Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I've over reached

So, I'm in the midst of a ten session class about the so-called Gnostic Christians and the literature from Nag Hammadi in Egypt discovered in 1945.

I've done 5 session classes about it before, but, looking forward to 7 more Fridays, I realize I'm over my head.

I know more about the so-called Gnostic Christian writings than 98% of the people in the world. But to do 10 hour and a half classes I need to know more than 99.5% of the people in the world. I'll spend about four hours tomorrow getting ready for the Gospel of Philip.

Over my head is not something I like. I like to be 'way  ahead of the norm'. That's the way I operate best, being at the top of my game.

When I'm not, I'm a wreck.

Which what I am, not being totally on top of the Gospel of Philip like I'd like to be.

Oh, I could fake it. I'm good at 'faking it' and have a lot of times. But this isn't one of those times.

I'll put in the hours tomorrow and be passing for brilliant, since no one else in the room knows more that 15% of the people in the world know about the so-called Gnostic Christians.

But I don't want to 'fake it', though I could.

I'll put in the time tomorrow and give them my best on Friday.

All I want to do, all of the time, give folks 'my best'.

That's what they deserve.

Next time I teach it will be a five week course about something I know enough about to do 10 weeks. That's what folks deserve. What we all deserve.

More than enough.

Created in the image and likeness of God, we deserve, always and forever, more than enough.

Just like that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

on roller skates, no less

My friend, Charles, who is a retired Geology professor and one of the most brilliant people I know, sent me a U-tube link to two German? Dutch? girls, very lovely, roller skating around a huge room with most people at picnic tables but others in rows above, playing accordions, of all things, and singing in some language that sounds vaguely German but could be anything Scandinavian.

First of all: accordions. I had several members of my mother's family who played them--badly or well, I couldn't tell you since the whole instrument is only slightly lower on the "annoying scale" than bag-pipes. Plus they played them in evangelical churches to accompany hymns above bagpipes on the 'annoying scale'.

Second, roller-skates. I've never done them and never will. Weak ankles and all that, but it always seemed to me to be a rather nonsensical way to get around. Like what to do with stairs? I see many roller skaters on the Canal and most of them are middle aged me with too many cushions and huge helmets who go so far from left to right and right to left that you have to get off the path to pass them, especially with a dog. They should have considered treadmills or bridge.

Finally, who goes somewhere to watch this and pays (I'm sure) money for the privilege?  And there were hundreds of people there.

The, after 'finally', I noticed U-Tube had lots of other video of the same two young women, lovely and kind and wonderful I'm sure, singing and playing accordions and roller skating.

Maybe it's a 'thing' somewhere. But not here, where I'm sitting.

And my biggest question is why is this brilliant, scholarly man who knows about 12 times more stuff than I even begin to know, watching U-Tube at all? And if he is watching it, why girls on roller skates playing accordions and singing?

Charles, ever heard of Huffington Post????

Saturday, September 26, 2015

John Boehner and the future of politics

So, during the Pope's address, John Boehner, who invited Francis to speak, cried more than even usual.

And the next day he got up and, after his prayers (and I believe that!) decided, "why am I doing this?" and quit as Speaker of the House and a member of Congress.

I went to Stop-and-Shop in Cheshire today and outside the door where people try to raise money, there was a table of used books and cupcakes and four young men and a banner that said, "Young Republicans of Cheshire High School".

I ignored them on the way in and would have on the way out except one of them, an Asian kid, said, "want to look at the books". And I said, hard-hearted as it was, "my heart is broken that their are 'young' Republicans...." And I meant it, even though at their age I was a fan of Barry Goldwater until he suggested selling the Tennessee Valley Authority that made our electricity in southern West Virginia and over several states, remarkably cheaper for a whole lot of Appalachians who didn't have much money.

Hopefully, in my way of looking at it, they'll grow out of it too. Just listen to the debates, young Republicans.....

Boehner, as much as I didn't like him, made a lot more sense that the Tea Party nuts in Congress. Boehner actually still believed in compromise and making deals. He, more or less, held the Republicans in line. Without him, who knows, total chaos in the House? Not beyond reason.

