Meanwhile in NC…a guide to surviving mass hysteria and general insanity

I think my adopted homestate has lost its collective mind.

A few weeks ago, there were reports of an active shooter at one of the state’s largest and busiest malls. As it happens, there was no shooter. Rumors of one caused an epic panic. All the injuries sustained, were as a result of the stampede. The eye-witness accounts varied as to the number of gun-men, if it began as a fight between two people, the kind of guns were either sub-machine guns or hand guns and beyond. And there were no bullets found or shell casings or anything. There were also false tweets sent out by employees of one mall business saying that the gun-man had taken hostages. While people were definitely right to flee the perceived threat and their fears were very, very real, it turned out to be hyper-vigilance and fear-mongering at its worst that ignited this panic.

Then the clowns appeared. Around Winston-Salem, NC there began to be reports of people dressed as clowns luring children into the woods. Then the news spread like wild-fire. And suddenly “copy-cat” claims surfaced state-wide. Nowhere else in the country did claims prevail the way they did here. And then…this was reported. Turns out all the claims, ended up being false. And fed by the frenzy of fear.

Then, late last week, a pipeline burst in Alabama. It largely affects gas in NC, SC, and GA. Guess which state has a gas shortage? And not because the pipe burst, but because the hysteria and mere thought of a possible gas shortage has led to hoarding. This continues despite news reports that more gas is being sent. Yesterday, a co-worker witnessed someone filling ten gas cans at the station. A friend on facebook also confronted someone filling cans and told him he was being selfish and what would happen if everyone did that?

Instead of doing practical things like car-pooling, limiting driving to essential trips only, those who can work from home doing so, having kids who attend public school ride the bus, planning grocery store trips etc around commutes, people have 50+ gallons of gas in their garages along with 2 or more full gas tanks. God help them if someone tosses a cigarette butt.

The attitudes I largely encounter here are reminiscent of Salem during the witch trials. The paranoia is at an all time high and people are powder kegs just waiting for the latest “crisis” to ignite them.

Why is all this happening? Why here? Because in this state, what was once the buckle of the Bible Belt, we’ve decided we’re more American than Christian. That we’re patriots first and patriots are only out for themselves. The strong survive by not protecting the weak and by exploiting them; by not loving our neighbor as ourselves, but by spurning them. We’re real good here about quoting our Bibles, we kind of suck at living the Gospel though. We park our butts in pews with the best of them but we leave God there the moment we climb in our SUVs and head to the pump. Is it any wonder that people began publishing this meme in response to our current self-induced gas “shortage?”

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We’ve turned to our self-reliance instead of God. We’re great at telling people we trust Him, but actual trust…God is here, but most of us have tried to handle everything while ignoring Him. And so we’ve abandoned not only faith but reason as well. Contrary to what many think, the two are not diametrically opposed.

So, let’s just take the recent self-created gas “crisis.” What does the Bible say about hoarding?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay can destroy, and thieves break in and steal.

But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay can destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Matthew 19:21-22

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Luke 12:16-21

 

Storing treasures on earth and not heaven? Deciding to stockpile instead of exercising prudence? Jesus really makes a clear point here on what is important. Hint: it’s not gasoline.

How does Jesus say we should deal with anxieties of our time?

He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12: 22-32

That doesn’t sound like rugged independence and patriotic individualism. It’s not unfettered capitalism either. It’s very basic. Trust God. Rely on Him. Give it all to Him. That’s not just about a gas shortage, that’s about all the worries and fears of active shooters, terrorist threats, natural disasters and everything else.

If you are living a life of constant fear and anxiety, if your actions are motivated by the “me-first” herd mentality, let me give you some sound advice. Turn off the cable news channels. Close your lap-top. Remove your social media apps on your phone. Walk away from conversations that you know you will gain nothing from. Turn the world off. Turn Him on.

Pray a Rosary and ask the Blessed Mother’s intervention in our world. Read Scripture and pray before reading that the Holy Spirit guide your hearing of His word. Take a knee–in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and just be in His presence. Pray the Divine Mercy chaplet that you may feel His mercy and kindness in your life and in the lives of those around you and that He may have mercy on the whole world. Go to Mass. I cannot say this enough, go to Mass and pray with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Encourage others who are despairing by praying with them and for them.

