Monday, January 02, 2023

2022 Year in Review

 Another year is in the books. Probably the most exciting thing about this year is the birth of another grandchild. To protect their privacy, I’ll only say that this is our sixth grandchild and he or she was born sometime in 2022. J There is another on the way for 2023. Having grandchildren is a lot easier than having children! There is an interesting dynamic, though, of still having young kids at home and having grandkids come over to play with them. How to manage teaching my own kids to “baby proof” their rooms is its own challenge. Our youngest still at home is 9. But we have several grandchildren younger than 5 coming over a lot. That is a blessing! It’s great to have the young sounds of laughter and trying to understand the little ones trying to tell me something that I’m just not quite catching.

On the job front, I’m still working from home. That has been a huge blessing in and of itself. The commute is from the bedroom to the study. That saves an enormous amount of time and gasoline. This has been somewhat of a “retro” year in that regard as I have learned a new (old) skill of COBOL programming. Our team codes web applications. The front end is written in C#, ASP .NET, with Javascript. That’s what I was hired to do. However, the backend is all in COBOL. Just a few years ago, it was transitioned from the mainframe to a SQL Server system. But with all the existing COBOL in place, it was necessary to find a way to keep all that code. Netcobol was the solution. The entire backend system has been transferred over to that Netcobol approach. There is a lot of work involved in modifying that existing COBOL, either to correct bugs or to accommodate new changes that are needed. And at the same time there aren’t a lot of new college grads rushing to learn COBOL. I turned 54 this year, and I’m happy(?) to say that I’m one of the youngest programmers on my team. I think they hired a couple of guys who are younger than me. But developers for that old language are getting more and more sparse. The nice thing that this has allowed me to do is to have the skill to code the front end and the back end. All the other COBOL developers have to enlist the help of a front end guy if their change needs a tweak to that. All the other C# developers have to enlist the help of a COBOL programmer if they need a back end change. I can take a modification and complete it start to finish on my own, most of the time. There are some SQL stored procedures in place that I need the help of the database team from time to time. But for the actual code I can hold my own pretty well. So anyway, all this has led to a pretty high job satisfaction for me, which is another blessing. I really don’t enjoy the interview process. So if I can stay with the same company for a while, that’s the approach I prefer. In November, I started my fourth consecutive year with this company. I had spent a year working for them earlier in my career, and left, only to return later.

The church is going very well. I am one of the elders at Northwest Bible Church ( I preach from time to time, though our main teaching elder is Alan Conner. I almost made it through the book of Galatians in 2022. But as of the end of the year, I still have a few verses more to cover in chapter 6. Galatians is a very rich epistle. The “nutshell” emphasis in that book is that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by the works of the law. Or at least not by our own works of the law. We are saved by the works of the law fulfilled by Christ Jesus and imputed to our account by Him. We enjoy an imputed righteousness, not our own. Jarred Yancey is another brother at our church. He and I taught through Pilgrims Progress, Parts 1 and 2 (two back to back classes) this year. If you’ve never read John Bunyan’s classic, this is the year for you to jump into it. It is absolutely magnificent.

On the home front, Justin moved out this year. So we are down to five kids at home. Paton graduated high school. We participate in a homeschool coop. So he got to walk across the stage with that group. Sarah got her driver’s license, and a car. Samuel had a great year doing cross country running. Melody is involved in gymnastics and American Heritage Girls. David is involved in Trail Life USA. I’m serving as the chaplain in our troop and co-teaching the “Mountain Lion” boys, of which David is a member. Of those kids who have already moved out, Brittney and Landon are working full time for themselves now, running a vending route. Michael started as a firefighter at the City of Perry, Oklahoma. Brianna graduated with her Occupational Therapy Assistant program at OCCC. Justin got his associate degree at OCCC as well.

Life continues to go on. The Lord is blessing our family.