Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Closing out 2008

Sunset behind the Georgia Mountains

This is my last post for 2008.

It’s going to be good to have this year over and done with. I hope 2009 will be better for us all. It doesn’t have to be an overly prosperous year, but for my chance of retiring sometime in this century, I hope we don’t lose any more ground on the economic front. I’d like to see world peace, but will be satisfied to see a little less war. I’d like to take more time off, but with a large construction project looming on the horizon, I hope to make the best of the times I do get away. And that’s what I’m doing now, lounging around in the Georgia Mountains, taking time to hike and sleep and read and journal… I’m staying at Amicalola Falls State Park. I was here once before—this is where you start your hike to Springer Mountain, to being the Appalachian Trail. I’ll have write about that some time, but not today.

The sky has been clear and this is a joy. In the first three weeks of December, we’d received less than 8 hours of sunlight in West Michigan. I can use sunlight. As any reader of this blog knows, I like watching the sky. . Last night I sat savoring the sunset, enjoying the red band that lingered along a distant ridge long after the sun had disappeared. Above the ridge appeared a pencil thin crescent moon. Above that was Venus. At six this morning, I looked out the window and back into the west. The winter constellations were already setting, reminding me that every season comes to an end. Orion was no longer visible and his faithful dog, Canis Major, was slowly dropping behind the ridge. A bit higher were the Gemini twins. I pulled back the curtains and laid in bed watching the stars fade and light return to the ridges to the west.

Back in 2007, when I turned 50 (I still can’t believe I’m that old), I wrote my life goals. Here, at the end of another year, it’s a good time to review them.

To leave the path a little better than I found it.

To never be so busy that I not appreciate a sunset or sunrise, or stand in awe and watch a thunderstorm, or to be amazed at a snowfall, or to value the serenity of a fire.

To savor good food, drink and entertainment, but all in moderation knowing that both hoarding and indulging cheapens the experience.

To treat everyone as valuable and as a special gift from God

To be thankful for what I have, for those who have helped me along the way, and for the Creator.

Enjoy New Year’s Eve (but don’t enjoy it too much)! May we all find happiness and contentment in 2009.
Sage, watching the sunset from the porch at Amicalola Falls Lodge.


  1. The Sunset photo is wonderful. The other one too! You look kind of relaxed.

    And you don't look 50! May you achieve your goals.

    I too hope and wish everything turns out for the better in 2009. 2008 was not really a great year for me.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2009!

  2. Loved your 2007 goals. Appreciation of the little things, which mean so much in the big scheme of things.

  3. What a great porch to sit and watch the world from! Great life goals . . . we can all benefit from adopting those.

    happy 2009 sage!

  4. Funny, those are a few of my life goals as well. I think when you take time to appreciate a sunset it adds years to your life...or in your case, it knocks a few years off...you DO NOT look 50!!

  5. Funny, those aren't on my list of goals for 2009. I think I already do them...well, except maybe for the last part of that last one. ;-)

    Nice picture too. You and that light blue.

  6. These goals I wrote in 2007, were more for things that I'd like to see grow from my life as opposed to things I want to accomplish.

    Gautami, have a wonderful 2009, too

    Esk, thanks for stopping by

    Diane, this lodge is wonderful--I'll write more about it later

    Scarlet, You know, I have a hard time deciding if I like sunrises or sunsets best

    Murf, yeah, I got a thing for blue shirts. Now, if we can just get you to honor your creator...

  7. Hi Sage, how are you?
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and loved ones.
    God Bless.

  8. Happy New Year to you Sage, and thank you for sharing such wonderful stories and photos. I think you have great life goals.


  10. You're 50? Awwww, that's OLD dude. Thank God that I'm only 18! :)

  11. Anyway, to make you feel better, one doesn't get older, but one gets better. Except for me of course, I'm already the very best and still very young.
    Hard to stay humble you know.

    Happy New Year.

  12. Venus, I'm fine--may you also have a Happy New Year.

    Thanks Dan, may 2009 be good to you and your family

    Cyclops, thanks--it's hard to believe that I'm moving in on 52!

    Mother Hen, my dear child, only 18? That explains how you know everything and why you can be such a smart-ass, you're still a teenager!

  13. Wonderful goals, Sage. I was just noticing last night, how clear and vivid and close the evening sky looked.

    Happy New Year.

  14. What a great addition to 2008 is reading what you have to say! I look forward to hearing even more from you in 2009!Thanks so much for the clarity, honesty and faith that you share with all of us! Peace to you!

  15. Your photos are glorious! Best wishes to you in 2009.

    You were kind enough to drop by my little spot and I'm sorry for the late response. I have to know which little part of NC you came from -- we could be related. :)

  16. Hope you have a wonderful 2009, Sage. Enjoy the rest of your time in the South... Michigan and the snow will still be there for you when you get back :)

  17. Those are some damn fine goals. Happy 2009, Sage!

  18. Oi, old man, which one is better? Pain in the butt or smart ass?

  19. Bone, it was nice and clear most of the time we were in the SE (except for the trip home)

    Susie, thanks for your kind words. Have a wonderful 2009.

    Shallotte Gal, I grew up in the next county over--outside of Wilmington (we moved there when I was 9) and we always made fun of folks from Brunswick Co! At least I know how to say, Shallotte, in a way that won't get me kicked out of town or into a bar fight. :)

    TC, I'm back and there is only about an inch of snow, not nearly enough to x-country ski. But that too will change.

    Diesel, thanks and have a great 2009

    MH, they both hurt in the same place :)

  20. @ Sage

    Great list of things to aspire to at 50, or any other decade trailhead. This month, I'll be just three years from half a century of living.

    I found your blog looking for a review of Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. Liked the review (of am Audio Book I'm just finishing up), and pleased to find another blog that I think I'll enjoy following in 2009.