Stop bowing before the altar of self and start reverencing the altar of His sacrifice.

Rugged individualism and self-reliance are not virtues. Total abandonment of self and full reliance on Him are.

Remember, Jesus also said:

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Luke 12:34

If you’ve already stock-piled, is there an elderly neighbor you can share with? A large family with a gas guzzler you can support? What about your parish priests? God can and will work through past indiscretions. We are all called as Christians to care for our neighbors, if we got caught up in the panic, how can we offer that now to Jesus?

This weekend at Mass, during the Gospel, we heard the story of the dishonest steward and in the homily, our pastor talked about increasing our tithes that we may give back to the local community as parts of the Body of Christ. If we use this panic as a way to help others, it doesn’t have to be all bad. If we acknowledge our sin and repent and do our penance, God freely gives us His forgiveness and mercy.

NC, it’s not too late, we can overcome this tragic lack of faith and worship of self. But only when we turn to Christ.

The New Testament Widow, St Monica and the Truth about Persistent Prayer

I’ve seen several posts on social media from Christian friends asking for prayer for a particular situation (pregnancy, job search, selling a house etc) where they are told to remember the persistent widow of Luke 18:1-8 by good Christians as proof that God will answer their prayer in the affirmative if they just keep at it. Catholics will often point to St Monica for intercession because of her ceaseless prayers for her husband and her son, St Augustine. I’ve personally been told to create a visualization of what I am asking God for as a form of prayer. For example: to take a picture of the house I was trying to sell and super-impose the word “sold” on it.

I’ve also seen and heard world-weary stories of those who have persisted in prayer for a while only to not see results. My heart aches for them. They just want a good job, a house without mold and lead paint, or a date that leads to a second date and keep coming up empty-handed. Sometimes it feels like you’re spouting off platitudes when you tell the couple trying for a baby for over ten years who’ve exhausted every avenue, “Think about the widow and the judge in Luke’s Gospel,” or, “St Monica never gave up!” It’s even worse when someone is praying for something like complete curing of a child’s cancer and it’s at the end of their battle and someone spouts that off.

When my young cousin Andy was diagnosed with a cancerous, inoperable brain tumor, I saw and hear lots of people say, “God will surely answer our prayers!” When they said that their meaning was clear: God will answer them the way in which we want Him to answer them.

As long time readers of this blog know, God answers ALL prayers. “Yes” is not always the answer. “No” and “Not Yet” are real answers to prayers.

So what then are we to make of that woman who pestered the judge and St Monica’s prayers? Well, first it helps to see these stories in context.

Let’s take the woman and judge first. Jesus’ point in telling the Apostles this story is laid out in verse one of Luke’s 18th chapter. And it wasn’t, “God will give you everything you want if you bug Him enough.” The purpose of the parable was to encourage them not to weary in prayer. That’s actually a pretty big difference. Jesus is teaching them that God is not a genie who grants wishes and that instant gratification is not part of being a follower of Christ. All the apostles except John would be martyred and never see the fruits of their conversions flourish. Jesus knew full well that there would be persecution and He also had the difficult task of preparing the Apostles for His death. Jesus knew that while Peter had declared Him to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, but just a few verses later, as Jesus is telling the Apostles of His death, Peter chimes in with “No Lord, not you!” to which Jesus famously replies, “Get behind me Satan!” (Matthew 16:13-23). After all, Jesus was not the king the Jews had been expecting. Even John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin who leapt in his mother’s womb at Mary’s greeting had sent his followers to ask Jesus if indeed Jesus was the one they were waiting for or should they be looking for another (Matthew 11:2-6). John the Baptist had preached a fiery end to those who did not believe. That the Messiah would be crucified and actually die…no, the Jewish Messiah wasn’t going to go down like that! Jesus was tasked with preparing those 12 Men to face that God’s reality was quite different than their own. There would be doubts, there would be despair, but Jesus had to teach them to never stop praying, to never stop believing. Many who started following Jesus in His lifetime on Earth would walk away, they would find it too difficult to trust in a God they could not see and give up what everyone had said was right. Judas would betray Him. Peter would deny Him. What He had to make clear to all of them was that, without Him, they would accomplish nothing. Without Him, it would all be for nothing. They had to be able to step out in faith, and prayer was the way to do that. Constant communication with God. They had to understand that God heard all those prayers, not that God would grant them.

