If I can’t walk, then there’s always a camel!

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.” When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him.

Matthew 2:1-3

Monday morning I finally managed to see an orthopedic specialist about my hip and knee pain (see “My Pain“). The neck and shoulder situation, fortunately, turned out to be a temporary gardening injury – the steroid pack knocked it out and it hasn’t returned – but the other stuff is getting worse.

– the knee

They took more X-rays, the doctor ordered an MRI, I’m going to start some physical therapy, and I was fitted for a knee brace. So far, all the knee brace is doing is adding more pain and discomfort – so we’ll see about that.

In the meantime, the long hikes I enjoy taking with Max have been reduced to shorter and more frequent outings… at the scintillating pace of around 30-minutes per mile!

The Odyssey:

– camels on the move…

In other news, the wandering group of camels who, if you remember, helped usher in Advent for us a few weeks ago – “December and the Season of Anticipation” – have been making their way slowly around the house on their way to visit Jesus.

Their first stop (understandably, because it is a long journey after all) was at the stash of cookies left over from Rebekah’s big Baking Day. One of them said something about picking up a tasty assortment to share with the baby, but the others just wolfed theirs down.

The next time I caught up with the group they were looking at some of the old family photographs on the dresser in the dining room (camels are known to be a little sentimental at times). They are all my favorites, but I especially enjoy the one of Andrew and Naomi playing in the Connecticut snow.

Then it was on across the dining room table and over to one of the more striking tableaus in our collection.

This dramatic interpretation plays in beautifully to the sentiments expressed in yesterday’s featured carol, “Bright with heavenly grace...” James Taylor’s lovely rendering of the classic “Some Children See Him”. I love how the dog enthusiastically welcomes the visitors.

So maybe, if this hip and knee business continues to hobble me, I will have to get myself a camel for the journey into the New Year.

If I do, then I pray that I will be so wise as the magi, and – always – continue to seek and to worship the Christ child. – DEREK

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