And so it ends. Seven weeks are over already and I am ready to get re-acquainted with my digital self. I avoided any and all association with a computer and computer-like devices with the exception of using the phone and e-mail. My hope was to go extreme analog and read and write profusely. I did get some reading done: I read four books and started reading three others. My goal was to write; something, anything, at a prescribed time daily – never happened. I did do some pen to paper but not nearly to the extent I had hoped.
What I learned – what sticks out in my mind – is the amount of things that occur in such short periods of time, and how precious time really is, how lives change in a moment.
Shirley and I each lost an elderly uncle. She was more familiar, close to her uncle than I was to mine. I had met this particular uncle of mine once, as a child, but the time is one of my fondest childhood memories. His name was Omma Jan (Uncle John) from Friesland, Netherlands. My father’s brother. He couldn’t speak English, only Friesian. Communication was very limited between the two of us – but we spent a day together; on a lazy river, in a cow pasture, fishing.
The night before; Dad had to take him for a drive to teach him how to drive our car, an old 60 Chevy. He only knew how to drive a stick-shift and Dad’s Chevy was the first time he had driven an automatic. All the letters on the steering column had to be explained until he remembered. “D” for Drive”, “R” for “Reverse”, “P” for “Park”, everything had to be converted to Friesian terms. Then it was directions to the spot on the river and what all the country road signs meant. It was quite the adventure for a young lad on a hot summer day.
I can still see Dad and Omma Jan, sitting in the front seat, windows rolled down, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, broken English and Friesian, explaining, comparing all the particulars of driving in America, and things we passed along the countryside.
In the end we spent better part of the day together. Wandering up and down a river shore with a can of worms we dug up the day before, couple fishing poles, sandwiches and coffee that Mom had packed for us. Very few words were exchanged (I understood very little Friesian), yet we both enjoyed that time together. Good memory.
The last part of the “sabbatical” has been spent recovering from surgery. After a trip to the docs, some pokes, prods and scans, it was confirmed I had a hernia and possibly a second developing. Surgery was advised as soon as it could be scheduled. So in the course of a morning; life’s general activities and plans were put on hold. I am doing quite well, amazed at how quickly the body gets weak and how fast it recovers. Thankful for modern medicine and doubly thankful for a loving, caring, wife; who has had to wait on me over the course of a couple weeks. My reading came to a halt other than the daily Bible readings because my comprehension flew out the door with the pain meds.
I have been reading anywhere from 1 – 3 Psalms a day and reading Romans 12 each day. At the start of the 7 week period I read the book of Jeremiah because I was reading a book about the Prophet Jeremiah. Even through mockery, outright persecution, Jeremiah stuck to his faith. He knew he could trust God and His Word. Romans 12 is a great daily reminder of what is expected from someone that calls themselves a Christian. Whenever I wonder what to read, I go to the Psalms (and an occasional good, old fashioned western novel).
In conclusion I have no great profound proclamations gained from deep insightful knowledge other than reiterate, keep life simple: live it, enjoy it, share it; with those you love and who love you – it can all change in a moment.