Where has the time gone!

My apologies for not writing in my Blog since March….For many of us the world has been upside down. But in our house we remain focused on what is important during this crisis the world has been go through.

In early March we went to Georgia for 6 days, and while we were gone so many things changed. Upon our return to Canada we had to self quarantine for 14 days. That sure was interesting, no opportunities to leave our home. Many of you were faced with the same thing.

It was during day 2 of our quarantine that an idea dropped into my mind and I know that the idea was from God. I went on Facebook live on March 18th to encourage all my friends. Giving a daily message of hope and inspiration.

Today was Day 111 of the “Live at 9” Facebook posts…. People are telling me that they are being encouraged and that is why I continue them to today. I am trying to remind people that the Lord is with us and that He will never fail us. The calls are between 10 and 15 minutes in length. For someone who doesn’t like being in front of the camera it has been interesting.

That is also the reason why I have not been writing the Blog, much of my spare time is used to get ready for the calls.

I have also started to mentor some individuals using technology to communicate and that has been an absolute blessing to me.

I know that this time has very difficult for many people, but I know that we are going to get to the other side. I don’t want to be the same, and I don’t others to be the same. During a crisis we can grow and I have seen so much growth in my life, and I thank God for that. I have realized more than ever that I want to be used by God to impact people. He is currently using the Facebook live calls and I am so grateful for that.

I know that God has big plans for all of us, we just have to be open and receptive to His leading. It’s July 8th, let’s use the last half of the year to really make a positive difference in the lives of people.

The 2 hips are now just over 15 months old and are doing great. I still will say without hesitation if you need your hips replaced, do both at the same time if the doctor makes that offer. With the “hips” being 15 months old I am reminded that I have now been retired for 20 months. I still am enjoying retirement, and I know I would not be able to do all the things I am doing if I was still working.

Yesterday I was on my hands and knees staining our deck for about 3 hours and did not have any issues at all. Another blessing from the Lord. Without the new hips there is no way I could have done the work.

I have also been spending more time with my parents as one never knows how much time they will have left. Roxanne and I recently took them to Jasper with us and everyone had a great time. Cherish every moment that you have with family. As for travel I think there will be lots of “Travel Alberta” vacations this year.

We are going to get through the Corona Virus, we are going to get through everything that is going on at present and when we do we can be reminded that God is faithful.

Psalms 126:5-6 (Passion Translation) tells us this, and we can always be confident that He will be with us.

Those who sow their tears as seeds
will reap a harvest with joyful shouts of glee.
They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow,
but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness
as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!

I appreciate your time in reading today, and I do commit to writing on a more frequent basis.

Have an amazing day everyone and remember God Loves You So Very Much.

This is the day!!!!!!!!

This indeed is the day that the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it…. I shared the “BHAP” (Big Hairy Audacious Prayers) thought with a few people and they thought that it was great. So in our house going forward we will be praying Big Hairy Audacious Prayers). We serve a big God who is still in the prayer answering business.

With that in mind if you have any prayer requests, PLEASE send me a message. Roxanne and I will commit to praying for you daily.

Since I wrote the last paragraph our door bell rang, and it was a strong reminder that HE does answer BIG PRAYERS. Last spring one of our neighbors told us that they were wanting to have a baby but had not been yet successful in getting pregnant. We let her know we would be praying, which we did consistently. She eventually let us know when she was pregnant and this morning they brought over the little baby to meet us.

What a great reminder from the Lord of HIS goodness, and answered prayers. A powerful confirmation to me as I had started writing about prayer this morning, and then answer to prayer showed up at our door.

Once again if you need prayer send me your requests and we will pray for you.

Last week I had my 12 month follow for the bi-lateral hip replacement surgery. It was actually held at 11 months and I passed with flying colors. During one of the tests I walked at 1.79 meters per second which is one of the fastest paces they had seen. I don’t have to go back for follow for another 3 years so that is indeed a blessing. I also met 3 men contemplating hip surgery. I told them what I went through and I told them I could now walk any distance with no pain whatsoever…I told them I am now able to enjoy doing physical activities again. I am trying my best to walk at least 20 miles per week and I really enjoy being active.

Just a short post today and with the ringing of the door bell, I am reminded that this indeed is the day that the Lord has made. Trusting that all of you have an amazing day.

BHAP!!!!!!!!

Do you remember from the business world BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and how it is is vital to a company and the employees????

Two weeks ago at a night of prayer at our church there were 6 of us in attendance. Myself, Roxanne and 4 others. I don’t know why but I started talking about BHAG and all of sudden the thought came to me. BHAP!!! For a believer we need to believe in BHAP. We need to have that mindset when we pray. IT MUST BE BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS PRAYERS. We need to pray and then we need to believe God for the answer.

