I amy be losing it

The clock is ticking and the time is counting down. I have been staring at my computer for more than a half hour without writing a single word. It is hard to take inspiration for the kind fo writing that I do from the news these days. The temptation is to go on a rant. There are plenty of things that are very upsetting. But a rant isn’t what I need right now. I need to focus and get to work. Today will be a day of carrying boxes from an office that I have occupied for 25 years. It will be another day of “lasts,” including my last meeting with Black Hills UCC clergy. Our little group of colleagues has undergone several transformations over the years. We started as a book club and still occasionally read books together. Today will be a video chat, mostly focused on checking in with one another. The group has been more popular with retired clergy than with those who are actively serving congregations, but a couple of us have stuck with it in part because supporting retired clergy is a part of our ministry. The congregation I serve has always had at least four retired clergy and at times we’ve had as many as 10. One of the dynamics of my ministry has been providing support and care for those who served the church faithfully. Now, it seems suddenly to me, I’m on the verge of joining their ranks.

There are a ton of items that need to be dealt with in this final week of work. One week from today my office needs to be available for someone else to occupy. One week from today the church needs to be ready to take responsibility for a whole host of jobs that have been mine. I’m sure that there will be things that I forgot and that slip through the cracks, but I wan to leave things in as good shape as possible.

That is my personal story and it is a repetition of things that I have written before. One of the challenges of working when I am a bit tired is that I get a bit repetitious. I also make mistakes. Here is a story of yesterday that has kept me baffled:

In the morning, I decided to take a piece of salmon out of the freezer to grill for dinner. We had just one piece of salmon, but it would be big enough to split, especially since we had a big sweet potato. I decided to grill some asparagus with it to make a meal. I was doing a lot of other tasks in the morning. I was making sure that the garbage and recycling were out for curbside pickup, I was making myself a cup of chai tea to take with me to the office to record my daily prayers. I was setting out a gallon of water with tea bags to make sun tea. I was getting the truck ready to remove the camper from storage. At one point I made a trip from the basement where the freezer is located with my backpack, a gallon jar and a coffee cup. I stopped by the laundry room to drop of a few things that need to be washed. I proceeded to have a busy day. My phone records steps and mileage and it says I walked 8.8 miles yesterday.

In the late afternoon, I started some charcoal, which was a bit of a challenge in the spitting rain, but I got the grill warmed up and put on the sweet potato to bake. Then I went to get the salmon from the refrigerator. Only it wasn’t there. I looked in the freezer downstairs. No salmon. I looked in every room in the house. No salmon. I checked the cupboards. I’ve been known to put things in the wrong place. I looked by the tea bags. I looked in the car that I drove to work. I looked everywhere I could think. Susan came home and dinner wasn’t ready. I got her to help me look. No salmon.

Fortunately we have a freezer. I got out a couple of big pork chops and grilled them with the sweet potato and asparagus and we had a fine dinner.

No one wants a piece of salmon sitting out in your home for days. I’ve continued to keep looking. My best theory is that somehow the salmon slipped into the garbage can when I was emptying garbage to take out to the curb. That doesn’t really make much sense to me, but it’s the best theory I have. We don’t have a cat any more to search for the salmon, and it was sealed in plastic in the freezer, so I don’t know how much aroma it will emit. The garbage truck has come and gone so its too late to check there.

I think I might be losing it. On the other hand if misplacing a piece of frozen salmon is the worst mistake I make this week I guess I shouldn’t worry too much. No one got hurt. No significant property damage has occurred. I accomplished the most essential tasks of my day. We had a really nice dinner, fresh off of the grill. And, by this time, I’m thinking that I want the salmon to remain a mystery. I’d rather not find it someplace strange later in the week.

I’m sure that this will be a season of mystery and unsettled events. It is all part of making a really big transition. At least the salmon gives me a story to tell.

Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, wrote a book that he titled, “Onward.” In it he says that he often closes letters and memos with that simple word. I have no aspirations to emulate the successful businessman, but I like his use of the word. It is a good word for my life today and in the next few days.


Copyright (c) 2020 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!