Travel, Tumult and Tenderness: Learning to Listen in the Wind

This has been a rough several weeks…..starting with a wonderful trip to CA and back to celebrate my dad’s 95th birthday and meeting my fourteenth grandson, Arlo Pier Abetti at the happy event. Dad is doing remarkably well—while still grieving over the death of his beloved Betty Burr—he is still working full time and still learning on afterburners in overtime. I keep saying I want to be just like him when I grow up—but he never stops long enough for me to figure just what that might look like….

From Schenectady I took off for VA and a subsequent loop trip through Missouri, Illinois and western PA to see a slew of new clients. On the way down the trusty S60R Volvo developed some problems—one of which was a $2000 Bi-Xenon headlight—so I decided to trade it in for a brand new next generation XC90 R-Design…..beautiful SUV built like a tank with more technology than I could possibly wrap my head around. After a few days in Virginia I headed to Missouri and Illinois to meet some new venue and house clients with whom I stayed and had wonderful fellowship for a few days before heading to Leeper, western PA…where I encountered some really bad weather and got extremely sick—to the point where I was unable to sleep or even carry my own bags. Most of the roads were closed due to multiple accidents but I foolishly pressed on—exhausted, faint and barely thinking with any rational logic that the closed roads, horrific conditions and personal stress and fatigue might just be a sign to not go anywhere but rather take care of my worn out body instead of trying to reach my dad and my wife the following day. All this to admit I awoke off the road two seconds before crashing into a tree which totaled the new car and knocked the remaining energy out of my worn out body…with the upshot that my loving client drove me hundreds of miles later that awful day to my dad’s where Susanne came to pick me up and bring me home to rest.

The past week has been spent slowly recuperating and listening to a lot of loving counsel (from many of you) confronting my driven behavior and passionate love of work run amok….while I am sixty five and have made some good decisions such as observing a Sabbath day every week without turning on my computer or cell phone—this clearly does not adequately address the need to pay attention to my health, family and taking time to gracefully learn some limits—whatsoever those may be. Not attending to these obvious truths could have so easily have such a worse outcome with injury or death to others….beyond just me or a new car. I have ignored these signals for far too long—and see this windstorm as an inevitable outcome of my failure to do so. By the mercy of God….I have been given yet another chance to slow down, learn, listen and accept my limitations…. which perhaps are not so limiting after all.

Yesterday I took a wonderful day trip with our new office manager to visit and bring cookies to some of the crews and job sites not seen for some time…..on Lake Deering in NH, East Sandwich/Cape Cod MA and a wonderful new car nut client in Westborough MA. The clients fed us well on a beautiful day with wind and sun….and it felt good to drive a fast car at safe speeds and enjoy the day and not be at all in a hurry…..been a while since that was the case.

Thank you for listening and for anything you might have to say.

— George