Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Wherein the Geezer Talks About Being Poor Yet Contented

Two posts here in one day! Will wonders never cease.
2014. . . One of my most contented years, all told. Strange, though, that I was so contented.
The challenges of 2014:
Back in 2005, I made two very poor real estate decisions that have impacted my family and me big time in 2014. After retiring completely in 2010, my income was halved. In 2014, I had gone through all my reserves, money that I had set aside for retirement travel, etc. We didn’t travel, but our standard of living continued as before until 2014. This past year, we have had to account for every penny — literally. So far, thanks be to God, we have eaten well and our bills have been paid. I haven’t lived like this since I got my first apartment in 1973.
Our daughter, Sarah, has been through hell, and we have been there supporting her. Family difficulties, tetanus, money problems. . . all these have made the year a horrible one for her and a struggle for us as we try always to help.
I had a third bout with pancreatitis. This one was the least severe of the three, but it reminded me that I am getting old and that my gallbladder–less body needs a lot more TLC than I give it. My pancreatitis comes not from alcohol (I don’t drink) but from a love of rich food, especially desserts, that my body can’t handle since my gallbladder was removed in 1997.
The great parts of 2014:
Beni and I marked 39 years of being together, having met on Christmas Eve, 1975. Our life together has been a huge adventure with lots of sturm und drang, but now we seem to have grown into a friendship that sustains each of us but no longer has the drama that once took so much energy.
We all grew to love out pets even more than before. Three dogs and one cat, with three grand puppies here most of the time, make our lives much more human, loving, and enjoyable. I can’t express the sense of peace and contentment I feel when we sit down at night and all the puppies are in their places with us.
Other than pancreatitis, which lasted about a week, my health was fine. . . no thanks to my neglect of my body.
I continued to participate in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at the parish in Winchester, Virginia. Twice a week I am there — just Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and I — for the hour between 2 am and 3 am. These two hours of prayer, meditation, and silence have changed my life. Thank you, Lord, for giving such a great gift to me.
Beni Marie, our youngest daughter, continues to live here with us. She takes care of the house, cooks for us, cooks dog food (really!!! None of the "store–bought" stuff for our pups!!!), feeds the pups, and still has time to pursue her career in phlebotomy. She is a very sweet, caring woman who makes Ben’s life and mine much easier, healthier, and full of joy.
I pray more than last year. The older I get, the more I seem to want to be in God’s presence. Maybe its nature’s way of getting me ready for the next step.
So. . . No money, but still the most contented I have ever been.
I am grateful. Truly grateful.

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