One of my end-of-year traditions is to look back at all the posts and diary entries from the last year and give thanks for the memories.  It is also my tradition to compile a list of different topics and share them in a post with you.  (Actually, this post is nothing more than a shameless pat on my own part to pat myself on the back for getting all these posts written!)  Since retirement, my Sunday Posts have been a bit irregular, only 22 in the year 2020 and 26 in the year 2021.  I’m reviewing both years here.  

Many of my posts dealt with either retirement or navigating the COVID.  But before I get to those, here are some other things on my mind the past couple years.

Click on the underlined words to see the posts.

On Mother’s Day I always write something about my mother and other women in my family.  This past year I mused on the fact that Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son had no women in it.  In 2020 I used the occasion of Mother’s Day to recall specific vignettes of my mom in the various houses where are grew up.  

In 2020, the Chinese welcomed the “Year of the Rat.”  (Perhaps that should have been a warning?)  As the festival began, I shared everything I know about rats, and then some.

In several posts I give you some insight into my home and private life.  You get to learn something about my medical charts in “Why Does it Say SOB on My Medical Chart.”  I also provide a year-end report on my .005 acre farm, and a narrative of the turkey catching fire on Thanksgiving Day.  

Travel was the catalyst for several of my posts.  It wasn’t a Sunday post, but I did write a 20-day election diary for a 20-day road trip I took to the Pacific Northwest.  It even includes a few strange photographs.  I also mused on Texas after a trip last April to see wildflowers.  And I shared my discomfort with factoid that Belle Fourche, South Dakota is the “center” of the U.S.

Presidential Perks were the subject of an entire Post.  I wasn’t complaining, just compiling a list of them in case any of my readers decide to throw their hat in the ring.  I also fantasized hosting every U.S. President for a meal, and let you know what I would fix for each one.  In another post I compare national politics with the church politics of electing a bishop.  In the spring of 2020, I analyzed what my president, my bishop, and my proctologist had in common.  Elections were on my mind through the fall of 2020 and I wrote an Election Diary during that time.  It was not a Sunday Post, but it is accessible from my website.

My dad passed away in August of 2020, and a year later I wrote four essays about him.  Those Sunday posts were all rewritten and appear on my website.

My friend Jordan got married last summer and I wrote one Sunday Post that grew out of a conversation with him.  It gives my thoughts on how to be a manly man.  In another Post, I reflect on what would happen if the Apostle Paul tried online dating.  The underbelly of church life is exposed in a couple Posts.  One gives you the inside story on my rules for what kind of socks to wear when preaching.  The other reviews what it is like to live in a parsonage.

Things I read sometimes send me around the bend sometimes:  news about tornadoes, stories about so many people quitting their jobs, praying before a meal, and the decline of newspapers.  My three 2021 almanacs got me started on one post.  And the schools in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament set me off in another post.  I share some personal feelings about the Wienermobile after reading an article that it got ticketed by a police officer.  And I confess to feelings of envy after reading that Pope Francis slapped a woman who got too friendly with him.

Many posts are reflections on preparing for retirement, buying a home for retirement, or being retired.  I’ve now been retired twice and unretired twice, in less than two years.  Retirement essays include Blessed Are the Troublemakers, thoughts on how to finance our retirement home, how thoughts on my retirement also helped me cope with COVID, Pride, and material I found from a journal I wrote when I was 28.

And as you might expect, many of my posts were reflections on COVID, my experiences of it, and the changes it brought to our lives.  From the first shut-downs (March 13, 15, 22, 29) in 2020, to the problems of trying to relate through Zoom, my Posts were an unintended chronicle of what was happening in our private lives, our churches, and our society this past two years. While I did not compile my 2020 posts last year (they are included in this email) I did write an essay so my grandchildren could one day read what a COVID year looked like to their grandfather.

In addition to my regular posts, I also wrote short reviews on each of the 52 books I read during the year.  They are posted on my Goodreads account.

As 2022 dawns, I will continue to write. Thank you so much for continuing to welcome my writings, whether through Facebook posts or through the emails I send out on Sunday evenings.  I hear often from many of you, and while I get way behind on my responses sometimes, the things you share back with me are a delight.  If you know of someone who would like to receive these posts, please encourage them to sign up or get in touch with me.

Happy New Year