Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back

My Top 10 international stories of 2011  (not necessarily in any order of importance)

1. Osama bin Laden - dead.  US college students party in the streets like it’s 1999 and I am embarrassed by and for us as a nation.
2. Arab Spring
3. Purported end to US occupation of Iraq.  Irony: those in the US who supported its war against the people of Iraq (claiming it was to depose tyrant Saddam Hussein), opposed the Arab Spring, out of so-called concern about what would fill the vacuum created by the loss of dictatorial leadership in places like Egypt - apparently, that was not a concern when it came to Iraq.
4. Occupy Wall Street
5. Tsunami in Japan with the attendant nuclear power disaster, the long-term effects of which remain unknown.  Related story: failure of governments of the world to reach agreement on further climate-change strategies.
6. US proving that any boy  really can grow up to be president, as many in the very party she personifies will not support Michele Bachmann because she is a woman – irony may not be news, but it sure is interesting.
7. The US wages yet another undeclared war in the Middle East in the deposing of Gaddafi of Libya and calling it a NATO action (as if NATO is something different than the US).
8. World-wide economic tail spin
9. Death of Kim Jong Il, the effects of which for North Korea, its neighbors and the world, remain unknown
10. Oh, and apparently, the most interesting thing for the world to check out online was making a 13-year-old girl’s attempt at fame (Rebecca Black sings Friday) an international joke.

My Top 10 Personal Stories of 2011
1. My son got a job and moved away from home . . . again . . . and I must admit how much I miss him.
2. The lights were on at Obaugh’s way too often this year. . . Obaugh’s is the local funeral home in the community where I live and when someone dies, owner G. W. turns on the front porch light.  In this tiny place, we said far too many good-byes, including from our own church and the families in our church . . . Bobby McCray, Sonny Smith, Ruth Wade, Eugene Hodge, Levi Armstrong and Joey Roberts.  Levi and Joey were young, killed within weeks of each other in car accidents.
3. Chris & Heather Scott and their girls Ruth and Esther moved away, leaving me with one less ministerial playmate . . . I still feel their absence.
4. I stayed close to home most of this year but did manage to visit friends in Chicago and have friends visit me from Scotland and Pennsylvania.  Oh, and I went on my first and maybe my last cruise (I didn’t get seasick, but that was just way too much ocean for me)
5. I got a new car, well, new to me, anyway . . . and a new computer.
6. Inspired by RevGalBlogPals and my good friend Liz Crumlish I started to blog.  And technology came to our church by way of Podcasts (temporarily suspended while we get a new web site up and running) . . . we’re on FB now, and I’m a guest blogger on the Thoughtful Christian’s blog Gathering Voices (shout out to David Maxwell for thinking I’ve got something to say)
7. At age 56, I began cello lessons and am even learning to read music for the first time!
8. There was an earthquake in Virginia and Ben and I felt the shocks
9. I saw an abundance of butterflies, squirrels and deer, insects and bunny rabbits.
10. I went to my first film festival

History may be writ large, but it is lived small . . . in the everyday-ness of our existence, we find our meaning, purpose and place in the world.

This year mine has been less about the larger world and its events and more about home and family and friends.

In the small as well as the large, so many have suffered so much and my heart aches for them all.

But as for me, it has been, by and large, a very good year.  For that, I am thankful.

And I am wondering . . . what have been your Top 10's for 2011?


  1. Your posts for the last few days have been awe inspriing- gut wrenching sad and just a joy to read. I am glad you are blogging-for my sake as it allows me near you when there is a mountian or more between us.

    Just some of my Top combined highs and lows
    Lizzy (yes she was 2010 but only for 2 days)
    Maggie and Thad
    Glory Bells
    My lectionary Group
    Sarah P.
    My sisters finding more happiness in their lives
    Jacob's death
    Dustin Layton and Delmas Doyle suicides