Living in Unconditional Love (144)

Dec 10, 2023

Living in Unconditional Love (144)


“Love flows from God to humans without effort:

As a bird glides through the air without moving its wings-

Thus, they go wherever they wish united in body and soul,

Yet separate in form.”

–Mechtild of Magdeburg


My wife Eileen died from esophageal cancer in February 2020 one year after being diagnosed, 60 years after we met on Long Island. Then my brother Tom became ill (not COVID), and I spent a total of six weeks being with him in Ohio, but he died in October 2020. My sister-in-law Sue Mahoney died from Covid-19 in January 2021. On top of it all stood the pandemic, locking everyone down almost two years. Covid has proved to be a persistent problem, and many of the long-term effects are quite serious, and it has proven much more serious than flu.

12/10/2023                             The Christmas season draws closer, and I spent Saturday afternoon at the Johnson City Mall listening to the triple cities Tuba band play Christmas music. It was very good, and many, young and old, are part of that band that gets together every Christmas under the direction of one of the previous (now retired) music directors at Whitney Point, Bob Smith. It was interesting to hear the various size tubas playing melodies and parts and was very good for me. Quite a nice crowd, and it lasted an hour and a half. I chatted a few minutes with Bob, as I had gotten to know him over the years. I seldom go to the mall to avoid crowds, but I had to hear this group and it was delightful. They ranged from 10 years old to the 80s and played with vigor and it was great to hear.

I had not visited the new Dick’s Sporting Goods store in the mall, so I wondered down and walked around a bit to see things. It appears to me be mostly clothing goods, but I did not go downstairs to the new portion. They have an ice skating rink and quite a few were skating. It is in the old parking lot in front of the store. It is the largest of all the Dick’s stores, and I was surprised when they decided to build it here. Their first store, located on Court Street, is still here so they now have two stores in the area; I suspect the first store is their smallest and the mall store is their largest.

The mall seemed busy, which was good to see, and lots of folks carrying packages were everywhere.

The doctor said I am ‘cured’ of my lung infection, and I had not realized how much it had affected me over the past year. I feel much more alert more of the time than I have felt in at least a year, as it was last January that I had my first spell of walking pneumonia, and I have been dragging a bit ever since then. It did not get me completely down at any time, but just felt a bit in the blahs most of the time.

Wednesday is the birthday of my youngest daughter, Janet, who is filled with energy that she expresses in her circus hobby: ropes, hoops, trapezes. Her joy and enthusiasm have always livened our family to our delight. She and her son Brendan will be here for Christmas and will journey with us to Mohonk for our annual trip.

Advent time is a time of waiting and expectation. As I have said before, I do not go full Christmas season until Christmas, waiting to decorate the tree until Christmas eve. I have the artificial tree stored in the garage, and we only have to wheel it in (yes, it is on wheels), uncover it, stretch it out, and decorate it. We (or they, Tim and Max) will probably bring it in a week before Christmas to allow it to breath for a while. I will leave the tree up until later, probably until late January as I enjoy looking at the decorated and lighted tree.

Barbara will be here earlier, but not sure when, and Janet, Brendan, Karen, and Maureen will come on the 26th. Karen and Maureen are flying into Syracuse, as the flights were much more convenient there. It is an hour’s drive but worth it. Usually, a simple drive unless the weather turns bad. Barb and I will have Christmas dinner at Tim’s house once more.


Gentle One, I rest once more in Your grace and comfort. I ask for Your guidance each day, desiring only to do what is pleasing to You. Help me to bring peace and joy to others and to be a source of Your love for all whose lives touch mine.

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My God has led me on an 80 year jaunt to ever more wondrous beauty. I am led to share this journey and gifts of God that have been showered upon me, not just for me but for whoever God brings into my path.

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