This ''my way or the highway" attitude of the most Conservative Republicans can make the already unacceptable grid-lock in the government even worse.

But then, if that happened, by the time those young men at Stop and Shop could vote, maybe Americans will come to their senses and put the Democrats back in charge.

I know I've written this before--that I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat. If Pope Francis, as much as I admire him, was running as a Republican against a Democrat who was a Yellow Dog, the Lab would get my vote.

Maybe I was unkind to those 'young Republicans'. But maybe they, like those finally fed up the Speaker of the House, don't care a fig about a Democrat's broken heart. Who knows?

I actually admire Boehner's faith and his values. After the Pope told the Congress that we must find ways to talk and solve problems in spite of disagreement, several bills came up in the house that threatened to shut down the federal government again.

I think John Boehner just said, "enough already". I can bless him for that. I just don't know what the fallout of his absence will be.....

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yogi, who else?

Yogi Berra died at 90. A good chunk of years to live and live well.

Yogi was so much a part of my childhood--along with Whitey and Mickey and Bobby and Elston and Rodger and Moose and Andy and all the other Yankees of the 50's and 60's.

My father was a Yankee fan because before shipping off to Europe for WW II someone gave him a ticket to a Dodger/Yankee World Series game and he decided whichever team won the first and only major league game he ever saw in person would be his 'team'. And the Yankees won.

So, I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, unaccountably rooting for the New York Yankees. Always. And still do.

Yogi was the best of them all. Always good for a quote: "It's not over 'til it's over"; "Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical"; "It's hard to get a conversation started since everyone's talkin'".

On and one he went, saying one ridiculously true thing after another. And being one of the best guys who ever knelt down behind home plate, called pitches and caught them.

I  have two favorite memories of Yogi. One was from 1955 (or was it 1956? I'm awash in linear time) when he ran out and jumped into Don Larson's arms after the only perfect game in a World Series. The other was (I'll leave you to supply the year....1960, maybe) when Bill Mazeroski hit a home run over the left field fence and Yogi, playing left field, trotted back and back and looked up as the World Series was won by Pittsburgh.

And he always showed up for 'old-timers' games and said something in his interview that was priceless--ridiculous and true, always.

I hope Heaven has a baseball diamond. That's what I hope.

Farewell, Yogi, you filled my life up to overflowing.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Muslim question

When I was Rector of St. John's Waterbury, from 2000 on, we rented our parish house to a mosque.

They were wonderful people--mostly not Arabs--but people who followed their faith and were a part of our community...owning stores, selling real estate, working as medical folks, lawyers and more.

When 9/11 happened, after we had heard from Mimi and Josh (both our kids lived in NYC on that day) and knowing Cathy was alright, walking from the subway stop after the World Trade Center back to Brooklyn, I drove to Waterbury to be with my Muslim friends, knowing it would be a day they would be blamed for.

99.99% of American Muslims are just like you and me. Hard working, tax paying, Constitution respecting members of our so, so diverse society.

And yet they are, too often than not, painted with the same brush as Isis and Alkadia and all the radical, war raging Muslims of the Middle East.

I remember walking with them from the old Parish House of St. John's, which we tore down for parking after they left, to the building they bought a few blocks away. My friends of a different faith.

The Republican primary contestants are appealing to the worst of our society--though too many for me to imagine--by being Islamic-phobic. And it needs to be named and exposed.

It is bigotry of the worst kind. Labeling all members of a Faith as like the worst of their Faith.

It's like seeing me as 'like' the most right wing Christians.

It's wrong and needs to be exposed as wrong.

Republicans like Trump and Dr. Carson and Fiorina are playing to the worst in us--our fears and ignorance.

It has to stop. Muslim Americans must be seen as Americans first and foremost and Muslims as an after thought--just like I am an American who happens to be Anglo-Saxon and Christian.

Just like that.

Else there will be hell to pay, in a big way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

big, big bed

So, what I sometimes say to our dog is this: "want to go to the big bed?" and he runs upstairs before me to jump on our futon.

