During recent weeks I have:
1. Enjoyed a lecture about “The Wisconsin” a private and luxurious rail car owned by circus magnate (and Sarasota resident) John Ringling and his wife Mable. (Yes, that’s how her name was spelt). “The Wisconsin” has been renovated and has pride of place at our local Ringling Circus Museum.
2. Heard a lecture about Abraham Lincoln. It was delivered by Justus Doenke, a retired Professor of American history at Sarasota’s New College. Justus is a fabulous teacher. His lecture was a tour de force. Justus and his wife Carol are members of All Angels Church on Longboat Key (Sarasota, FL) where I have gotten to know them.
3. Attended the (almost) world premiere of a new musical “Bonnie and Clyde”. It was staged at the Asolo Repertory Theatre here in Sarasota. My bet is that it will be taken to Broadway and beyond.
4. Read and enjoyed a fabulous biography of Catherine the Great of Russia, (by Virginia Roundling).
5. Had a lovely supper at the home of my friends Bill and Patrick after which, (with six other guests). I and they watched the comical/farcical movie “Waking Ned Devine”. (In Great Britain and Ireland this movie was entitled simply “Ned Devine”).
6. Attended the Sarasota Opera’s production of Cinderella (by Rossini)
All this is to say that “retirement years” can be the greatest.
When I was in parish ministry I never allowed myself the joys of “culture”. I thought that life was all about the Church and about being a faithful Pastor.
Be that as it may, I now know that in retirement that I have been blessed, as I have moved out of an exclusively religious box into a world of many boxes.
For this, and for so much more, I am grateful.
This deep sense of gratitude will lead me to a super appreciation of the United States festival of “Thanksgiving” two days from now.