We need to believe that no prayer is too big for God. I have the 6 of us using the phrase BHAP now. I am wondering if this is something that can catch on? How many of you reading would say BHAP?

I have no idea where the original thought came from. Maybe it was myself and maybe God planted the thought in my head. Roxanne and I are choosing to pray that way going forward.

Not only Big Prayers, we also want to have Big Impact on People. With God’s help we want to make a difference in the lives of people.

What a way to start today’s Blog Post!!

I just finished driving my home from California, more about that in future writings. At this point I will say it was fun and memorable.

I flew to Palm Springs on the 29th, and we left on the 1st of February. Before we left Palm Springs one early morning I went for a walk and saw a robin. The robin was sitting in a tree enjoying the sunshine. Then I thought I wonder where that robin goes when winter is over? Does it fly to Alberta? Where does it go for the summer? I know it probably does not stay in Palm Springs but flies somewhere. Seeing the robin reminded me that it has a BHAG. It’s goal is so big, that little bird migrates. A small bird flies miles and miles and miles. It sets big goals and knows that it will achieve that goal. That confirmed to me that we need to have the BIG PRAYERS.

Watching that robin was a powerful lesson and I know that lesson came to me that morning from God. The bigger question is what am I going to do with that lesson?

Just a short post for today, but I wanted to share the story about BHAP.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I look forward to hearing from those of you who will start using the phrase BHAP in your life.

Thanks for reading today blessings to you.

Eating Healthy On A Cold Winter Day

Daniel Fast Meal

A very quick post for today. Trust that everyone is having an amazing day. Roxanne and I have started the year doing a “Daniel Fast” that we started on the 6th of January. Since that time in addition to the prayer time we have been able to improve our diet considerably. I don’t even miss not drinking “Coke”!!!!!!

Last night’s dinner which I made was easy to make and very healthy. I wanted to share it with all of you. The taste far exceeded my expectations.

Ingredients.

Garlic….Onions……Mushrooms…..Zucchini….Red Peppers….Tomatoes…..

It was very easy to make and took very little time. The meal made for a perfect dinner.

That is another benefit of retirement, I have really enjoyed spending more time learning how to work in the kitchen.

Everyone have a great day, I have to get on the treadmill as I have committed to doing 20 miles per week of walking to enhance my recovery.

Have a wonderful and blessed day everyone.

10 Months!!!!!!

It is so hard to believe that today is exactly 10 months since the bi-lateral hip replacement. Time has gone so very fast. Yet in some respects it feels just like yesterday. Bottom line I have to thank The Lord so much for being with me during the recovery. With out a doubt that I would not have progressed this far or this fast without His help. I am walking far more now than I have in the past several years. I looked at my FitBit last night and it showed that I walked 25 miles last week. That distance included shoveling snow several times and I truly enjoyed shoveling the snow and was pain free. I really missed not shoveling snow last winter and am making up for it now as I try to do the snow of neighbors as well. Many have asked my opinion on hip replacements. I stand firm in my belief that because I needed 2 done, doing them at the same time the right thing to do for me. Everyone has to make their own decision, I made the right one for me. I look forward to the coming summer and being very active outside. I appreciate all the comments and support from all my friends during the recovery process.

In addition to being 10 months since hip surgery, today is exactly 446 days since I retired from RBC. I have learned to really love Sunday afternoons. While working, many Sunday afternoons around 4:00 I started feeling a little anxious as my mind started going over all the things that I had to do in the coming week. The joy of the weekend slowly disappeared thinking about the coming week. I know many of you have the same feeling as you have told me so or acknowledged it to me when I asked the question. Now Sunday afternoons are perfect. No concerns whatsoever about Monday morning. It is such a wonderful feeling. But it does also have a downside.

I truly do miss the freedom of not working for the Bank but I do miss one thing in particular. I really miss not leading and impacting people as their coach. Leading and impacting people for 30 years was such a wonderful blessing. I know I was a good coach, and I truly miss not coaching, impacting and leading people. I have come to the realization that I will never lead people again, and I will have to find different ways to impact people. I don’t know what those ways are yet, but I know I have to find them. For me to be truly fulfilled I need to impact people. I need to use the talents and abilities that have been given to me. Who knows maybe I will be able to impact just one person who reads this BLOG.

