Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I Surrender!

It seems that everyone has been doing end of year summaries and resolutions. I really try to avoid those things, but since I have friends and relatives so far dispersed around the world, I decided maybe it was not such a bad idea. So here, a day late, is the letter I composed for those I love (or have at least chatted with online):

Christmas cards, shmistmas cards. Why not New Year cards?! Well, not exactly a card either but more one of those annoying ‘this is how great my year was’ letters.

So here’s how great my year was:

January: I don’t remember anything. Must have been a boring month…

February: See January!

March: Closed on my house and moved in! I’m truly enjoying living in a house instead of the apartment. I have a real yard and can get my hands in the dirt with a garden. Now I just need to build an arbor over my back patio and put a hot tub out there!

April: Had the first big party at the new house – the housewarming - and it was really a blast.

May: Death month in the secondary schools it seemed – it was a rough and sad month.

June: Ordered a new car. Began attending and joined University Baptist Church. It is the most Christian fellowship I’ve ever attended and I’m very happy there.

July: New car arrived. Remembered that I had started a blog and started writing to it regularly again.

August: See January!

September: Went to Kansas for a few days just to get away from Austin. I also lucked into a last minute three-day pass to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It was the best one yet, so I’m excited again about going this next September.

October: Turned 40 and hosted another big party (if you host it, people have to be nice on your 40th)! Attended the 10th Annual GLBT Baptist Retreat and found many others who believe the love of God is for all people, not just the extremist religious right’s interpretation of who they want Him to love.

November: Hosted Thanksgiving at the new house! I’ll do that again – loved cooking everything. Went to San Diego for a conference, added a vacation day, and met some of the nicest guys ever while there. I definitely plan to go back!

December: I don’t remember much of it because of Sinus Infection Hell!

Most of the year has revolved around the new house. It has been a source of constant work and joy throughout the year. I am so excited to have a yard and garden where I can raise vegetables. I think I’m going to cut down on the number of tomato plants I raise this year: fifteen is too many. I did enjoy all the various peppers I raised and would like to find a way next year to preserve them into the winter beyond the first freeze.

The other major focus this year was getting involved in a church again. My friends Greg and Michael went to University Baptist Church for Easter Sunday, started attending every Sunday, and joined. They started inviting me to go with them, so I finally went in June. The first time I attended, I knew I belonged there. I attended three more times before I joined, but it has been one of the wisest moves I’ve made.

My spiritual center has returned and the joy of fellowship has been rediscovered. The church inspires me with its focus on missions and ministry rather than doctrine and dogma. Sadly, the doctrine and dogma focus has cursed so many churches in the last years as some of the more conservative denominations and congregations have focused more on politics than faith.

Socially, I have a wonderful group of friends who keep me from being a hermit. Having a house has made me more a hermit than ever: I so enjoy being here and am so comfortable, I never want to leave. Despite the nice social group, they have done nothing to change my status of being perpetually single. I was dating for a couple months this summer, but that was doomed from the start: he was just a little bit earthy for me (read: use deodorant!).

I have come to enjoy blogging regularly and post about a variety of topics. Sometimes it is commentary on news, sometimes observations, and sometimes music reviews. You never know what you are going to get when I update. A few of the observations have even showcased my sense of humor which occasionally surfaces.

http://rustysbalcony.blogspot.com

Log on. Read regularly. Tell your friends. Give me enough hits that I can start selling ad space!

In addition to my own blog, there are a number that I read regularly and those links can be found on my blogsite. And thanks to one of the bloggers, I learned how to set up a RSS account so I can check only the ones that have updated rather than checking each one to see if there is something new. Technology can be a joy.

I hope 2007 provides you with the same joy and fulfillment 2006 did for me. May your year be filled with blessings big and small, joy that overwhelms the soul, and love that fills your heart.

Love and hugs,

Rusty/Roy
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