Well, in a process that took months, we are now the owners of a King sized bed. We've had the frame for months and months, through Amazon, which Bern loves and I hate. Amazon sent, get this, three bed frames and had to come pick up two. God love their little computer minds....

Today we went to Costco--which gives me angina from the moment I go inside--too much of too much of too much 'stuff'. Makes me crazy. But we bought a King sized mattress which took all the energy we had to get upstairs and on the frame. The box it came in had wheels, just to give you some insight into how hard this thing was to move. It was folded into three and took an hour or so to unfold completely on our frame.

But now, our aging dog can't jump up on it. So Bern took the yard long table that was beside my side of the futon and put a rug on it and believes Bela will learn to jump on that and then on the bed. I'm not betting on it.

Getting the mattress home and upstairs made me feel like I've been in a fist fight. The dog isn't he only one getting old!

We spent a good part of yesterday looking for a sectional couch for our TV  room, which is upstairs. When Mimi and Tim and Josh and Cathy and the girls are all here for holidays, there's not enough places to sit in the TV room.

I was awful to shop with. I AM awful to shop with. I hate to shop. Bern knows that but drags me along. And I didn't think anything we looked at would fit in the TV room, but she did. And then I said, "let's make sure whoever delivers it will deliver it to upstairs, cause we'll never get it up there."

She turned and said, "let's go home."

In the car I asked, "are you upset with me." She said 'yes' and after that we just drove to Costco and found the mattress we bought today and muscled upstairs, finally.

I hope the mattress makes her know we could in know way move a sectional sofa upstairs to the TV room. No way.

Our dog isn't the only one of the three of us who are getting older....

Monday, September 21, 2015

my man Scott

Governor Scott Walker has apparently exited the Presidential race. He was one of the two Republicans I feared most. The other is the current Governor of Ohio. He actually seems to make sense from time to time.

Walker didn't, but he hates Unions, which I love, and I thought that might be a real selling point. It wasn't.

So we've got The Donald, Carlie and Ben out in front of all the sensible people.

Lord, this is so much fun. The clown car is full to overflowing. What a joy.

Maybe they'll kill each other off, who knows?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bad day defined

OK, I was two miles down the road to St. Andrew's in Northford when I realized I'd left my coffee at home. The line at the drive through Dunkin' Donuts in Cheshire was long and I kept going, caffeine need growing, until I stopped at one in Hamden and stood in line behind Quinipiak  (sp) students with complicated orders.

Back on the road I knew I'd get there with 15 minutes to spare. When I parked, I went in without my coffee (drat!) to meet a man in a clerical collar named Daniel.

I'd gone to the wrong church! What an idiot.

In my feeble defense, I have been jumping around all summer because supply clergy like Daniel are so hare to find and we're a presbyter short right now. But I was so sure I was supposed to be at St. Andrew's that I left my alb and prayer book there.

Realizing I was supposed to be at Emmanuel, Killingworth, I grabbed my alb and BCP and ran out. I called them before starting to drive and was actually only 12 minutes late by the time I got there and they were amused by it all. (Being a total idiot cuts you some slack!)

Problem was, I suddenly realized I had picked up Daniel's Prayer Book instead of mine, so after the Eucharist I called St. Andrew's to tell him I'd mail it to him tomorrow...reinforcing the total idiot reputation I have....

I wasn't going to write this part--but being a total idiot deserves to be totally exposed--I wore my Snoopy from Peanuts silk Valentine Boxer Shorts because they are large and roomy. When I went to the bathroom after church at Emmanuel, I realized they were so large and roomy I'd put them on backwards and not realized.

So how was your Sunday morning.....?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I think Lukie is dying

Our cat, Luke, (Bern calls him 'our last cat' because we used to have four and are down to Luke, who was always my favorite.

He's one of those big yellow cats with an M on his forehead. Some measure of Maine Coon Cat, though not full bred.

He is, who knows how old. When we got him from Meow, a cat rescue group, he was almost a year old. And Mimi was 20 or so. Mimi's now 35, so Luke is at least 15 or more.

