Thursday, October 30, 2008

Retirement is a Reality!

It almost seems surreal--I went to St. Joseph Hospital for my last day of work as a nurse! I don't know what I expected to feel but I have had mixed feelings. I've really gotten to know the nurses I work with and have developed friendships with them. It's going to seem kind of sad not to be seeing them on a regular basis. However, after having worked a total of 44 years in nursing, I am so excited to finally not have a work schedule! It means I won't have to worry about working holidays, or how I'm going to get to work in the snow; it will give me the flexibility to spend time with family and friends and go on little trips without worrying about if I have enough vacation days.

I can't believe that I didn't remember to take my camara to work today! I was going to take some pictures of co-workers; also they had a really nice lunch for me and a gift. Once again, I missed a blogger's photo op. I promised to keep in touch, and who knows, I may really miss it and go back to work on a very limited prn (as needed) basis.

After work today, my wonderful hubby took me out to eat at one of our very favorite restaurants--'The 9-Mile Restaurant". I had fish(Cod) and he had barbeque ribs. They have a really good spinach salad and we also had baked potato. It was yummy.

So, as you can see, I've already started to celebrate. I think this is only the beginning, as we are having a Gisel Cousin retirement lunch tomorrow in Ft. Wayne. There will be 7 of us, including two teachers who also retired this fall.

So many people have asked me what I'm going to do. For starters, I'm getting involved in a teen mentor program through our church; I have organizational and re-decorating projects here at home; and I want to do some scrapbooking and maybe even some creative writing. (However, since I've started blogging, I've decided I'm not a very creative writer. Some of the blogs are written really well and some are so entertaining. ) I guess I'll have to work on developing that skill. I do write some poetry and I'll probably continue to do that.

For now, I'm just excited about the prospect of having flexibility with my schedule and not having to get up at 5:00 am to go to my 7-3:30 job. Some have said that I will get bored, but I can't imagine that happening. One of these days, I'll probably wonder how I ever had time to go to work!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Faith Foundations

I feel so blessed and truly fortunate to be able to worship in the church of my choice and to meet openly with other believers. Sunday in our S.S. class we had a regional missions director who was telling us of the opposition that many of our missionaries face. Then last night in church we had a missionary to Israel (He is of Asian descent--Ed Kim). You wouldn't think it would be difficult to talk about the gospel in that country, but in fact Jews who accept Christ are persecuted and missionaries there also face much difficulty.

In our Wednesday night services our pastor is doing a series on Faith Foundations from Hebrews 11. This past Wed. night it was about Noah. I don't think I had ever really considered how much faith it took for Noah to build the Ark.
  • He trusted God for what was Unprecedented--there had never been rain, much less a flood, and certainly not an Ark--especially considering its dimensions.
  • He took a stand when it was Unpleasant--he overcame discouragement & criticism; also the project took a very long time and he had to finance it.
  • He gave a witness when it was Unpopular--In Genesis it says he was a preacher, and was no doubt preaching and witnessing while he was building.

God will put us into situations where there is no precedent or parallel established. I know I have faced some challenges with my adult son, and I really didn't have any previous experience to draw upon to deal with some of the issues. But God is faithful and all He wants is for us to be faithful and to trust Him with all of the situations that come up in our lives.

I guess you've now had my Monday Morning Message. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At the Drive-In

Sometimes when you are mid-life (or a little older) you have to get a little crazy and do something you might have done in your teens. This was the case when our S. S. Class planned an outing recently. We decided to go to the local Drive-In (A & W) for coney dogs and burgers. So we all drove up in our cool cars ( actually one couple did drive a re-built 1950's car).

We sort of took over the little picnic area; we laughed and had fun, and anyone else who saw us probably thought we were a bunch of silly old people! (We actually do have a few younger couples in our group) It was a really perfect evening for October in Indiana. (This picture is a little dark, but I wanted you to see the cute table)

I am usually the official photographer, but one of the guys insisted on getting a pic of my sweetie and I.

After enjoying our Drive-In experience, we went back to the church for a dessert pot-luck. We had so many sweets--home-made donuts, cheese cake, brownies, lemon cake, etc. We enjoyed a great time of fun, food, fellowship and friends. ( As you can see, we did have a really young one with us--the granddaughter of the lady in blue beside her.) As they say, A good time was had by all!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day At the Auction!

Getting the ambiance!
Where's the flannel shirts?

I thought I was all ready for our big adventure. I hadn't been to an auction for a long time so I was really kind of excited. My husband's only advice was "don't raise your hand or nod your head!" After we arrived, we realized we were unaware of the dress code. It was a mostly male group of bargain seekers and we sort of looked out of place, as we didn't have a farm cap and a flannel shirt. (Since it turned out to be in the mid-80's I was glad I didn't have flannel!)

The sale started at 9:00am and we thought we'd be done by noon. However, they started the sale with a lot of small equipment (and stuff that looked like junk to me). They did have some intersting looking items, and we were thinking maybe we should have gotten a bid number.

The Case 411--Dad's Work Horse

My good-looking siblings with the Case.

At about 11:00 we were told it would be another hour until they started selling the tractors, so we headed to the Home Restaurant for a quick lunch, then hurried back so as not to miss any of the excitement.

There were really a lot of people at this sale. It was billed as an antique tractor sale, and there were probably around 100 tractors for sale. I was amazed. I tried to get a picture of the row of tractors, but it didn't turn out. There were 2 rows with approximately 50 tractors in each row. Our beloved Case was about in the middle.

We were getting a little nervous, as some of the tractors that we thought would sell for a fairly good price went for a song. When they finally got to our tractor, the auctioneer, Bob Frey, said "this is a Case 411, built in 1955; it has new rubber, and the engine was re-built several years ago at 4-County" then he paused and said, "Oh, this tractor belonged to Walter Gisel?! He was one of our good local boys, let's get the bidding going" There were 2 parties that were definiltely interested in the tractor, which was good for us, because they kept bidding each other up higher. We were very pleased with the final outcome, $2300. (Yoder & Frey had told Lowell, before the sale, that it was probably worth $2500-$3000).

We decided Dad would be very pleased; he probably knew that we kids wouldn't take care of the precious Case as it deserved to be cared for; so it's good we could sell it to some one who will love it and take care of it. We know that he often went to Yoder and Frey auctions, so we felt we made a good decision for us and for him.