HELLO AND SEASON'S GREETINGS:
Well, another year draws to a close. The Year 2009 seemed
to have more trials in it than all the previous years. As some of you are aware of, my Mother, Enid W. Baxter, passed away
on Palm Sunday last Spring, and is now in a much better place. Mom's Memorial Service was held a couple of weeks later,
just after Easter. A lot of the Baxter Family Tree Members were reunited. I sang The Lord's Prayer at the Memorial Service.
Shortly after that, a few of us went out to sea close to where my mother and her friends spent a lot of time during their
childhood, and there we released her ashes. As my brother Jeff officiated over the event, I had the task of releasing her
ashes. By then, I looked like Shrek. About 15 minutes later, not use to being out at sea on a small boat, I released
my breakfast as well. Anyway, my family and I are at peace and happy that my mother is in a better place, rejoicing with God,
and having a wonderful eternity.
On a happier note, I finally secured permanent employment, but
on on a part time basis. I am a Big City Crossing Guard now. The Crossing Guard Company I work for is called All City
Management Services which is contracted with the Santa Ana Police Dept. I work in the Andrew Jackson Elementary School
District in Santa Ana, CA. I have been learning Spanish rather quickly, at least enough for this job.
Other than being a Crossing Guard, most of
the year has consisted of job searching, and collecting unemployment. I found out about the Americans with
Disabilities Act for the first time earlier this year, and through that, I have been building a case against MV Transit
who set me up last year, despite my being one of their best Bus Drivers. As some of you are aware, I was forced to get a hernia
operation I didn't need before I could continue working as a Bus Driver, despite the fact that my doctor and the surgeon who
performed the operation said I was not at risk and the operation wasn't necessary for me to be a Bus Driver. The case is still
pending, and I just found out recently that one of the drivers has black-outs periodically, yet he has been allowed to carry
on as a Bus Driver. My case against MV Transit is becoming more and more air tight. Durng the Summer, I signed up with State
Rehab (for people with Work Disabilities) and was referred to Goodwill of Orange County. As most of you know, I have Tourette's
Syndrome. TS grossly affects concentration, the ability to multi-task, and people with TS burn out a lot quicker than normal
people. Since people with TS are "Different" it often perpetuates prejudice from employers and fellow workers to the point
where there is total disregard for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Goodwill helps people with disabilities and handicaps
find, secure, and retain employment. It is through the services Goodwill of Orange County that I was able to find
employment as a Big City Crossing Guard.
As far as My Professional Singing goes, I did The
National Anthem, twice for The Anaheim Arsenal, and once for the Long Beach Armada. I did get to sing "Bless this House" at
St. Peter's by the Sea on Father's Day. I have been a Professional Singer for over 20 years now.
I have been allowed to serve with this gift of music less and less at St. Pete's,
and soon this could become extinct. Also, I was rejected a few weeks ago as far serving on session. Usually when a Candidate
for Elder or Deacon makes it to the Interview Process in the Presbyterian Church, he is very rarely and almost never rejected
unless maybe he isn't a Born Again Christian. This wasn't the case with me. I considered the possibility that the
widespread knowlege of my T.S. at St. Pete's may very well a hinderance, as far as my serving the church goes.
I like being a Charter Member of St. Peter's by the Sea, and I love my Church Family very much, but I am having to ponder
the question for the new year: Is a church where I am not allowed to serve (for whatever reason) where God
wants me to be, or is it time for me to move on? I will have to do a lot of praying on this one. Before I secured employment
as a Big City Crossing Guard, I was involved in Wednesday Morning Bible Studies with my Dad and some Men from my previous
Church. I have been asked to sing The Lord's Prayer at that church early in 2010.
This year, I was a Season Ticket Holder for the Anaheim Arsenal (NBA Development League) and the
Long Beach Armada (Golden Baseball League).This was the last season for The Anaheim Arsenal and this year they are the Springfield
Armor in New EngIand. I was pretty active this year as a Long Beach Armada Fan, a Los Angeles Dodgers Fan, and Anaheim Ducks
Fan, and an Anaheim Arsenal Fan. I was also very active as an Angel's Baseball Team Basher pretty much throughout
the Baseball Season. I decided to give up bashing that team, and I only hope that The Angels Organization will come to its
senses and no long succomb to greed and delusions of grandeur. During this year, The Angels were voted the second most unpopular
team in Major League Baseball in America, and the year before they were THE MOST unpopular team in America. Right now, I am
enjoying being a San Diego Chargers Fan, as The Bolts are having another great season.
In Toastmasters, I participated in the International Speech Contest
and gave a U.S. History Speech entitled "The One Hundred Year Seed." I ended up placing second in My Division, and finishing
in the Top 16 in the entire Founder's) District.
Well that is about it for now. All in all, 2009 was not one of my "Glory
Years" but a lot of good and "Silver linings" came out of it, and now I am looking forward to 2010.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2010!