Sabbatical visit

February 10, 2012

Cambridge, Maryland

Ellen is leaving in the morning. You can’t believe what that woman has put me through in the past week! It started before she even got here… she demanded a dozen roses, balloons, candy, and presents upon her arrival. Then the very first day after our friends left she insisted that I take her to the ocean (in February of all times) so that she could get her “ocean fix.” We walked the board walk in Ocean City with a bunch of old people…. You know, people with gray hair and stuff. And there were no fun “guy” places that were opened. Actually there were NO places opened! Then on the way back to Cambridge She made me go with her into a craft store and look at all sorts of… well, I don’t even know what. It wasn’t but a couple of days before we went on a short trip to Easton Maryland to walk around downtown and look at little touristy shops… again, all closed. You won’t believe it but I have cooked all week for her! And then finally I had to suffer spending several hours today in antiques shops. I should be nominated for husband of the year!!!!!

Truth be told… we did do all of those things mentioned above, but not exactly in the way I described. I don’t know if our absence from one another made our hearts fonder since our hearts were pretty fond already, but I know that I am thankful to God for bringing Ellen Thompson into my life. And I know that tomorrow morning will bring a few tears from both of us as she is concluding her weeklong stay.


Saturday February 11th 2012

Cambridge Maryland

It’s a gloomy day today… overcast, slushy/rainy and Ellen pulled out a couple of hours ago. Her departure was not without its share of tears from both of us. I’m sitting in front of a large window overlooking the back yard and the water. I just saw a bald eagle fly by… I wish she had been here to see it! That raised my spirits a bit. They are so majestic and amazing. I remember as a child being told that they may very likely become extinct. You couldn’t tell it by this area where they are semi-regular visitors.

This note won’t likely go out until Saturday or Sunday so Ellen will already be home and I will be back into my routine here alone. All is going well. I am surprised by the time I have spent in this secluded place. First surprised by the fact that I am still here! And surprised by the fact that I am actually enjoying it! My dear friend Jeff Biddle said to me before I left “I give you two weeks. You can’t be away from your wife that long.” He was certainly right about the pain of voluntarily being away from my beloved for this time, but I am equally surprised with him that I am still plugging away at it. I have read a lot; worked on some hobby things; done some walking; a little exploring; in the process of working through the bible in 3 months; praying and wondering about things. That last part is intentionally vague. Nothing scary, just a mass of things running through my mind that would take too long to record.

I  am profoundly aware of the fact that this time away is a great privilege and will never be a part of my life again. I have said this a few times previously, but I am so grateful for the good people of Mt Vernon Church who have afforded me this opportunity! It is my prayer that I might honor their trust.

Remember always, you are the beloved of God.


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