He's always been an indoor cat. Yellow cats, in my experience, are magnates for cars, so it is best to keep them inside.

Zoe, our next door neighbor teen, came over and fed him when we were away in North Carolina. When we got back, he seemed strange, but I credited it to him being angry that we left him for so long.

(He's laying on the table beside my desk where I am writing. He often does that, but much more since we came back from North Carolina, I rub him often.)

He hasn't eaten anything much since we got home--not tuna, not turkey from the Deli, certainly not stuff in cans or bags. He also drinks a lot of water and seems, from time to time, a tad confused. He still moves rapidly and can jump up on anything. But I'm worried.

It's been a week--that's long enough to be angry, even for a cat. He's really beautiful, laying on the desk beside me. And from time to time he seems fine.

But he won't eat and drinks water constantly.

I don't want to lose him. I will be a nail in my coffin as well since he is, according to Bern, "our last cat".

He's really very dear, comes when you call him like a dog, is affectionate to a fault.

Oh, Lukie, don't die. Please don't. I will mourn you and miss you so.

I'm going to pet him on my table now and try not to be sad.

Friday, September 18, 2015

OK, is this what will rid us of Trump...and do I want to be 'rid' of him

In Donald Trump's question and answer period of a speech in New Hampshire, some questioner said that the problem we have is 'Muslims' and our President is one and not a citizen and there are camps in America training terrorists and what was Trump going to do about that.

The Donald never corrected the man about Obama's citizenship or religion (American and Christian, by the way) because he was the 'birther' of all birthers' a few years ago.

Most Republican candidates and all the Democrats were outraged (not Sen. Cruz, by the way, who is riding Donald's coat tails, it seems).

So maybe this is the moment so many have been waiting for--the demise of Donald!

I'm not sure.

In a recent poll, 46% of Republicans had some lingering doubt about Obama's religion and birth place. 46 friggin %!!!!!

So, why would Trump alienate almost half of the Republican Party?

The reason I'm not sure I want to be 'rid' of him is this: If he, beyond all rationality, actually got the nomination, it would mean 4 more years of some Democrat in the White House. In a general election campaign he would implode in so many ways, not matter if Bernie or Hillary or Joe was his opponent.

So, why would I want this to take him down? My dream is Trump vs. Bernie Sanders. A socialist in the White House is what I long for. That pairing would make it so.

Lordy, Lordy, this election cycle is going to be so much fun.....Really.....

First Class

The first class of "Exploring the So-Called Gnostic Christian Literature" met today from 12:30-2 p.m. at UConn's Waterbury Campus. I teach as part of the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) there.

Amazing thing is, in my senior year of college, my plan was to become a college professor--teaching "American Literature" in some small liberal arts school and writing the Great American Novel in my spare time. Then two of my professors, Mr. Stasny and Dr. Meitzen--from the Classics and Theology Departments, came to me to tell me they'd nominated me for a Rockefeller 'Trial Year in Seminary' Grant.

"I don't want to go to seminary," I told Stasny, who I'd had 7 classes with in 8 semesters, and Meitzen, who I'd had three classes with.

"That's perfect," they said, "just keep saying that."

The Rockefeller Grant was for people who didn't want to go to seminary but some teacher of theirs thought maybe they should.

So I got the Fellowship and spent two years at Harvard Divinity School and earned a Master of Theological Studies degree. And got hooked on God.

But now, over 50 years later, I get to teach people in a college. Amazing!

You have to be at least 50 to be a part of OLLI. So these people want to be in class and pay to be there and care about learning.

I had a lecture to take up about 45 minutes of the class--something called 'From the Apostles to the Council of Nicea', but people kept interrupting with questions and that's the way it went--me responding to questions, which is good and the way I like to lead a class anyway. Several folks stayed after to ask more questions and make insightful comments so it was 2:30 before I got to my car.

Teaching and learning--and I do both in the classes I lead every other semester or so--it seems to me that is what a lot of life is about. Teaching and learning. What a joy. What a wonder. How so right that is in the scheme of things. Just as it should be.

