We had expected to continue our weekly trek to our church indefinitely. While we had reasons for leaving, not the least of which is the vastness of the geographical distance, we had adequate reasons to stay. Usually convinced that I am in control of my own destiny, it is ironic that the decision to leave my church was made for me, not by any moral agents with protrusion in space-time, but by the simple, barbarous math of economics and fuel consumption.
In English , we've run out of disposable income, and the Joneses have to cut costs. Gas is one resource we can no longer spend so freely. Not enough gasoline, ergo no more driving 50 miles to church.
The Joneses will be a little easier to keep up with now.
By way of explanation, let me begin with the Fifth Commandment. One of the Ten Commandments require us to honor our parents, which I take to mean more than respect but also caring for their physical needs. Wifey-Pooh's mother (thus my mother-in-law) lived with us for some years, but recently moved out-of-state. It is not as though my MIL was non grata, she is simply too young to live under her daughter's roof and needed to strike out her own path. So, we financed the move. As circumstances have dictated, the Joneses have been making up for any financial shortfalls that have occurred since then.
We've run out of savings, though, and now we are cutting back on all of our expenses. We still have to live, and we have expenses of our own. For example, my most recent experience at the dentist (which did not go as well as Jim Gumbo's visit) is going to set us back a considerable sum of currency.
As such, we are no longer driving long distances if it can be avoided. Given my previous self-queries on the wisdom of maintaining a long-distance community membership, our conclusion seemed unavoidable.
Still, we'll stay involved from here. Wifey-Pooh is the treasurer (for now) and will maintain her office so long as both the church and W.P. agree that she can execute her duties faithfully and accurately from afar. I am still writing the back-end improvements to the web site and audio archives of messages in MP3 and WMV format. We will, however, be physically absent.
Thus begins a new chapter for the Joneses...
--Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.