Saturday, August 24, 2013

New Developments

We are all broken people, heading inevitably to our deaths, and yet there are moments of beauty, grace, and light, and for that we carry on in this journey.

It is time to be real, be present, and be good to each other. There is just no point in wasting your time doing things that are not authentic and full of love and true to the purpose God put you on this earth for.

Stop trying to please the people who don’t have your best interests at heart. Stop trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal that has nothing to do with who you are. Stop trying to find your happiness in money and possessions and fake happiness. Find people who believe in the beauty that is in you, hang onto them, and don’t stop holding each other until you emerge with more courage to do the things the world is longing for you to do. And then hold onto each other some more, until you have spread every last bit of love God has put in you to spread and your work on this earth is done.

And with that, I end this part of my journey but continue on with the ongoing journey of my life, loving the people around me, living in the beauty that God is making of me, and serving the world with the gifts that have been entrusted to me with whatever time is left for me on this earth.

~Heather Plett

The above comments by Plett resonated in my heart, in my mind and deep within my soul. Thus I am announcing that I am taking Maturity Leave! Read that again… it’s maturity leave. I posted this on Facebook and received a lot of comments about it, some having misread it! 

After almost nineteen years with the Department of Corrections, I am retiring. When I was hired, there was a “special clause” that has recently been legislatively removed that allowed a person to retire when their age and years of service totaled 80. I have surpassed that number!

After our downsizing we were able to basically eliminate our debt and with that, the necessity to HAVE to work for me. I am officially retiring with August 30th as my last day of actual work. I have taken on a part time position at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church as their Membership Secretary. It consists of 20-hours a week broken into 5-hours a day/4-days a week. 

All of this, every single bit of this has come from the S.I.M.P.L.I.C.I.T.Y. theme the Lord placed upon my heart just before the end of the year. Intentionally living a simpler, more frugal life is not nor has been an easy decision. Everything in our society conspires against it from the advertisements on television to those in magazines and newspapers. Not to mention visiting family and friends and seeing their newest, most recent purchase and feeling the longing swell up in my being for “more, more, more!”

Life in our apartment complex is… well complex! It is an international village and at times I am overwhelmed with the cacophony of noise that exists here. Husband has and is doing a wonderful job of meeting and greeting the neighbors while I’ve been working. 

We were invited to the ‘neighbor across the way’ son’s birthday party at the pool a few weeks back. Husband made homemade ice cream for the event and that was a great success. Later we found a ‘Thank You’ note tucked into our door from the neighbor and her son thanking us for coming and for the ice cream. How sweet that was, and the example this mom is setting for her son with the handwritten acknowledgment of gratitude! Handwritten notes and letters are fast becoming a lost art, I fear.

Next door to us is a dad with two little girls (second and fourth graders). They were visiting for the summer. Their mom learned she was to be deployed while they were visiting. Dad kept the girls and enrolled them in school. Since it is an apartment with thin walls, we can sometimes overhear the dad’s parenting frustrations. I once mentioned to him that if he ever had the need for someone to watch the girls, we were right next door. We had that opportunity this past week. The girls are precious and it was our privilege to be able to have them in our space for that bit of time. The African proverb is true - it does indeed ‘take a village’ and we are fast becoming a part of the village!

We had Grandson last weekend. He announced he wanted to move in and live with us. I asked if the swimming pool and the playground had anything to do with that. He grinned and admitted that was the reason! 

We visited the Reid Park Zoo with him early on Saturday morning. Since it was 8 am, not all the animals were out and about. But the monkeys were so vocal! I’m not sure, but I think they were Gibbons. Grandson laughed and laughed at their antics. He was enthralled with the anteaters and the aviaries. I was especially fond of the elephants and the giant tortoise exhibits. 

Husband and I discussed the tiger exhibit as he (the tiger) seemed distressed as evidenced by his pacing back and forth and back and forth. It appeared to me he needed to be returned to his natural habitat and not be caged in a faux environment. Mind you, the zoo is well kept and maintained but there was something unsettling about this tiger. Perhaps it reminded me too much of work and inmates who are not gainfully involved in programming or education or a work program.

The two pictures shown - we took the picture of Zachary (one week before he turned 6) and the younger picture of him his mom took when he visited at the age of approximately 2 1/2! My how he has grown!

It appears that my “Wordless Wednesday” and “Silent Sunday” contributions have fallen by the wayside since the move. I’m hoping that will all change with the modifications that are happening in the area of my vocation!

Silence may indeed be golden, but breaking a fast from blog writing is challenging. I hope to share more with you as our adventures in Tucson continue.

I have also been experiencing difficulties with Google Chrome and not being able to edit, log in, comment on your blogs and all the pop up ads! This has been extremely frustrating! It doesn't appear I am alone in these difficulties!

Simply yours,


PS   Song of Solomon 7:11
       New International Version

Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages.


  1. I couldn't be happier for you, Tamara.
    May your retirement be filled with love and joy.
    The photos of your Grand filled my heart with both!
    I loved reading this blog post; it lifted my spirits and I smile knowing that my sweet friend is about to begin another chapter in her life: retirement. Knowing you, it is the beginning of a wonderful time for you and yours.
    Love you much,

    1. I'm excited, too, Jackie! Thanks for your well wishes and all the prayers you have uttered on my and my families behalf! Love You! Mean It!

  2. Tamara, what a wonderful post! Many new chapters for you dear friend - first the challenge of the big move, now retirement and the ongoing journey of settling into 'village' life (but that seems to advancing wonderfully and positively!)
    Ah well if you're only working 4 days a week then you could easily POST POST POST on the 5th yes? :)
    Looking forward to your ongoing adventures in Tuscon.
    Hugs and love
    (Husband makes home-made ice-cream???) swoon......

    1. Yes, Husband makes home-made ice cream! But one of his special recipes! He also makes a great spaghetti sauce and meatloaf!

      Stay tuned for the continuing sage of Adventures in Tucson!


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