Here I am, after all these years derailed by the God stuff, doing what I always wanted to do in the first place.

How lucky and blessed am I?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What matters

My friend Andy and I are having an email face off. Andy loves the creeds of the church, I don't care a whit for them.

Andy wants to convince me the creeds are 'liberating' when we meet on Tuesday. I really don't care if they are 'liberating' or 'constrictive'--I simply don't buy into 'belief' as having any importance at all.

Remember the song from "My Fair Lady" that says "show me". That's what matters to me. Show me compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, inclusion, acceptance--show me that and I don't care at all what you "believe" about anything. Live into your faith, that's all that matters. The details of your 'belief' matters not.

I know lots of folks who claim no religious belief who live lives that demonstrate they understand Jesus' teachings more than  people who proclaim they are 'Christians' and hate people different from them.

Give me a break, the Nicene Creed was created to 'cleanse' the church of 'heretics', not create a purified church.

Many Christians in the 4th century, CE, couldn't get by the first sentence of the creed without being read out of the church.

"I believe in the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth."

I've read into early Christian texts, like those discovered in the 1940's in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, that tell us lots of early Christians didn't believe the God of the Hebrew Scripture was Jesus' 'Father'.

So, the first sentence of the creed made them heretical and driven out of the church.

I, myself, have difficulty equating Jesus' "Father" with the vengeful, wrathful God of Hebrew Scripture. Jesus' 'Father was full of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. That doesn't match up to the Yahweh of the Old Testament in my mind.

So, I whisper the Creed, if I say it at all.

Not important to my faith and trust in God.

I'll let you know about Tuesday's conversation with Andy. I really love him, I just can't agree with him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I believe both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are 'populists' rather than politicians.

Both men appeal to something below the surface of ordinary people, but in different ways.

So, I googled 'populism' and found something interesting. The Random House Dictionary had three definitions of 'populism': they were;

1. any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional or partisan ideologies.

(Both Trump and Sanders would fit into that, I think.)

2. grass-roots democracy; working class activism; egalitarianism

3. representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc.

(I think those two fit Sanders more than Trump. Trump's 'populist' appeal is spelled out in the Collins Dictionary's only definition of the word.)

1. A political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people.

The Collins Dictionary obviously isn't very 'populist'. But it nailed what kind of 'populism' Trump is appealing to--the interests and prejudices or ordinary people.

Bernie is calling folks to something 'beyond themselves' while Donald is appealing to our baser natures, our fears and prejudices. Both are 'populists' in their own way.

And that's why they're doing so well in this very early stage of what will be a drawn-out and painful and full of clowns political cycle.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How to have a great vacation

1. Only go on Vacation with people you know really well. Bern and I've known John Anderson since 1973 or so, at WVU, when Bern was completing her degree and John was in his Ph.D. program in psychology. We've known Sherrie Ellis since 1980. And both Sherrie and John have known Mimi from when she was three and Tim for 14 years.

2. Only go on vacation with people who read. I read 9 books on Oak Island and part of another. I'm not sure I was the biggest reader since we didn't share how many books we'd read. But when you see a person on vacation reading, you leave them be. And when you're reading, they leave you be. Reading is what it's about, vacation, I mean. Someone who didn't read would make vacation crazy.

3. Only go on vacation with people who love to eat. Besides reading, eating is the main thing about vacation. We had a country dinner Sherrie cooked--tomatoes, corn, beans, cucumbers--one night and Bern cooked two roast chickens with the trimmings one night, and I cooked shrimp, scallops, cod one night, and Sherry did a Greek shrimp salad and tuna one night, and Tim and Mimi cooked burgers and salad one night, and John, who doesn't cook--at least nothing you'd want to eat--bought take out pork barbecue and all the accoutrement's one night, and Bern made fish cakes and crab cakes one night. You have to love to eat and sit at the dinner table for over an hour and do you're own breakfast and lunch to be on vacation with us.

