Friday, January 8, 2016

Starting the Year at the Beach, Woot!

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer ["stone of help"], saying, 'Thus far the LORD has helped us'" (1 Samuel 7:12). The beginning of the calendar year is always a nice time to "raise mine Ebenezer" in the sense of affirming God's care thus far and seeking it afresh for the upcoming seasons.

We're back home from a nice few days in Miami Beach, where my wife Beth attended (and was plenary speaker at) a conference for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Unfortunately I awakened on the second morning with a bad cold, which has continued all week.

We've visited Florida numerous times but somehow never Miami. The CIC met last year at San Diego, specifically Coronado. I enjoyed the nice shops of Coronado more than South Beach's, but that's okay. I don't really need more "stuff." We took an enjoyable "culinary tour" of nearby Little Havana and got to learn a little more about Miami's Cuban heritage. It was a thrill to visit the Love Hate Social Club, better known as Miami Ink and the subject of a popular TLC show that we loved (and still enjoy in reruns). Someday I may get inked! If you're staying at South Beach, I recommend a visit to the moving and informative---and of course upsetting--visit to the Holocaust Memorial:

I'm an anxious flyer, about delays and canceled flights rather than flying per se. I think we introverts need an "escape plan" from unpleasant circumstances---for instance, when you're at a party where you'd rather be home with a book, so you try to figure out ways to exit gracefully. But of course when you're in airports, you're at the mercy of the airline people and can't go anywhere until your flight is ready to go.

My birthday happened when we were on the trip, so I got to begin my sixtieth year on earth walking with Beth around Miami Beach. Whatever the new year holds, the beginning of it was lovely.

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