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Faith, and Some Different Points of View

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I stopped and chatted with some neighbors last night as Charlie and I were finishing our walk. They were in their driveway working on a craft project for their church. They said  the church  they attend is made up of mostly military families and is led by a former Army chaplain. They talked a little about their current sermon series and what they liked about their church. It was a bit of a sales pitch and while I could appreciate that, I had to tell them that even though I'm a very spiritual person, at this point in my life I simply have so little desire to be involved in a church again. I didn't tell them that my beliefs no longer align well with Christian orthodoxy. I'm leaning now toward a belief in reincarnation. I find that option an interesting one to contemplate. Nobody among us knows for sure what's on the other side but many will say they do, just as I used to think I did.  I still feel that there's a higher power at work behind the scenes of my life—I'

They Did It! They Got Married!

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Rachel and Drew were married last Sunday in the backyard of a Vrbo they rented along the shore of Lake Superior north of Lutsen, MN. It was such a nice and memorable wedding with Drew's brother Colton officiating the ceremony. It was mostly limited to immediate family—about 17 of us—as they were unsure what the status of the pandemic would be when they began making plans a year ago or so. With the rise of infections due to the Delta variant, it was a wise move on their part to keep it small. They plan to have a much larger reception at Drew's parent's home near Rochester next summer. Tammy used the  Rover app to find a couple in Apple Valley (a few miles away) to watch the pups for us. We had been to their home a month earlier to meet with them and to give the pups a feel for their temporary home. We left Charlie and Cotton with them the night before we left the cities. All seemed to be okay as we left for Lutsen late the next morning. More on this later.  Tammy arranged f

What Worries Me

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I've been meaning to sit down and tap out a blog post for several days but my heart hasn't been in it. The things I want to write about — to make note of here as I try and create some kind of a timeline to my life for personal reasons — are somewhat depressing things to ponder.  There is so much that's been happening in our world and much of it is very concerning to me. Mostly, I worry about the political divide within our country and if there's anything we can do about it because unless we do, I see our democracy slipping from our tenuous grasp while a hard-right fascist movement waits in the wings to replace it. A few short years ago I never could have imagined myself thinking that, much less putting it in writing. But it's where I am. Unless we can maintain a healthy democracy (we currently aren't doing so), other pressing matters can't be dealt with as effectively as they should be — concerns about climate change and income inequality will continue to b

George Lucky and Free Falling

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I met with my doctor last week to discuss the latest results from my lab work. He was very pleased with where I'm at and said he sees no need for me to be on a statin to control cholesterol — something he was considering in my last checkup. He said that should I ever slow down and lead a more sedentary life, then maybe his advice to me will change. I had a spring in my step as I left his office. I've been saying for the past few years that I don't handle the hotter days of summer all that well anymore. I'm happy to say that I was wrong. I don't care for the relentless heat we've been experiencing this summer but I've been riding and golfing in it quite a lot this year and it's really not hindered me much at all. Still, I'm becoming more of a cool/cold weather person the older I get. My sweet spot is 65ºf (18ºc) or cooler. And it looks like we may be leaving the extreme heat behind for the season (ever the optimist I am!) before long. The #1 item on m

Healthy Arteries, Wedding Plans, and an Ace!

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I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of thunder. My Weather Bug app's radar depiction screen lit up with a large area of precipitation working its way through southern Minnesota. I don't think I've ever been happier to see rain. We're so overdue. And maybe the rains will wash the smoke out of the air (at least for a while). The wildfires out west have been feeding a steady stream of smoke across the country, even at the lower levels of the atmosphere. I was mowing the lawn last week and could see smoke hanging in the air just by looking across the street. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like living much closer to the source of the fire.  My primary care doctor is the same doctor who guided me through my last round of blood clots in January 2015. My previous primary care physician had retired a few months earlier so I was in need of someone new and Dr. Foley was happy to fill that role for me. He's very intent on making sure I've got the healt

Weekend Road-Tripping and Norm's Memorial Service

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I can't recall a more oppressively hot and humid summer in my nearly 64 years than what we've been experiencing this summer. But there's hope in sight! We'll only be in the 80ºs by Thursday when we ditch these 90º+ days we've been contending with. Our air conditioner never feels better than when I come home from being out on a ride. I'm also learning to love cool (bordering on cold) showers!  When I had our home built in 1992, my brother installed a state-of-the-art security system that still serves us well today. I don't actually worry all that much about people breaking into our home but we've added another layer of security in the form of wireless Eufy security cameras that are set up to monitor all of the entrances to our home. With the help of a neighbor who works for a tech company, we were able to get them at a very reasonable price. They're also a source of good fun for our neighbors to prank us while we're away, such as this past weeke

Forty Years Ago This Weekend

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I was golfing with Steve last Thursday when I got a text from Keith: "Deborah passed away last night". I was shocked. Deborah is our cousin and was only in her early 60s. I knew her health wasn't good and that she had been admitted to the hospital but I had no idea she was gravely ill. I last spoke with her this past winter when I gave her a call to chat. I had no idea it would be our last conversation. Deborah was one of just a few people who were invited to attend Tammy's and my wedding 22 years ago at our home. She sang a beautiful song she'd written for us. She was a talented musician with perfect pitch and an angelic voice. She was also a very giving and forgiving person who looked for the best in others. My heart especially goes out to her husband Mark and her brother Bern. She will be missed.  Forty years ago today, relatives on my mother's side of our family held our largest family reunion in Michigan's Upper Peninsula — an area of the country wher