|The Princeton University Art Gallery is a great trip! Photo Jim Purcell|
It has been the an amazing week. I saw an old buddy, Steve Bailey, whom I haven't seen for 10 years because he up and moved to the Netherlands one day to marry his lovely wife. If anyone deserved luck he did, and I am so happy he has found real peace.
For any Courier people out there, or friends of the old rag, Steve was the fellow that constructed our first-ever, and best-ever, website.
Then, a missionary job I applied for came in -- four years too late. And, I received an offer from a wonderful company in the City I applied for -- three years ago or more. If I had gotten these offers 2011 it would have saved some true tragedies and heartaches. Yet, there is a reason for everything; none of us know it.
I am disabled now so there is nowhere to go with these things. All in one week, though, is simply irony. I am retired not of my will, but because I am simply too broken to work anymore. Still, we pray in our time and God answers in his. Sometimes, though, it takes God a little while to check his messages, I suppose (lol).
I launched a new website for my apartment building's Council, which I was elected to serve upon, and am starting something of a newsletter on Monday. For anyone interested, and I think there shouldn't be that many, it is at: www.valleybrooknews.blogspot.com. It's really a wonderful place to live, and it is open for veterans of our Armed Forces to rent there.
Years ago, as some of my readers know, I was very active in politics on the municipal and sometimes county levels. Every now and again I mixed it up on the state level, all pretty much at the orders of my old boss. This is not to say I didn't enjoy it, though it wasn't very good for me insofar as my health and family. There was some venom in these doings by both sides, but in the heat of the fight it happens.
Yet, I loved the fight. I regret nothing about my tenure with my late boss, Joe Azzolina Sr. He played politics like it was bloodless war, and it is -- no matter where one is from. A lot of people didn't like him -- so what? A leader cannot decide anything in this world firmly without someone making noise in the peanut gallery. Great things are not done by people who are either indecisive or timid. Sometimes, people have to step up and fight for what they think is right and serve the Lord by trying to get things done -- whether they win or they lose.
I was reading McCullogh's book about the Brooklyn Bridge, which is amazing reading, by the way. And, the book really became the story of the bridge's architect and engineer, John Roebling, from Berlin and the woods out near Pittsburgh, respectively.
Anyway, Roebling did big things in his day. Men and women made enormous landmarks in U.S. history, from art and architecture to creating organizations or enacting programs or designing cities or re-designing cities. And, during times of war, this country really pulled together, I suspect because the U.S. Government less frequently indulged in frivolous wars for no reason back then or borrowed money from foreign powers to continue their stupidity. People were bigger back then, metaphorically speaking. Today, they are bigger around the waistline, by and large, and the "Great Unwashed" American masses read and write more poorly then at any time in our national history: Yay! We're No. 1, We're No. 1!
|God does some fine work, I think. Photo Jim Purcell|
The missionary job with my old denomination was a surprise. I went to seminary five years and I held a paid position at a health-care facility for one year (well almost a year). The grant ended, that was that. I did an extra year, after my Master's, of CPSP Chaplain Accreditation, wherein all candidates had to possess a Master's to begin, at Capitol Health, in Trenton, NJ to work the job. All for a year...a lot of effort for a cameo. But the Lord sends us on journeys we do not always understand, and anyone who thinks they are smarter than the Lord is, to put it very politely, wrong.
By the by, I was helping another veteran try to register at my alma mater, one of them anyway: Brookdale Community College, in Lincroft. It was horrible and didn't get done. There is a veteran's 'coordinator' or whatever that just doesn't return calls for the better part of a week. When I went to Brookdale, in the 80s, it was just beautiful and was staffed with the most wonderful, academically nurturing people I could ever hope for; it isn't like that anymore at all. It's a cold, inevitable morass of bureaucracy and unnecessary, elongated paper shuffling, for the sake of unnecessary, elongated paper shuffling. If I were assigned to Hell in the afterlife, one possible version of punishment (perhaps around Canto II, most Americans won't get the reference (requires reading)) might be never-endingly trying to get registered for classes there as a new student, without success. This punishment would reflect the reality on earth too, on frequent occasion, I suppose.
So, the guy is going to University of Phoenix Online -- nice fail, Brookdale (L). Giving anyone access to higher education is the most basic tool anyone needs to feed themselves and their family these days. In view of that, their conduct was ridiculous.
All in all, the days are becoming more lovely and slowly the temperature is climbing. Best of all is that the cherry blossoms are exploding in grand fashion. Life is what you make it, I try to do my best day to day -- mostly a nice disposition and lots of smiling helps. We've all begin an amazing gift -- life itself -- and though hard times come and go nothing will be solved by being miserable, even in the darkest times.