This past weekend Roxanne and I were blessed to be able to host the International Messengers booth at The One Conference (Previously called Breakforth). IM is the organization that we have gone to Ukraine 6 times with. We met lots of great people, heard lots of great speaking/music and had many wonderful interactions. Our neighbors to each side in the booth area were also fantastic. We were blessed to meet Eliud and Gina from Intercede International and Robb and Lois from Global Leadership Network. Both couples were absolutely dynamic and were a joy to talk to. We have met some new friends and you can never have enough friends. The weekend was so great being in an atmosphere where the name of The Lord was proclaimed everywhere.

I think I forgot to let everyone know that I am working part-time. I realized during my recovery that I could not just sit around the house so I am working as a part-time travel agent. It is lots of fun, I am learning lots and also closing some business. I will give more updates on this in the future.

I think it is time to go for today, and I know I have said it before but I commit to write on a more regular basis. I appreciate you taking the time read my BLOG. Have a wonderful and blessed week everyone.

One year and 16 days

I cannot believe that I have been retired for over a year.  Where does the time go?  It really has been an amazing year but I am realizing more and more everyday that time goes way too fast.  Another birthday will is just around the corner and I do not believe that I am doing as much as I can or should be doing.  Wow, how is that for a first paragraph after not writing in my blog for a very long time?

It is 6:00 AM Saturday morning and Roxanne and I are getting our hair cut.  Yes I did say 6:00 AM.  We have been doing this for a number of years as our stylist likes starting his day early.  So if you need a good stylist in Edmonton, call Van at 780-951-3960.  He is great at what he does, and is a great person.  You would really like him.

Another WOW for today, one of my former colleagues from RBC just walked in. Small world, I will end for today so I can talk to visit with him. Please know I am back and will be writing much more soon. I know you all want to hear about the 2 new hips which are almost 8 months old. Have a great weekend everyone.

9 months!!!!!!!

Roxanne’s extended family get together July 23

I woke up this morning realizing that today is 9 months since I retired. Where has the time gone? It seems just like yesterday that it was November 1st. This really shows me how fast time really moves and I must be diligent in impacting people everyday. That is one of the things that I miss most about not working. I knew everyday while working that I had an impact on people. I truly believe that is one of my talents and gifts. I have the ability to impact people in a positive manner. Am I always perfect? No! But I sure try my best, because we have to use the talents that we have been given.

Wow, what a way to start today’s BLOG posting. Today is also 4 months and 11 days with my 2 brand new hips. Things continue to go well, and the healing and recovery is fantastic. For the last couple of weeks I have been telling people that I am feeling better now than I have at anytime in the last 2 years. I used to love to walk and then it became a real chore and not something that I liked to do. With these 2 new hips I once again love to walk. This morning I went for a walk, and according to the FITBIT I have walked 5000 steps so far this today. I will reiterate once again, that having the hip replacement was the right thing for me at this point of my life. I now sometimes wonder if I would still be working for the Bank if I had had the operation before retiring. I really did not realize how bad I actually was. I know it had been impacting my day to day activities. I have to say how thankful I am to the Lord for His strength during the healing process.

A great day at the Calgary Zoo

Speaking of steps, 2 weeks ago Roxanne had to go to Calgary for work. I decided to go and keep her company while she drove. Six hours in the car there and back and I did not have a problem sitting. The best part of the story, I went to the Calgary Zoo to spend the day. 15000 steps and I did not get tired. Seeing the zoo was great as I had not been there in 30 years. More importantly that day taught me that my healing was going well. At that time I was down to one cane, and for the most part I am only using it for my walks or when I will be away from home for a while. I am trying to get close to 10,000 steps everyday at this point in time. I am not always hitting 10,000 but I am sure trying.

GOAT (The Greatest Of All Time)

Retirement has allowed me to do many other things that I was not able to do while working. Last week Roxanne had a couple of extended family events one during the week. It was great to be able to be out during the middle of the week and not have to worry about phone calls or emails. Roxanne has such an amazing extended family. I have enjoyed meeting everyone of them over the years. A positive trade off of retirement is being out during the week. Then last Friday I was able to take my parents and my aunt to Smoky Lake. It was a great day and we made lots of wonderful memories. Also you will see the picture of the pies. The apple pie I bought was the greatest pie that I have ever had. If you are ever in the Smoky Lake area stop in at Serben Farms. They have the absolute best food.

I keep saying that I will write the BLOG more often and I will, in saying that I appreciate all the people that are reading the BLOG. I trust that you are enjoying the story of The Retired Banker. Have an amazing day. Today I want to close by saying if you have any prayer requests let me know, and I will add them to my prayer journal and commit to pray for you daily. Take care.