Modern lore has many believing that St Monica was a pious woman who did nothing but pray for her son and he miraculously gave up his sinful life and became a father of the Church. Um, no. First off, Monica prayed but she also acted. She didn’t simply pray, “here God, convert him,” and then let God do all the heavy lifting. She chased her son across continents. As he prepared for baptism, she cared for him, his son and others also in preparation. And God did not make it easy for Monica to keep praying, if we want to look at it that way. Augustine had a mistress and a child that had to be accounted for. Augustine would trick her and sail out to Italy ahead of her from Africa. Monica’s faith was tested sorely. Perhaps a bigger miracle than Augustine’s conversion, was that Monica never lost her faith and never gave up that God was listening to her prayers, even when things seemed quite to the contrary. As Monica would find out, God’s timeline is often very different than our own.

This leads to the second thing to consider, with God, all things are possible but that doesn’t guarantee they will happen when or how we want them to. God sometimes gives us glimpses of what is possible so that we can continue to believe without quite achieving our desires. Monica was heartbroken when Augustine left without her, but she was beginning to see things might be possible and with that, renewed her resolve. When Jeff was looking for a job in education, he got a job offer in Colorado. We wanted a job in that part of the country but when Jeff went out and visited the school and community in question, he found it wasn’t right for our family. I was devastated that we’d waited so long for even interviews but I understood this was probably for the best. Similarly, last year when God presented us with two equally good options for jobs and one of the jobs seemed to be sealed up, Jeff went in to interview only to find out the principal only wanted a local candidate and that he had been vetted by an HR employee who wasn’t in touch with the administration. God opened my heart to that place and to find out he wasn’t really going to be considered was very upsetting but made me see that my family could handle the changes God was preparing us for. In the end, God came through in a big way when the day we closed on the sale of our old house, Jeff was offered his current job only five minutes from our new house. And the closing of our new house came 364 days after we had first listed our old house to disastrous results. We can learn from St Monica that sometimes what we asked God for doesn’t look to God what we envisioned it to look like.

Something to keep in mind about persistent prayer too, is that we should be, above all, asking for God’s will. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” When my cousin Andy died of cancer, my aunt Eileen, posted on his caringbridge site that she had prayed asking God to cure Andy and in the end God’s answer was, “I did.” In asking God for anything in prayer, I have since had to assure myself that in the end, I would be okay with whatever God’s plan was. This doesn’t mean I don’t get sad or disappointed at various rejections, however they manifest themselves, but opening myself up in my persistent prayer to God’s will does give a sense of peace and even joy. Trust me, it’s not easy. I fail. A lot. But I am learning as time goes on that sometimes just persisting in my prayer, gives me the opportunity to better trust God. It’s not all lost if it caused me to rely on Him. Maybe that was the entire point of the exercise and maybe I did better on it sometimes than others.

Regardless, it behooves us to understand that the power of persistent prayer lies not in getting what we want all the time, but utilizing it to better rely on God and not ourselves. In that vein, I would suggest that if your knee-jerk reaction to someone asking for prayers for something, anything, they’ve wanted for a long time, is to “remind” them of the persistent widow or St Monica (or any other saint) to move to a position of encouraging prayer and trust in God’s will. That is where the true strength in persistence of prayer is found.

 

 

Just an un”remark”able life…

So, Kelly and Alicia were helpful in the comments of my 7QT post from last Friday. I ended up having to reactivate my facebook account so I could find out the gender reveal from a best friend’s recent anatomy scan. (Her baby boy–yeah!!!–is due in November.) And another friend is having her scan this week.

I’m doing a great job staying off the book of face and not posting there either.

Don’t mistake my silence for ignorance nor lack of caring, I just don’t feel like engaging in general more than I have to and inviting controversy. I have friends who feel like every single venting post or post that shares personal information are an open invitation to offer advice. Even when the person explicitly says they have for example, “made a decision” and aren’t interested in others’ opinions on said subject. Most of these folks fall into the category, “never passed a combox they didn’t engage.” And sometimes it’s just to announce their ignorance on the subject at hand. I brace myself when I see notifications from some of my friends commenting on a picture or status because with the particular status and/or picture etc is something they have little to no experience with and their comment will indicate either random advice that people have heard in passing or will comment, “I have no idea what you’re going through, sorry,” or something similar.

