Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Wife, Happy Life

I had an epiphany that I thought I’d share here in the hope that it’ll help others. I was thinking earlier about this year drawing to a close and how I hadn’t yet finished the book I am writing. While I am proud of what I’ve written of the book and the articles I wrote this year, not to mention the editing and speaking I did, I was ruminating about what was left unfinished when I asked myself: What are you most proud of creating? And the answer that sprang to mind was: My lifestyle!

Of course, I owe my very life and any creative ability to The Creator, God, but within that overall context, I am very intentional about designing a lifestyle that I love and that is ultimately a reflection of God’s good gifts to me. Besides that I can think of no better barometer of how I’m living than that old adage: “happy wife, happy life.” It blesses me no end that my wife is happy, which in turn makes me very happy. As another saying goes: “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

As I posted yesterday, we recently returned from a dream vacation to our former home of Nantucket and it was wonderful to celebrate my wife’s birthday with friends while we were there. What made it all the more special for me was to see how much my wife was enjoying herself, whether it was seeing all our friends at church, mailing Christmas cards from the island, or seeing snow on the beach, she was having the time of her life.

You can see the smile on my wife’s face in the above photo speaks for itself. We were about to board the ten-seat “puddle jumper” of an airplane just before witnessing a gorgeous sunset over the ocean as we approached the spit of land that is Nantucket Island. It all contributed to a memorable homecoming for us and it’s one that neither my wife nor I will soon forget.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Stroll Back in Time

I posted my last entry about the holidays before they got any further away in time. However, I also wanted to highlight another holiday activity of ours: the recent trip my wife and I made back to the island of Nantucket, where we used to live before moving here to historic Franklin. It was in multiple ways a stroll back in time for us as we visited the island during its annual nautical-themed Christmas Stroll the first weekend in December.

We stayed the entire week with good friends of ours who succeeded in keeping our visit a secret, just as we had requested. It was so much fun seeing the surprised look on people’s faces when we showed up at church the morning after our arrival, including the pastors of the church whom we had stayed with for a month before leaving Nantucket a year and a half earlier. It was as if time had stood still during our absence and we picked up right where we had left off.

Linda and I agree that it was our favorite vacation in many ways, not the least of which were our friends’ gracious hospitality, our ability to forgo the ferry and fly all the way onto the island, visiting our favorite haunts like the Downyflake and the Brotherhood, and getting invited by a friend [who happens to be the commodore] to attend a meeting of the renowned Wharf Rat Club, whose eclectic membership includes statesmen, sailors and storytellers of all stripes.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Currier and Ives Christmas

It may be the day after Christmas but the holiday season continues, at least according to the traditional 12 days of Christmas countdown. And while we may be well into the 21st century my wife and I are experiencing a Currier and Ives Christmas here in historic Franklin. The festivities kicked off with a Victorian-themed “Dickens of a Christmas” celebration downtown, complete with costumed characters and carolers.

Next we attended a Christmas service at our new church held in an old chapel with music and ministry by award-winning musician and founding pastor Michael W. (Smitty) Smith. Afterward, we watched our favorite movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at the Franklin Theatre with a host of our fellow townspeople. On Christmas Eve, we attended our church’s candlelight service with carol singing led by Smitty.

On Christmas Day, we celebrated simply and quietly at home by opening our gifts, listening to Christmas music, relaxing around the house and eating my wife’s specialty pot roast before watching a favorite movie and calling it a day. Our only nods to today’s technology were reading on our new Kindle Paperwhite and contacting loved ones with our iPhones. Finally, we are swinging in another New Year in an old-fashioned way with the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Franklin Theatre. Here is to simple living!