4. Everyone has to let everyone else do what they do. Bern goes for a walk on the beach every morning. Sherrie and Tim and Mimi sometimes go in the water. I walk on the beach from time to time. John never walks the beach or goes in the water. Somebody goes for food for dinner every day. People use their devises except for me, who doesn't have one. John takes a daily nap. No one cares what anyone else does. They just do it. No one wants or pursues any 'group' activity. Everyone is on their own, except for dinner.

From time to time all six of us would be reading--on screens or with books--and time would pass without words.

That's what a vacation should be.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Kite


When we arrived at our house
on the beach
on Oak Island
in the state of North Carolina,
the first thing I noticed
wasn't the ocean,
vast and calm,
or the sky, wide and blue,
or the sand, expansive at low tide,
or the breeze from the south.
It was a kite held captive
on the house beside of ours.

Where we were, the beach faced south,
so the sun rose each day to the left, brilliantly,
and set, glowing and painting the sky,
to the right.

And it was to the right,
west of us,
where the kite was captive
on the roof of the house.

A small kite--smaller than most beach kites--
with the colors of the rainbow.
It's edge was caught under the cap
of the roof. String went in both directions.
It was there as long as we were--
blowing in the southern wind,
flapping enough, I thought,
to break free.

But it never did.
Caught and held, it flapped
the whole time we were there.

I longed for it to break free and soar,
one last time,
to the inlet to the north.

A kite deserves to fly.
Just as we deserve to live.

And how many of us are wedged in somewhere,
unable to escape,
flapping helplessly in the winds of life,
unable to soar?

Had I had a ladder long enough
and courage great enough,
I would have climbed up and
freed that kite.

But I didn't.

And how often, for lack of a ladder and courage,
do we not rescue others of our kind,
not kites but humans,
from the stuck-ness of their lives?

It flutters still, I suppose,
that kite on the beach,
stuck and unable to soar.

And what of us?
What of us?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sea Turtles on Vacation

So, I now know more about sea turtles than I ever thought I would--and much more than I need to know.

When we moved into our ocean front house--way down near the end of Oak Island, within walking distance of 'the Point', there was this crazy arrangement on the sand between us and the house just west of us. It was that green garden liners that comes in rolls forming a little runway down to the ocean and a wooden construction about two feet by two feet and 4 inches tall with four pegs with twine between them in a square about a foot by a foot.

We had know idea what it was. I thought it might be one of the games people devise at the beach involving a ball you knocked uphill with a mallet to see who could knock over the most pegs in the fewest strokes--which seemed lamer than the ball roll and sand bag toss games people bring to the beach.

But there was a sign next to it and the first one of us who walked that way on the beach discovered it was a sea turtle egg lay (inside the twine) and a fenced in way to the sea once the eggs hatched.

Last year there were 30 some sea turtle egg nests on Oak Island. This year, there were 110! Sea turtles, like salmon, return to where they were born in lay their eggs. A lot more of the giant creatures came home to Oak Island this year than last. Last year was the first time the Sea Turtle Patrol (a purely volunteer group who watch over the nests) was active. They have a two seat beach vehicle that says "Sea Turtle Patrol" on the side and they have a variety of Sea Turtle Patrol tee shirts. Really kinda cool and fun, but also serious about sea turtle nests.

There are between 80 and 110 eggs in each nest. They find them because the sea turtle mom's make tracks on the beach bigger than your uncle Ed's 1980 Buick would. The Patrol knows when the egg laying season begins and patrols the beaches each morning to find the nests. Then they set up the contraption to make getting to the ocean almost unavoidable for the babies and put up a sign with the laws of North Carolina that levy a $30,000 fine and a year in jail for disturbing a sea turtle nest. God bless the North Carolina legislature for that!

Once the eggs are in the nest it is 55-65 days before the little boogers hatch. The Sea Turtle folks (God bless them too) keeps track and when 55 days has passed, they sit vigil at night at the nests. Bringing beach chairs and their cell phones and tablets, they sit and wait and wait and wait. If they are there when the nest starts exploding, they have a red light to lead the babies down the runway toward the sea and a white light to pretend to be a full moon to get them into the ocean.

