Fifteen months ago my friends and I were wondering if we’d all lose our houses and be living in the woods. Should we get a gun? Who among us knows how to fish? How do you make rabbit stew, anyway? If you bring me a squirrel I can probably fry it up, but no, it won’t taste like chicken.
The stock market lost 37% in 2008. In 2009 it rose 27%, but that’s people’s retirement money and a good chunk of it’s still gone.
A friend of mine sells GM cars; I prayed for him every single day, but somehow he survived. Thank you, President Obama, even as you paid a terrible political price.
We survived 2009!
Tonight, New Year’s Eve, I’m cooking up some red beans and rice, in honor of my dear friends in Louisiana; they’ve survived too, and after Hurricane Katrina, when Phil went missing, every extra year is a blessing. His dad Ervin would probably add some boudin to the dish; it’s a Cajun blood sausage, considered quite the delicacy, but I don’t like it. It’s spicy-hot and I don’t do blood sausage, especially from filthy gas stations outside Grand Mamou. Ervin used to go nuts after that stuff, but I use Polish sausage instead.
In October of ’09 I brought home a little pooch from the Humane Society of Indianapolis. It’s been six weeks now and I think I’ve finally got the hang of toilet training. Despite a few tense moments Luke has been a joy to me; I should have gotten a dog years ago, we could have been together all this time. But I’ll sure take the one I’ve got. Now that I’ve corrected my mistakes he’s corrected his; the stake in the yard with the 30-foot lead has taught him, here’s where you go. Luke to Josh: “Why didn’t you say so?”
He is so cute, so sweet; if only the humans were like that. My favorite behavior of his currently is how he burrows underneath his Purdue blanket, so when he’s in his house, all I can see is a lump of cloth. Somewhere under there is 10 pounds of terrier lost in the folds. He’s also great about eating my leftovers; a dab of chicken or steak here, a ham hock there, some cheesy rice and broccoli—and everything goes better with COTTAGE CHEESE!
We have a routine for treats too; he sits on the throw rug under the sink, I sit on the kitchen steps and put a treat on my knee. He watches, then I say, “Come!” He races over, grabs the treat and takes it back to the rug before he devours it. But wait, there’s more—I’ve got another one in my pocket!
In 2010 I have work to do; after discussion with my spiritual director Marcia, I’m going to try letting God have much more power in my life. This is a one-month experiment, which I ought to be able to get through; after that we’ll evaluate. The program involves writing some personal prayers that really discuss what’s going on with me, working every day on finishing my new novel about Gay Christian marriage, and spending 20 minutes a day in silent meditation, which I’ve neglected for some time now. I also have some other goals, but they’re not New Year’s resolutions; they’ll take longer to work out, and besides I need an attitude adjustment. At this late date I’m no longer very good at running my own life, so it’s time to let God take the wheel for awhile. Perhaps every serious believer eventually comes to a place like this, but I’m here now, so it’s time to trust more and screw up less.
The beans and rice are about done, so farewell 2009, we survived you. Best wishes to Peter, Leonardo and all of you in 2010; I wish you health, prosperity and a greater awareness of the Ultimate Reality.++