Let me begin this first post of 2011 by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. We spent the New Year's at my brother- and sister-in-laws on Long Island, and tomorrow we drive back to Greensboro. It's been a great holiday vacation--almost two weeks long--but it's about to end, as we return to the work-a-day world.
2010 was an eventful--and sometimes traumatic--year for us. Mary Beth's father died, followed in short order by my brother Arne's wife Sandy, leading to a time of grief early in the yeaer in both our families. Following that, we moved in June from Lexington, NC to Greensboro, NC, where I began a year-long sabbatical leave from the pastorate, while Mary Beth changed from her job as Christian Educator at First UMC in Lexington to a teaching job in Guilford County schools. In addition, we moved from our furnished and recently remodeled parsonage in Lexington to the rental house in Greensboro that we've owned since 1987 that needed almost total remodeling.
Needless to say the last eight months have been busy and quite intense, as we moved, began remodeling the house, bought new furniture, and Mary Beth started her teaching job in a particularly demanding position in Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point.
Now that more of the remodeling of the house is behind us than before us, and now that Mary Beth has largely acclimated to her teaching, the next six months should be a little less stressful. But it will also have its own issues, particularly as I try to decide what to do about my United Methodist 'conference appointment'. Do I return to a full-time pastorate, or do I do something else? That is the question which remains to be answered as I turn 60 in January and begin to face the issues that come with that particular birthday.