They have to swim three days (the turtles, not the Patrol) to hit the Gulf Stream and begin to feed and grow. And 25 years later, those who survive will return to Oak Island to spawn. One woman I talked to from the STP (Sea Turtle Patrol) told me about one in a thousand babies would reach a quarter of century of age and return to lay eggs where they were born. So, of the 22,000 or so sea turtles born this year on Oak Island, about 22 from this year's breeding would return in 2040 to lay eggs. They lay eggs every year after that until they are too old. So the disparity between 30 in 2014 and 110 nests this year means at some point around 1990 a lot more of that batch survived.

The Sea Turtle Patrol is doing all they can to make sure every baby has a fighting chance. For every year before last year, it was much more random how many of them had a chance to survive--some wandered off away from the ocean and died, nests were disturbed by dogs and people, gulls ate them.

They're shells are about the size of a quarter though the legs are disproportionately large. Sherry saw one that hatched ahead of its brood and made it to the ocean.

OK, talking to Sea Turtle Patrol folks all week, I must say I admire them greatly. They could use their time doing something much less noble and good. And I'm rooting for the babies soon to set off from what I've come to think of as 'our nest' and wish them well to the Gulf Stream and for the next quarter century. Just wish I thought I'd bee around in 2040 and be able to welcome them back....who knows...who ever knows about stuff like that?

(Last thought about sea turtles: apparently it depends on the heat of the sand how many females are born. Hotter the sand, more girls. A fear of the STP is that climate change and global warning will make more and more females each year, meaning there will be fewer and fewer males to mate with and that would be the end of the race--the lack of breeding males.

On the human level, I'd just say that females are smarter and more balanced and superior to us men on most every level besides size and strength. If global warming started reducing the breeding males of humans, things would be more stable and sensible for a generation or two--but not good in the long run....)

Home again, home again...

We (John and Sherry and Bern and I) got up before 5 a.m. today to drive to Myrtle Beach, turn in the car and fly to New York. We had a limo driven by Tom that got us to New Haven at 1 p.m. I'd arranged with the kennel to come pick up our dog even though they close at noon on Saturday. So, we did that and were home by 2:30. That's two Saturdays in a row I've gotten up at 5--we had a 9 a.m. flight down to the South last week. Since I'll children were infants, I've never gotten up that early twice in 8 days!

Bern got a text from Mimi and Tim, who closed up the house and flew out of Raleigh--that their plane had been delayed 3 hours and they were looking for an earlier flight. Still don't know if they're home in Brooklyn yet and it's 5 pm.

So, I'll be writing blogs about vacation for a few days now. Lots of great stuff being with five of the people I love most in the world. And the turtle eggs...more on that to come.

(Rick Perry pulled out, drat! Take one of the clowns out of the car. Won't be as much fun with the Rickster and his propensity to have three things to say and only remember two...)

People still read without anything new. Thanks for your patience. I thought I knew how to get to my blog from someone else's computer. But I needed a Google password, which I was told I changed only 11 months ago and I have no idea what it might be. Everyone at the beach had at least two devises and I had none. Just living in a time I haven't caught up to....

More later.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Going away

Tomorrow John and Sherry and Bern and I fly to Myrtle Beach and drive to Oak Island. Tim and Mimi will fly to Raleigh and meet us at the beach.

I won't take a computer, but someone will. And using my sign on "https//www.blogger.come/blogger.g?blogID=213513006486328170&pli-1#editor/target=post;postID=8350558451557932234 I'll try to blog from the beach.

Is that a ridiculous address or what?

We'll see.

Sun and sand and salt water and seafood for me!

Kim Davis misses the point

So, Kim Davis, the Kentucky official who refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone since she, because of her Christian faith, could not issue a license to a same sex couple, is in jail

Good enough.

And those like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz who are defending and making her to be a saint have got to get a grip.

