For my own memory and also to keep friends and supporters in the loop, I’m going to try to write monthly updates like this in the future.
My last few rather angry blog posts have been staring at me for the last few weeks, so I thought I should post a quick update of a happier nature.
(also, over the last few weeks, I just didn’t see the point in posting about my obvious disapointments in Obama’s tilt towards the right since being elected… I have purposely not posted about it because I figure January will be soon enough to attack his pro-war policies and I just don’t want to dwell on the sadness of it all)
I had a busy but mostly good Advent season.
The first Sunday of Advent (I think the Sunday after Thankgiving, if I remember right) was a humdinger at Joy, as Moses Mast (one of my primary mentors) gave the message. He spoke to us as a prophet and really gave us a very different take on things. (I took notes on his message and may have to repost them sometime)
About that same time I got sick and started off December pretty sick with a lingering case of bronchitis that just wouldn’t go away. Thankfully, my voice did come back in time for a court-martial hearing at Ft. Carson, Colorado that went surprisingly well, in that the judge decided that there wasn’t providence (to what my client was going to otherwise plead guilty to as part of a plea deal). There’s a lot more to the story, but the short version is that the client was chaptered out (given a discharge in lieu of court-martial) instead of having to do jail time.
The way back from Colorado was enjoyable. I went a different route (through the wide open country east of Colorado Springs into Kansas and then back South) and got to see a lot of snow. Sandydog enjoyed the weather but also tried my patience in Limon, Colorado where she ran away from our hotel room. I ended up chasing her almost 2 miles through the town before I finally was able to corner her. Still though, despite the frustration, I liked Limon. A really neat town, especially as it has some pretty long walking/bicycling trails.
Then on Dec. 7th I got to preach at Joy. It was difficult due to my bad voice, but the message was a fun one (I read a letter “written” by John the Baptist to the church of today, to kick off the message)
After that, I spent a fair bit of time at my 2nd home in Lawton (I’m not really sure where my home is these days, but that is a subject for another blog post). I did have a fair number of new resistance cases come in (look for news on them in the coming weeks), but otherwise work slowed down with the holidays. There was still tons to do, but the Army was for the most part out of commission. The Army brass loves vacation days, so it has been mostly impossible to d0 much negotiating for clients the last couple of weeks or so.
After that, I ended up spending most of a week in Oklahoma City. I stayed at the Menno House (a little garage apartment at Joy where I used to live, but is now a temporary home for guests of the church) and enjoyed being in nice and warm place as winter blasted Oklahoma. It was really nice being around local and I was reminded of how much I missed the community and spirit of OKC. I like Lawton in many ways, but I do miss the liberal/progressive/antiwar community of OKC. — which reminds me of another highlight of December, the OKC Infoshop‘s benefit concert for OCC! It was a blast, with 4 bands playing and $120 raised. I came away with a strong desire to get plugged into the Infoshop and its work, and a new appreciation for the power of anarchistic collective social action.
Then last weekend, I drove an AWOL client up to Ft. Riley, KS. We ended up staying the weekend in the Junction City/Manhattan area (waiting for the legal folks at Ft. Riley to be around) which turned out ok. I got to hang out some at one of my favorite little brewpubs, the Little Apple Brewery in Manhattan, and I got to visit my friends at the Manhattan Mennonite Church. And, I got to experience some crazy bone-chilling temperatures… down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit! (also for future reference, the Budget Host motel in Junction City is quite the find… dirt cheap, clean and includes a fridge/microwave in the rooms)
Christmas with my family was fun (we celebrated it early on the 23rd). I was anxious because I was extremely broke, but thankfully my family seemed to enjoy the random gifts I gave them (mostly bought at Big Lots) And the time with the family was quite nice, as we all got along and enjoyed each other’s company. It was especially cool seeing my youngest siblings (twin brothers aged 8 and a little sister a little over one year) interact with their nieces and nephews (aged 6, 5, and 1+). It was wonderful to see all of the children get along so well together.
I stayed the night at my parent’s house on the 23rd and then headed down to the Farm. I ended up being there for the 24th and 25th. I mostly just chilled out in the country, but did spend some time housecleaning. I had planned on driving into Anadarko or Lawton to attend a Christmas eve service (I was leaning towards a Catholic Mass), but actually overslept from an early evening nap, but when I awoke near Midnight I had a really nice time. The stars were out and with Sandydog next to me, all seemed well in the world. I know there really wasn’t a Christmas truce, but that night I pretended that there was one. It seemed like that in at least my imagination there “peace on earth and good will towards men.”
So now life is semi-back to normal. I’m in Lawton today trying to get caught up on work. I’m also treating these next few days between now and New Year’s as a chance to “try on” some New Year’s resolutions, in other words I’m thinking about and even trying out some daily practices that I hope will make my life happier in 2009. Some stuff is practical (diet and exercise), some stuff is more subjective (giving thought to good spiritual practices to adopt) and some is downright critical (working on how to make my work flow better and keep up with law firm administrative tasks better-i.e. billing, staying in touch with clients on cases that are stagnant due to circumstances beyond our control, etc.).
My hope though is that by treating these things not as iron-clad resolutions (that must be kept, come hell or highwater… and invariably will be broken), that I seek to find practices that are ones that I will want to adopt as a lifestyle and that are sustainable over the longhaul. Anyway we’ll see how it works. Right now my life is off-kilter and out of balance, so I’m hoping I can find a better way.
I also want to take a moment to wish all of my regular readers, friends and clients, Happy Holidays! I didn’t get out X-mas cards this year, but do know that you all keep me going. I am so blessed to have such good folks around me.