Saturday, September 29, 2018


Toni and I bought a car today. An SUV. It's called a "compact SUV," but it's about 20" longer than the compact car (a Ford Focus). It doesn't seem very "compact" to me. We were able to buy this car because Toni's dad gave his fancy Buick Enclave to Toni before he went to be with the Lord. We are thankful that we were able to exchange the Buick for $9-10,000. Not quite enough for the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox that we chose -- but enough to certainly make it easier to pay for.

Now we're home. Both of us are glad we made the decision, and the purchase, today, before we analyzed it to death. There are always things that we could wish were different. Best just to decide. So that's done.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Burning the Midnight Oil

Monday evening. Toni's on her way home, I think, and it won't be long until I go to bed. I didn't sleep well last night, so I'm looking forward to sleep.
I wrote that 5 days ago, at probably about 8:00 PM. When Toni did get home that night, I was fast asleep. The next night (Tuesday), I didn't sleep well at all. It went like that all week, sleeping well one night and then not much the next. Now it's Saturday night and I'm up again. It's been kind of rough, but I have had some good naps so don't feel too bad.

Since mid week I've chosen to get up and do things if I'm not sleeping. That's what I'm doing now. I'll get tired enough soon to go back to bed, where Toni already is. She sleeps well, consistently. It's rare that she doesn't. Maybe only when she's ill.

One of the things I did last night and tonight was to finish making a list of books that Toni brought home from her parents. She'd been there getting her mom settled into a different apartment following her dad's funeral. The books mainly belonged to him; the ones I've been listing are mainly theological and Christian. Books I'd like to keep if I had space.

One thing I could do at night would be to read, I suppose, and I do that sometimes, but reading takes a sharper mind than I usually have when I'm sleepless. I told our son Daniel this week that doing fairly "mindless" tasks at night is helpful for me. Reading theology wouldn't be mindless at all. It's also not very physical. Keeping my body moving at least a little bit is good to do at night.

So it's getting close to 1 AM. I think it's time to try to sleep again. First I'll finish putting the silverware away -- I put the dishes away earlier. Then maybe I'll take a shower before I go back to bed.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


I'm at our son Dan and daughter in law Shatera's place tonight, "watching" our grandson Liam. They'll be back momentarily from the youth group that Dan pastors. It's a pleasure to spend time with Liam, and also to help his busy parents a bit. Tomorrow I'll be back to work.

Toni comes back this evening from Northfield where's she's been helping get her mom settled in her new apartment. I think it'll be a great situation for Grandma Jo.

I don't think I mentioned in this blog that Toni and I are thankful, and awed, at the birth of our son Jon & his wife Breanna's fourth child. That makes six grandchildren now, with one more on the way. Naomi is expecting to give birth to her second child in February.

We're in the sandwich time of our lives. Between grandchildren and our aging parents, we certainly have enough to do.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What Doing Does

It's unseasonably hot and sticky today. Right now I'm inside, in my little "office," with the air conditioning on. This morning, and until about 1:00, I was mostly busy outdoors trimming bushes, except for the time I spent at Snap Fitness. I got moving this morning by washing dishes. "Doing" things always seems to help me, and it's usually good for others too. Now I'm hoping to get going on some desk work. Always lots to do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Confessing Comparison

It's about a quarter to 8 on this Tuesday evening. I've been wanting to jot a few thoughts, sort of selfish and personal thoughts, that have been going on in my head in connection with my father-in-law Dick Dahlin's funeral yesterday.

Hundreds came. People are guessing 300. Dick and Jo had dozens of friends, probably mostly due to Jo's gregarious ways, though his own activities during retirement and his previous pastoral service also contributed to his "popularity." He was a steady participant, a caring presence, a servant, and a consistent leader of several groups. Jo and Dick together made a wonderful team that drew people to them -- and to the Lord they served.

Dick's ministry life (pre-retirement) was pretty straightforward. He retired 25-30 years ago, long before the denominational difficulties occurred that led, by a roundabout and complicated path, to my resignation from the last ELCA church I served. Sadly, and embarrassingly, I have thought about my own life, and even my own (future) funeral, knowing that it's (and will be) different (and smaller) than Dick's. As will be my/our financial security whenever it is that we retire. Dick retired early. I'll retire late. So it goes.

I confess that, in my heart, I compared, even though, honestly, I wouldn't trade. I really like how things are going for me, and for Toni and me together, now. I know the Lord will work it out for us just fine.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Weekend

Good morning! Toni and I are up at the Durphee Lake cabin, spending most of our time painting the newly reconstructed porch. First we primed (as in the picture). Now we're putting 2 coats on the trim and the rest. We doubt that we'll be able to finish the outside before we leave this afternoon, and then inside is still waiting. It's been a labor-full Labor Day weekend.

When Toni took this pic it was, as you can see, beautiful outside weather wise. That was Saturday. Yesterday (Sunday) we were able to get back at it in the mid afternoon. It started pouring rain in the late morning after church. I got in a really good nap so was able to get back to painting the eaves. There's a second coat of green on the lake-side and the first coat is done on on the west-side. Toni's been doing the walls, plus filling nail holes inside.
It's been good for us to be up here, not only to get work done, but also because we brought Toni's mom Jo along with us. This cabin, as she has been saying as she's been talking with friends, is really her home. There have been lots of changes in her life, even before Toni's dad's recent death, and this place has been the one physical constant since she and Dick bought it in the early 1960s. Jo is doing quite well right now, glad to have family and friends visiting, and doing as many chores as she can. She wisely uses a walker to get around, but other than that I have to say she's quite young considering her 85+ years on this earth. I'm glad she can be here too.

I started writing this a half hour ago or more, thinking that I'd share a bit more about health, following up on my "Truth and Cholesterol, part 1" post. That'll have to wait. I want to get back to bed for a bit now.