Recovery Continues

Day 237 of Retirement, 95 days with the new hips

First Eskimo Game Of The Year

I have been very amiss in not writing since my surgery. Only one post since the surgery and that talked about the day of the surgery. Some have asked me why I was not writing, for that I must apologize. I found that I did not have a great interest to write while in the early stages of recovery. Now that I am feeling so much better I want to start writing again.

Thinking back to the surgery and my time in the hospital, I can confidently say that I was very blessed. The care I received in the hospital was AMAZING. My surgeon does not do the “anterior” approach so it was the standard hip replacement surgery. I also became aware while in the hospital that they would not have done the “2 for 1 Special” if the “anterior” approach was the surgery of choice.

I remember very well taking my first few steps the day after the surgery and how humbling the experience was. Very little energy and I did not go very far the first day. By the time I went home from the hospital I was doing about 100 steps. Of course using a walker the entire time.

Thankfully the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament started the day of my surgery so I was able to watch the 1st and 2nd rounds in the hospital. It was great, private room, big screen TV and food that was pretty good. (Although I did not want to eat very much). One of my friends brought me a bottle of Coke and it took me 3 days to drink the bottle. Those who know me well know that Coke is my beverage of choice.

A number of my former staff came to visit me in the hospital and we all realized that I did the right thing by retiring first and then doing the surgery. It was discussed that I would have been in the hospital and then at home working away on my “Blackberry”. I would not have slowed down at work and would not have taken the time to recover. With all those thoughts in mind I felt comfortable with the fact that I retired before surgery.

In the hospital they showed me exercises that I needed to do at home until the surgeon gave the OK to start Physio. Thinking back on it now, it was so hard to do some of those exercises in a minimal number, now they are easy and I can do them in great numbers.

A doctor doing rounds came in on Sunday morning, and told me how “brave” I was. She stated that she would never do 2 hips at the same time as she was afraid that she would fall down and that no one would be there to help her up. The Occupational Therapist and I were talking about her comments and he said “Gord if you fall down at home when you are alone phone the ambulance and they will come and help you up”. Thankfully I have not had to do that and if I did fall now I am pretty confident that I could get up on my own.

When I came home I ended up sleeping in the bonus room on the main floor for a few weeks as I was not yet ready to tackle the stairs using crutches to go to the bed room. I think it was more of an unwarranted fear, as when I started doing the stairs it was slow but easier than I expected.

Roxanne has been so amazing these past 3 months. I don’t know what I would have done with out her. She is PERFECT. The greatest care giver that anyone could ever ask for. She works all day and then is still eager to help me out when she gets home. She is an absolute blessing from the Lord

I got the OK to drive at week 7 from the surgeon. Roxanne went with me the first few times just to make sure. I did great and she was comfortable with me driving on my own. It has given me lots of independence and allows me the chance to get out of the house on a regular basis.

When we saw the surgeon at week 7 he said I was making great progress, especially for having 2 hips replaced. I started Physio at that time and they also say I am making great progress. However I have to continually remind myself that having two hips done is not the same as one and it will take longer to recover. The blessing is that I will not have to go back in for another surgery.

The picture at the beginning of today’s entry was taken on May 26th at the first Edmonton Eskimo game of the year. We were able to get tickets in the accessible section that day. I stood the entire game which was great. Since then we have sat in our regular seats for 2 games and everything has been great.

I think I will end for today, but for anyone reading this blog that is needing or contemplating hip replacement and you have the option to go for 2 at the same time that is what I would recommend. If you have any questions please let me know I would be pleased to answer them

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Day 175

Just back from the recovery room

It is hard to believe that today is day 175 of retirement or as I can now say day 35 with these 2 new amazing hips. I must apologize as I said I was going to keep people updated on my BLOG. Easier said than done as I did not want to use my phone to type. Today I have lots of energy so I will hammer the keys on the computer for a while to share some updates. I won’t cover everything today but this will be a start.

March 20, 2019….first day of Spring, start of Purim and Gord gets new hips.

I remember the morning very well. The sky was very clear and a brilliant blue as Roxanne and I drove to the hospital. I wanted to drive as I knew it would be a while before I could drive again. Even when we got the the hospital I let Roxanne off at the door with everything and I went and parked her car. I thought I could prolong the surgery just a little longer. I wanted to keep my independence as long as I could.

I won’t remember every detail of my hospital stay but over the coming days will try to write as much as I can. Surgery was scheduled for 11:10, we got there about 9:30. There were a number of other people also there to have knee or hip replacements. It was very apparent I was the youngest that day. Not only the youngest but the only one that day who was going to be having a bi-lateral hip replacement. “The 2 for 1 special.”

