Please excuse the excessive references about myself. Tiring, I know.
I had the privilege to help raise three terrific children, two girls, first and then a boy. We had some wonderful times together as a family. We loved to play outside games together, games like baseball and football. Sure, we had to modify how we played them, but it was great fun.
For many years, my job situation was very unstable. One day my son pointed out to me that before he finished high school, we had moved forty times. Yes, you read correctly, forty (40) times.
Why would anyone move forty times over a space of twenty-six years? I doubt that many military families could top that number. That's a reasonable question, but it lacks a reasonable answer. My then-wife and I just could not seem to get it together. It seems no matter how much money I made, it was never enough.
We were dysfunctional parents. Dysfunctional is when weird seems normal and normal seems weird. We certainly had a distorted outlook on life.
My marriage lasted almost twenty-seven years and then when the kids moved out, we went separate directions.
Then, at the age of 71, a dear friend, Barb, introduced me to a woman who lives in Oklahoma, across the country from Oregon, who was touring Europe with her sister who was on a speaking tour. We talked via WhatsApp (a free app that requires only an internet connection at both ends) for 4 to 6 hours every day for two months. When Dianne returned home, I flew to Oklahoma to meet her and we became engaged and married 5 months later.
I have much for which to be thankful, and I am very grateful! My life now is rich and full. My favorite activity is to participate in Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus. We're a volunteer group of guys who pray together and love singing and sharing the good news of the gospel.
We've been fortunate enough over the years to sing in such places as The Philippines, Toronto, St. Louis, Kenya, Tanzania, Romania, Ukraine, and South Africa. We have spawned male choruses in Romania, Spain, and South Africa.
They say that in every life some rain must fall. The cloudburst in my life came when I lost my son. He was 39 years old. Dianne has also lost a grown son, so we both have experienced sadness in our lives – a commonality we wish we did not share.
I owe much to my extended family. As I was experiencing divorce and recovery, they played a vital role in helping me redefine reality. I owe a debt to them I can never repay.
I suppose the sun has passed the apex of its orbit in my life of 75 plus years, but I am learning and experiencing many new and wonderful events. Dianne and I enjoy camping in our camper every chance we get and traveling to see the kids and other fun places.
Believe it or not, we have recently finished flipping a house and then sold it! Yes, that is crazy for two 70 plus retirees to do, and we are confident we will never do it again but, for now, we are grateful to have completed it. We remind ourselves that while we are slow, we are cheap! Maybe I'll post some pictures on the site to show you someday! (I have now posted the pictures. If you like, you can view them in the post titled "Flip House").
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