I guess that could be a rant. Well, so be it. It’s not just reading depressing and divisive nonsense, it’s the “I have to comment on every.single.thing” nonsense too. My tolerance for it is at an all-time low, on my own posts, at least.

Which is why I love Snapchat. Very little is permanent there. It’s 10 second bites. And people who comment or “chat” with you, can’t comment or “chat” with each other on your post. And, even in your stories, things are only available for 24 hours.

So,  in the spirit of Snapchat, I’m adopting some policies for how I use the book of face.

  1. Comment and “like” sparingly. Sorry, but I HATE when friends of my friends over-engage me in comments or pick fights. So, the less I comment and like, the less likely this sort of thing is to happen.
  2. No more sharing “memories.” They are for me to enjoy and that’s that.
  3. All post will be available for 24 hours, no more. After that, they become viewable to me only and commentable (yeah, I don’t care if that’s not a word) by no one additional.This applies to all pictures and status updates.
  4. No more memes. The memes stop here.
  5. Much less status updating. Because it makes the rest easier.
  6. DMing primarily for the purpose of in-person connecting. Because the rest is mostly gossip anyway AND the purpose of social media is two-fold and the second fold is encouraging in person connections.
  7. No one is allowed to post on my page. This way no one posts while I am not paying attention and starting drama in my space without my knowledge. (I will probably remove this for birthdays etc)
  8. No longer engaging the majority of autism posts I am tagged in. I know they come from good place (mostly) but no more. I live it. I’m done.
  9. Unliking a ton of pages. That should be understood without further explanation.
  10. Finally, no profile pic nor cover pic. Because they are always public.

Maybe it sounds like I’m being Draconian, but this whole social media thing should work for us the way we want it to. I’m just no longer the biggest fan of remarking so many minute details of my life in that forum that invites so many more to comment and remark on my life in turn.

The Gospel reading for today is Matthew 10:34-11:1 where Jesus instructs that following Him means that our lives should be changed from what they were and that our first new purpose as children of God is to please Him and only Him. Even if it causes distance in personal relationships. Do I think I might lose “friends?” It’s possible. It’s actually probable, but that’s okay, I will live. And so will they. This is what is necessary right now to helping me grow in my faith and love of Him and be a better, more effective member of the Body of Christ. My life may appear unremarkable to most people, but it is precious to Him and His will will determine my eternity, not my “likes” nor my “friends.”

7QT: In which a 4-day week feels like it will never end

Seven-Quick-Takes-510x510

Linking up with Kelly today because this week: was epic.

eins

Sunday we attended Mass at Infant of Prague which, being the only Catholic church in town (one of only two in our county not counting the Chapel on base),  has a tremendous military presence. Singing America the Beautiful while being surrounded by active duty families and generations of vets was moving in a way I’d never experienced before.

zwei

So Monday, for the Fourth, we did, nothing. Well, we watched movies (The Sandlot) and ate but we stayed home. Jeff took Shelby and Joseph to fireworks but William wanted to stay home so I stayed with him and the dog who is deathly afraid of fireworks.

drei

Tuesday William started reading camp and Jeff went to do some work with his dad. William’s reading camp is a more fun version of summer school. At the end of the year, he tested just below where he needed to be for second grade so the school system offered us a completely free reading program during July. They even transport and feed him. He was hesitant but the first day three friends from his class were in his class for the program as well as another little boy he knew. He had a rough morning this morning but he has had fun overall.