When it was time to come and wheel me to the operating room, I told the nurse we needed a moment. I wanted to pray with Roxanne before it was time to go, The nurse said she would even pray with us…Roxanne and I both shed a few tears, then it was time for me to go. I reminded myself NO FEAR, and the Lord is with you.

Into the operating room I go. I knew my surgeon and although he is quiet he is a great guy. I was introduced to the others and remembered their names. Just prior to them getting ready “to do what they needed to do“. I said keep working I want to pray. So I prayed verbally and thanked the Lord for their talents and abilities. I asked the Lord to bless them and their families, that it would be an easy surgery and that I would recover faster than normal. Then it was AMEN, there were 6 in the room and I heard at least 3 AMENS when I finished. It was a not a spur of the moment decision to pray, I had felt the Lord’s nudging for many days that I needed to pray before the surgery. I wanted to thank the Lord for the team in the room. Beyond their skills in the operating room, but even for their day to day lives.

After Amen, I did not remember anything else until I was in the recovery room a couple of hours later. A short while in recovery and then to my hospital room, where it would be wonderful to see Roxanne’s face. I will talk more about Roxanne in the coming posts, but I have seen over and over and over this past month how truly amazing Roxanne is. What a blessing from God. I could not have asked for a better wife and best friend. She is a miracle.

I am sure the pain medicine they gave me was good as I was smiling as you can see in the picture at the start of the Blog. We took the picture shortly after coming back to the room. We had 2 amazing couples come visit later in the day, it was great to see friends.

Physio came in later in the night and sat me up. They wanted me to try and walk a few steps. I think I could have done it, but they say that I looked a little “green” so they decided to pass on the steps but I did sit on the side of the bed for a while.

That was the end of day one. I can confirm that all arthritis pain was gone, the only pain I had was the surgical pain. So when people tell you that the arthritis pain is gone at the outset, it is…..

Well I hope you enjoyed reading day 1, and I will try to write more in the coming days. Thank you everyone.

Day 139

It is now day 139 of retirement and I am still finding new adventures every day. I miss my colleagues from work but I don’t really miss the work itself. It has not taken me long to adjust to the next phase of life.

In late February Roxanne took some time off work and we headed to the NASCAR races in Atlanta. We had an amazing time and it was so great to connect with people we had met in previous years. We are already looking forward to going back in 2020.

I have been absent from the Blog for a while and for that I do apologize. I can guarantee that the next several weeks will see me writing far more.

In the summer of 2013 I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of my right hip.. That was a real shock. I always thought it was only the elderly that had this issue, was I ever wrong. It was worn out probably from years and years of being very active. I first met my surgeon in 2014 and although I was a candidate for a replacement at that time I was not mentally ready. I learned to cope and at that time I said “it really isn’t that bad.” I would say it really wasn’t that bad and although I had pain, I could hide any limp etc. I had visits to the surgeon again in 2015, 2016, and 2017. I knew that it was getting worse, and he was surprised that my symptoms were not matching the x-rays for level of pain and discomfort. He had indicated that most people with the x-rays that I had would have already had the operation.

Jump forward to the summer of 2018 and my annual visit to the surgeon.
It had been getting harder and harder to walk and everyone noticed my limp except me. I told him I was ready. He said that I was healthy enough that he would do both at the same time. My right hip was so bad I did not realize that my left one was also joining the party.

Coming home from the Nascar races in Atlanta we changed planes in Minneapolis. For the first time ever I asked for a ride in a cart as I just could not walk anymore. That in itself was very humbling for me. The prime of my life at 57 and I could not walk through the airport. The driver of the cart told me he had just had his hip replaced and he said it was great.

This brings us to tomorrow, March 20th. I am scheduled for a bi-lateral hip replacement. Almost 6 years from the first diagnosis I am having the surgery. I have no idea what the day will bring. Many of you know that my faith and trust in God is the most important thing in my life. With that in mind I know that I should not fear, but I do have some apprehension. But I will not fear. I have come too far in life to lose faith now. I know that He will direct the hands of the surgeon and I am also trusting the Lord for a very speedy recovery. Tomorrow evening my Jewish friends celebrate Purim, I will never forget that my surgery is on the same day as that celebration.

Roxanne has been such a blessing throughout all of this. I could not have asked for a better wife. She is so amazing and so supportive. I love her so very much and I know that she will be very patient with me over the next few weeks while I recover. Roxanne is a perfect example of a Proverbs 31 woman.

So now everyone is up to date on my life. I do promise to write as much as I can while in the hospital and also recovering. Retirement has been an amazing journey the last 139 days. Tomorrow I will start the next chapter in the fantastic journey.