Merrrrry Christmas!

A Very Blessed Christmas to you all!

I still get so excited this time of year! As if I become a kid again. This Season renews me. The cold air invigorates me, the way a room feels extra warm when you come in from outdoors, -even the "usual" coffee tastes better! Well, the weather blessed me twice in 3 days this Fall, once with warmth and once with snow:

I had already "winterized" my motorcycle, but I have 2 rules about riding it: (1) It must be 40+ deg and (2) Not raining! Well, Sat. Dec 7th qualified, so I took my 'bike

out for a final run as the temperature was a balmy 44degrees. Then,

on Sat. Dec. 9, it snowed! I actually went XC Skiing on the Windham rail trail that Sunday! ---------------------------------->>

I only lasted 22 min. on the trail for the first time out but it was so delightful. My body was just craving that exercise! I do hope that we have a White Christmas!

Well, I had tried to cut back on some of my church duties this year, but I've come to learn that the choir is a lot like the Mafia: "Once you're in it, you're in it for life!" I didn't know that when I joined the choir 20+ years ago! So I sang in the special/select choir for "Carols and Lessons" this past Friday. -Had a solo part and I absolutely "nailed it!" I was thrilled. Got a lot of compliments later that evening. Felt great about it. Although it was poorly attended, it was taped and will be on the local Salem NH cable TV channel.

I am also in several other ministries ( 6 so far.) in our parish. I met Fr. Tom in the hallway one day and he asked, "How do you keep going [with all of these ministries]? I quickly told him, "I take naps." He laughed -but it is True! I have been taking the "Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" with Fr., Tom, ( a Jesuit) this fall. It will last for 30 weeks. It is an amazing program, and friends tell me that I am "always smiling and happy" since starting the program. I'd say that the most demanding one is the DivorceCare ministry; but it is also very rewarding. We see people in tears on the first week, emptying one tissue box after another and then, after a few weeks, they are smiling and laughing.

God seems to want to keep me in this area; I have had invitations to teach in distant states, and had a dream to travel out West, but he has made the past 2 years very easy for me. By that I mean: low stress. One of the counselors in my office building calls me "Mr. Zen" because I am always composed and peaceful. But why worry? God's in charge.

I have continued to downsize my life and even my Christmas decorations reflect this: I found a "Charlie Brown" Tree ------------>>>>