Fall and Friends

 

I think that I may have said, previously, that Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I am sitting on our screened in porch…and looking at the leaves…that are already changing.

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I have always felt a renewal in the season that brings; my birthday and halloween and Thanksgiving and, my favorite, Christmas.

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Photos of Autumn, inspire me.  The thought of hot chocolate and sweaters and crisp morning air…is my preferred element.

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I started working at Southern Illinois University in the Fall.  I could not believe my good fortune.  I recall everyone welcoming me and making me feel at home.

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I recall walking from my building, Thalman Hall, to my supervisor’s building, and thinking that Mary Jane and my life had taken a profound turn for the better.

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Three weeks after my hiring, on October 10, 1978, we purchased our first new automobile.  It was a Ford LTD and it listed for $7,000.00, but the dealer, Dennis Ratjen, reduced the price to $6,000.00.

I felt like, that I was driving a Lincoln Continental!

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Before I married, Mary Jane, I had experienced what it means to be hungry.  I was to proud to admit it to others…who probably would have helped me.

When we married…I was 169 lb..

I am six foot and three and  one half inches tall…and I looked like a skeleton.

SIU changed that forever…and there is no mystery…why I love the University!

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I often wonder if current leaders…understand….why I am so passionate for SIU?

It is because everything positive in my life…has come from my association with this wonderful School.

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I saw my old and dear friends yesterday.

Things have changed…and it always makes me sad.

I cared for this couple…and I still do…and I wish that our friendship had not dissolved.

When I see them…which is not often…the last time was a couple of years ago…I think of all of the wonderful and communal times that we spent together…and the singularity of purpose that we had.

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The loss of these friends…was first…a shocking loss for SIU…and then…years later for me.

Christmas…since Laughing Santa…has been a magical time for me.

I enter a reality of people caring about each other and joy and happiness and faith…that renews me for the new year.

Christ’s humble birth in a manger and his vision for the family of man…and his compassion for the poor and the homeless and those who have no voice…inspires me daily…and especially during the Christmas Season.

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When Mary Jane and Aaron and Jonathon and I became Presbyterians…I think that a lot of the allure of the faith came from…the excellent manner in which the church treated Christmas.

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You know, faith is not emotion…it may touch your emotions…but the practicing of faith and the daily living of it…is a concrete decision…to wake up each morning…no matter how badly you feel…no matter how unemotional your are…and conscientiously decided to be a christian.

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2 responses

  1. How beautifully expressed~

    1. Thank you my friend. 🌞

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