vier

Wednesday was a big day. First, it was Shelby’s birthday. She is ten now. Ten. Two whole hands. An entire decade. Is it wrong that I think maybe I’m deserving of an award for keeping another human being alive this long? Anyway, it was another big day for Shelby because Jeff decided that based on some significant maturing we’ve seen this summer thus far, Shelby was ready to potty-train again. Because of her sensory issues, potty-training has never been successful with Shelby. It also doesn’t help that because of her developmental delays, she really did not understand what we expected of her when she sat on the potty no matter how we explained or watched videos (I can receit the Elmo Potty Training DVD…seriously, and I’m available for parties, it’ll be entertainment your friends will never forget, I promise!), or read books or demonstrated, she had no idea. But a lot of things have been clicking for her this summer and so I said, whatever and went with it. Jeff bought panties Tuesday night and I set low expectations based on past experience. The morning was one accident after another. In the afternoon I hid the panties and forced her to go with no bottoms which she hates. We were timing for every 15 minutes and suddenly, she started peeing on the potty. We praised and rewarded her each time. Yesterday was another mixed bag of mostly successes. Well, pee successes, we haven’t quite overcome the sensory issues associated with bowel movements on the toilet. We’ve never made it to day 3 before so we’re still seeing how this goes. (And we won’t be tackling night training for a long time…if we can go everytime during the day on the potty, I’ll be happy!)

fünf

Still on Wednesday, before Shelby and Joseph were up (William gets on the bus at 8),  Jeff called me downstairs while I was folding laundry. He asked me to check a lottery ticked he bought for the Mega-Millions drawing online. I was thinking, “What? Why can’t he check it himself?”Well, it turns out he had checked and wouldn’t you know, we matched four numbers. It wasn’t the jackpot or even $1 million but we got $500. We almost never play the lottery, first of all, we didn’t have one in NC until 10 years ago. I literally have bought one powerball ticket my entire life. Jeff usually buys a few when there are big jackpots but those we usually don’t even match one number, so yeah, there were lots of reasons to celebrate on Wednesday.

sechs

Wait, you want to know what we did to celebrate Shelby’s birthday besides potty training and winning the lottery…Jeff did most of morning potty-training duty because William was at camp and Joseph wanted to go to library reading club. I went with him. Usually there are crafts and games but this week they watched Zootopia. We’ve seen the film before and enjoyed it (plus the free bag of popcorn) but the floor was hard and Joseph wanted to go about 45 mins in so we decided to leave early. After lunch and William getting home from camp, Jeff took the kids to the pool. Then for dinner we had one of Shelby’s favorites, Chinese food followed by cake and ice cream. Shelby also got to pick all our tv viewing. It was very Spongebob and Elmo heavy.

sieben

So maybe it’s two-weeks on, two-weeks off, but I deactivated facebook again last night (personal blog page is still around). Guys, I just can’t right now. My African-American friends are hurting and I ache for them. My law-enforcement friends, who are all wonderful people, are hurting now as well and I cry for their loss. Some of my other friends, I really can’t handle their extremely narrow world view. Between the sadness, the anger, the fear of those hurting and the “I’m-not-a-racist-but” crowd. It was enough to drive me insane. And the Catholic controversies are no less divisive. We had the Maria Goretti controversy (check out Simcha Fisher’s post) and the reaction of Cardinal Sarah’s suggestion and a real lack of mercy and charity. So let me be clear, my life in real life this week rocked, my online life sucked. And it was the Holy Spirit saying to me: take a break. A long break. I was reading about Exodus 90 which is a group for men that helps break addictive habits with 90 days of abstinence/avoidance from them with support. I’m thinking it might take 90 days to heal from this most recent spate of hate spewing and division. I’m not promising that, but my husband is zero social media and we don’t allow our kids on it. Plus we have family vacations coming up which are technology free. Will people really miss me? I don’t think so, I’ll still be blogging and the blog fb page, but I’m so done right now. I don’t think I can make this world a better place through my personal online presence but in my real life in the things I do when not behind a screen. So here goes nothing….

Head on over to Kelly’s for some quick (and probably shorter) takes…

Why I Love Summer Vacation…part 2

Will this be the last part? I have no idea…but here we go:

5. Jeff is home.

Full time. He still occasionally picks up work for his dad or his brother or restaurant work, but it’s not a consistent thing so he’s available for beach trips and pool days and the like. We always work better as a team rather than two individuals running around with separate agendas which sometimes happens during the school year when he’s balancing lesson plans, his regular work day and life in general. Fun days out are more fun when we’re all together and I have a back-up so I can, you know, pee if I need to.

