Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

I'm breaking my self-imposed hiatus to wish a blessed beginning of the new Christian year to those of you who observe Advent. (To those who don't, the first Sunday of Advent--Advent being the season beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve--marks the beginning of the liturgical/Christian year.)

A brief update for you:

I did indeed see my new doctor. I have a significant medical problem that will almost certainly result in surgery, probably after the first of the year. Right now, I'm being poked and prodded and anticipate more of the same, in order to determine what exactly we're dealing with and to rule out for certain any of the scariest (remote) possibilities. Several other more mundane conditions are being medicated again after all this time, and I'm starting to benefit from the results. Most of my "stuff" is a function of the aging process--happy looming 50th b-day to me--and being overweight (about which I'm making some progress). But I'm grateful beyond measure for the blessings of health coverage and an excellent physician. May I never take these gifts for granted!

In the midst of it all, I have begun living at my new apartment, in a much more spacious unit in a very much safer complex. Meanwhile, the old apartment still holds the majority of my belongings, which I'm (too slowly) sorting through and carting the 3 miles to my new place. Jenny and Rosie, my two aging kitties, have handled the move quite well, though Jenny freaked when I brought my friend Stacey in today in the process of the two of us moving a couple of pieces of new-to-me furniture (Stacey's old recliner and a cute floral loveseat finally taken out of lay-away at a nearby antique mall). She's such a chicken when it comes to having anybody but her mama in the house with her! To say I didn't entertain much at the old apartment is an understatement.

My kitchen is mostly set-up now, in crisp red and white to go with the funky retro cabinets; I'm cooking nearly all my meals now, which is a switch for me. My new bed is dressed in pretty pale blue sateen in my new quiet, peaceful bedroom, which was a very good thing to have ready when I had to spend a couple of days last week mostly in bed. The bathrooms (one for the cats, and one for me) are at the ready with a white-on-white theme, dressed up with some lovely blue-and-white pieces to hold various bath necessities, and of course the ever-present "cat box" in the girls' bathroom.

I just received a plea from my dear composer friend with whom I've collaborated on three published or accepted for publication anthems. He's asking for two more lyric texts, one for a commission he has received from a mutual friend for an anthem in his youngest daughter's honor; it will be a text focused on "Grace." The other is for the "senior song" he writes each year for his youth choir to premier on their summer choir tour, in honor of that year's senior members. He has used my texts the past two years and both have been picked up by a good publisher that markets their anthems well (unlike our first collaboration; Abingdon does nothing much in the way of marketing; my last royalty check was for 30 copies!)

Church is doing well, and well into the swirl of activities inherent to Advent. Our sanctuary is nearly all decorated, except for placing the chrismons on the tree. This will be done at our Hanging of the Greens service tomorrow night, after which we'll all repair to Fellowship Hall for a rice and beans supper and a "fiesta" to gather, sort, and prepare to transport the gifts we're all bringing for our annual mission trip to the Rio Grande Valley (both sides of the border). The choir is presenting two anthems per week in lieu of an extended work this Advent. I wrote a simple drama for the children's choirs, and the children are hard at work on it, learning the songs and their lines like champs. We're taking it easy this year; no "bathrobe pageant"--the children will wear regular clothes and even bring their school backpacks as part of the story line. The theme is gifts, and at the end, each child will place a gift box or bag under the Chrismon tree as symbolic of the various gifts they can give the Christ Child. Then it's off to the Hall for a Christmas party, with a certain jolly old elf making an appearance once everyone has had the chance to decorate a gingerbread house. Fun traditions.

I'm still really liking my administrative job. I've really got the best boss ever, a fine Christian man with impeccable ethics and a genuine humility rarely found in C-level executives. He, along with our CEO and now a brand-new COO, are interims. I am praying that he and the CEO become permanent in those positions, or at least as permanent as anybody is in any job in these troubled times. I'm proud to work for my boss, and especially proud to be a part of a hospital and health network that remembers our primary mission: serving the poor of our county with excellent medical care.

Well, this has turned into a LONG entry, hasn't it? A lot has happened and is happening. I don't anticipate getting back into regular blogging until after Christmas, but I didn't want you faithful few readers to wonder what has become of me. I'm where I've always been: in God's providential hands, and those hands have poured out an extra measure of blessings on me lately. I am content.

Happy Advent and Christmas to you all!


Singing Owl said...

Blessings, dear Psalmist. All of this sounds so good (except the health issues part). I wish I could help you move your stuff into your new home!

Anonymous said...

Psalmist, good to hear a report. I knew you were up to your ears, but sheesh, you make the rest of us look like slackers!!

God bless and keep you during this Advent season as you work hard in many areas of your life.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Blessings! I'm glad I checked in on you, which I do about 2x/week, I guess. Sounds like most things are moving in the right direction. And aging sucks, but consider the alternative. Well, I guess, heaven would be a good choice. We had the grand kids here with their parents for the holiday. I'm not ready for Christmas decorating, however.

stinuksuk said...

Yikes! You've had much going on. Sorry to hear of your health issues and prayers are with you.
Looks like we're both staring down a new decade and half-century mark in our lives next year.
You apartment sounds great and it does take time to move and settle in.
I pray the new anthem venture/endeavor will go well and be a blessing to you and others.
Enjoy a most blessed Christmas and a graced beginning to the New Year.
Will keep checking back.
God's peace abide and dwell with you.