I know, I know, I know....it has been a long time since I've posted here and I am not certain that anyone even reads this anymore. Life has been busy and challenging since our return from Florida at the beginning of April. There has been much to celebrate. All of the children and grandchildren were here for Easter Sunday and we had a grand time. Everyone attended church with Mary and I at Prince of Peace where I had served for 21 years. It was wonderful to be back there with the whole family and see old friends. We returned to the house for a wet and muddy Easter Egg Hunt. The children were very excited as they searched under, over, and behind trees and rocks. We then feasted on roast turkey and baked ham and all the fix'ns. Sarah arranged to take a photo of all the grandchildren and presented it to Mary in a beautiful frame for Mother's Day.
I enrolled in two courses this spring through the Academy for Life Long Learning in Saratoga. The first addressed the history of the Civil War and classes were held at the State Military Museum. It was very interesting and led to my discovery that my Great Grandfather, William Southwell, served in the 91st Regiment for the last year of the war. I was also surprised and grateful to learn that 21 of his letters written during the war to Mary Law, my Great Grandmother, were stored at the New York State Library. I was able to make arrangements to read the letters and am in the process of obtaining copies of the transcripts. The letters give a very personal glimpse into the life of a young, 18 year old, Union soldier.
The second class was a series of Interpretive Hikes with a naturalist at Moreau lake State Park. I managed to attend 5 of the hikes and experienced the Southern Adirondacks welcoming the season of spring.
In May I had two preaching assignments and also officiated at two weddings. We are now preparing to attend our annual Synod Assembly (church convention) this coming weekend. At that event I will be installed as Dean of the Hudson/Mohawk Conference of the UpState New York Synod of the ELCA. This is a position I was elected to while we were in Florida. I am now working hard to understand the various responsibilities of the position.
Our three raised garden beds have been dug up, composted added, and seeds and plants planted. Following a very rainy four weeks we are now experiencing summer type heat and humidity. It has really gotten things growing.
Memorial Day morning we hosted our annual "camp breakfast" in the backyard. It was a fun gathering of family and friends and a reminder of how "rich" my life is at present. Oh, we barely have enough money to keep the wolf from the door but we have an abundance of love and family and friends and interesting challenges. We are blessed.