trip, but the celebration of my brother’s life interrupted that schedule. I was able to visit one new internet friend. It was very satisfying. I do have some other internet connections which I am trying to maintain.
“The Spirit of the Poor” dialogue, after some very good months, went through a time of neglect, but has started again and I will continue to give my attention to that dialogue. It is important.
My blogging is somewhat stale. I continue to look at the lectionary each week, but have decided that if I don’t have anything to say, I will not force something. But I will keep looking at the lectionary.
Dulce Nombre de Jesus
In February I wrote
“The community of Dulce Nombre de Jesus in Nicaragua has a special place in my heart. They continue to embrace me and pray for me and let me know they are thinking of me. I owe them one more visit, perhaps with family members. I have a vision of bringing my whole family, but that is a vision.”
I have put out the invitation to my extended family, especially my brother’s family, to join me on a delegation in late January. So far, 12 other members of my family have said they would join me, with the possibility of 3 more. This is a major goal of mine for the remainder of this year – to stay healthy enough to make this happen.
II Live Simply
I have been able to grow food again this year. I have a small supply of wood for the winter, but not nearly enough, but I continue to bike everywhere, and live simply.
I was able to do some work on the garden in Cummington. I will have a potato crop, and limited squash, onions and garlic. The orchard is overgrown with weeds, but I have been able to help the grape vines reach the arbor.
I have not done anything about journaling about my attempts to live simply with decreasing physical ability. I did write something about this on a post “why I don’t have a cell phone.” Honestly, I had forgotten about this idea.
I am very close to publishing my memoire: NORMAL: stories from my life. I do believe that there is some reason to promote the book, other than celebrating my achievements. I will have to see.
In February I looked pretty bad. That was because of the Chemo I was taking. My doctor took me off of that Chemo late January, and in late April started me on another Chemo. The side effects seem to be much less, but I think the effects on the cancer are also much less. That is the trade-off.
My back is pretty weak from the surgeries last summer. I still suffer neuropathy in my feet as a result of the old Chemo. And there is a condition that has yet to be explained, that I don’t have any recuperation capacity in my body. I have to keep my physical activity at a pretty low level to continue the activity. Also, I am pretty sure I cracked a rib last week, leaning out a window. But this is to be expected. The cancer is in my bones, and from time to time I have to expect that some part of the frame will not support a usual activity. My goal, right now, and my doctor’s, is to keep me fit enough to make the January trip to Nicaragua.
So that is my evaluation.
• I have work to do in knowing how to maintain friendships.
• I have to give more focused attention to my writing.
• I have to monitor my commitments at church to follow through on my involvements
• I have to try to promote my book to maximize any positive message in it.
All in all, not bad, and setting goals and evaluating before the year is out is a good idea.