6. The Liberating lack of routine.

Routine is good and I normally love it. But, I really love to shake it off occasionally. The routine of the school year means I have to be available to get kids off the bus and if something took too long (or at least longer than expected during the day) I sometimes don’t get to something I wanted to (ie–a special cleaning project or reading time). The lack of routine is liberating because I do not have as many things depending I be there at.that.exact.moment.in.time. and so more things actually get done. I know, I know, it confuses me too. Don’t think too much about it.

7. The garden.

I married a man with two green thumbs which is really luxurient when there aren’t enough of them to go around, but I really enjoy seeing him work his magic in our postage stamp size back yard (we’ve laid new sod!) and our small front plot. When we moved here we loved having a smaller yard because our huge gorgeous lot was just simply too much to keep up, especially with Jeff doing the bulk of the work, so this size is perfect and manageable. And lovely this time of year.

8. Classical Music and Reading Time

New to this summer! I started using Snapchat recently and I follow Retta on there. She is hilarious and she snapped last weekend about a tradition she used to have of having Sundays where she wouldn’t watch tv or surf the web but listen to classical music and read. Color me inspired. So, now, in the afternoons, we turn on classical music (either online streaming or on the classical Music Choice tv station) and read for about an hour. It’s relaxing and it’s growing our brains. #Winwin

That’s all for now folks!

Father’s Day 2016

I’ve found I get my best response to “what do you want for Father’s Day-your birthday-Christmas-etc?” to be let Jeff pick an activity he wants to do.

This Father’s Day was no exception. Jeff decided he wanted to take the family to Hammock’s Beach State Park near Swansboro. We’d never been before so this would be a “fact-finding mission” or as Jeff called it “surveillance.”

The park is only reachable by boat which means either you take your own boat, kayak or canoe; or you pay a small fee to ride a state-run ferry. There is a large parking area on the mainland (it’s the kind of ferry that transports humans, not cars) and an education center about Bear Island (where the beach is) and picnic tables and a big lawn. We ate lunch at the education/visitors center before taking the ferry over to Bear Island.

boys on ferry

The boys sat right in front of Captain Tom on the ferry ride both to and from the island.

Shelby and Daddy on ferry

Shelby loved the ferry. The picture taking, let’s just say she was not impressed.

A few things to note: no pets on the ferry. I’m sure they probably have an exception for service animals, but I’d call first to find out how that is handled. Also, no strollers unless they are fully collapsed on the ferry (same with beach “carts”). And there are no trash cans on the island. They do provide bags but you have to bag your trash and carry it back to the mainland. There is a bath house and also a concession stand (cash only). And, yeah, it’s a pretty decent walk from the ferry pier to the shore. My kids were fine with the walk, but it could be rough for the three and under crowd (and some four-year-olds). As a state park, it’s a leave only foot prints (and none on the dunes!) and take only pics and memories place, if you find shells, make sure there’s nothing in them and that sea stars and sand dollars washed up on the beach are actually dead before bagging them!

That all being said, you do have life-guards and covered picnic areas there and the island is pristine without all the “development” and they never have to pump sand in.

The water was rather rough yesterday so we were glad for the lifeguards (even if we didn’t so much “need” them, it was reassuring). We had tide pools too which everyone but Shelby enjoyed (she’d rather be thrashed by waves, sensory issues ftw). It was unseasonably cool in the air and water so we didn’t stay as long as we might have but we did have fun. We scoped out the primitive camps sites. They were all sandy which we’re not a huge fan of but we may try at some point.

We really enjoyed it though and we’re even considering at some point the investment of a boat as the ferry is congested and somewhat limiting. And with our budding fisher-people it is definitely an awesome destination.

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day from Hammock’s Beach State Park

After we got home, Jeff enjoyed watching the US Open even with all the controversy. And later the NBA Finals.

It was a really great day and we enjoyed the trip and spending time together. Hope that Father’s Day was awesome for all the dad’s out there!

Why I’m not blogging about politics…

because the situation for Catholics in this election cycle can be summed up in one phrase:

no-win.

And anyway, we vote by secret ballot here and I’m not interested in how your conscience has led or mis-led you (whichever the case may be) so I really don’t care what you think of my choice.

The Israelites begged God for a king and they got what they asked for. We’ve done the same thing. We’ve made our bed, time to lie in it, shut-up, and take it like Americans.

The End