Community:  a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.

Recently, we were witnesses of community in the small town where we live.  We have made friends, over the years, with people from all walks of life who live in our town and county.  These friends have seen us at our best and our worst.  They have stood together in times of natural disasters.  They have reached out to other communities across the state and the country during times of need.

Last weekend about 40 of our closest friends from church, work, and social groups, gathered at our house to help us celebrate two things:  Retirement from full time jobs, and the beginning of a new stage of our lives.   We had a grand time together, eating and enjoying music under an overcast sky.  The rain which had threatened all day did not develop, and so we had a lovely garden party.

Retirement is an interesting term which means to withdraw or go away (in this case, from a job.)  Although we are going away from the places we have spent many hours and years working, we are not withdrawing from the relationships we have enjoyed in our workplaces.  Nor are we withdrawing from life.  Quite the opposite is true.

This new stage of life we are celebrating requires us to go away – at least temporarily.   We have purchased a boat for the purpose of adventure and togetherness in these        in-between years.  We are between the vibrantly healthy, vigorous years, and the years in which we may not be able to do as much physically.  It is a good time for an adventure.

We look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you, our community.  And we look forward to returning, to take up where we left off.    -Beth   friends