I would have admired her in a weird way if she had resigned her job as country clerk and made a statement about her faith. Well enough, she couldn't do her job and keep her faith. I can respect that. But her job was to issue marriage licenses for the state of Kentucky and same-sex couples can now marry in the US, anywhere, including Kentucky, which, last I heard was still a state.

Imagine a General in the US Army/Navy/Air Force/ Marines refusing to obey an order because of 'their faith! Imagine a 7th Day Adventist or Jew or Muslim who was a mail carrier refusing to deliver mail on their holy day.

If your job challenges your faith, quit your job. It's that simple. But if you are someone who is supposed to carry out the law of the land in a county in Kentucky, either do it or quit.

Good for her she's in jail.

This has nothing to do with religious liberty. It has to do with what the Supreme Court says the Constitution says. And those 'constitution spouting Republicans' who are defending Kim Davis might want to ponder if they really believe in the Constitution at all....

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A day and then paradise

Tomorrow we'll get ready to go to Oak Island.,

We'll take the dog to Holiday Pet Lodge in Wallingford (if you live anywhere near Wallingford you should kennel your pets there--wonderful, even for bad dog Bela). Then we'll come home and pack (packing in front of Bela is anxiety producing for us all). Zoe from next door will look after the cat and bird and hopefully bring over her little sister who is the age of our twin granddaughters to love on the cat. Eva is her name.

We have to be in New Haven, at our friend, John's house at 7 for the limousine to Leguardia for the less than two hour flight to Myrtle Beach, SC. Me and Bern and John and Sherrie, another friend will be on that flight.

To be a second driver on the car John rented--huge and cumbersome I think--I had to join Costco. Is this any way to run an airline?

We always drove, but it put two days on the trip and wore us out both ways. And last year John's car broke down on the Jersey Turnpike and I rode with the tow truck driver to New Haven to get my car and go to get the dog. (Getting the dog is always an issue. Bern loves the beast....) Meanwhile, a friend of John came to get them.

Mimi and Tim will fly to Raleigh and get to Oak Island around 4--later than us.

This is what we do every year on the week of Labor Day. John and Sherry and Bern and I get to Oak Island and Mimi and Tim arrive too and we spend a week reading and eating and loving each other and drinking a lot of wine and beer (Tim and Mimi and I mostly).

The first time we went to Oak Island, with friends of ours from Virginia Seminary, Bern was pregnant with Josh. He's now 40, just to put Oak Island in perspective. We went with the kids and sometimes a baby sitter and sometimes a friend for each of them, for maybe 18 years. We even bought a house there, on the inlet rather than the beach and rented it instead of staying in it so we could stay on the beach.

Even after the kids wouldn't go, Bern and I went for a year or two. Then didn't any more and went to Block Island instead. Josh and Cathy, pre children, joined us there, as did Mimi and Tim.

Then, 7 or so  years ago, Mimi called and asked where we used to go on long vacations. (We went for three weeks or even a month when they were small.) And we told her.

She and Tim went and when they were back in NYC called and said we'd be going every year together.

And we have.

Our house this year is the most spacious and amazing of all the houses we've stayed in. I can't wait.

Saturday we go, flying on Spirit, which has been a bone of contention for Bern and John and Sherry--but not for me. I stay out of all the money stuff and just go to Oak Island to sit facing the ocean for a week.

I really can't wait--though Bern has been over loving Bela all day, feeling guilty for leaving him.

The last Puli we shared, Finney, went to the Beach with us once, rushed into the waves, was bounced around and never again went near the water. Pulis aren't ocean dogs. He would hate it.

But Bern hates to leave him ever.

That says something wondrous about her as a companion of animals.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My huge bag

I have one of those Stop and Shop bags--the really big ones you buy to be self-righteous and not use plastic or paper--absolutely full of typed (or printed out pages) of stuff I've written.

I can't even approach it. It is terrifying to me. What might I find in it? Where did it come from? Why do I have it?

I pull out a page at a time and remember it not.

This is stuff I poured over, cared about, stuff that mattered to me. And I have no idea what it is and am too intimidated to pour it all out and sort it out and ponder who I was when I wrote all that. There must be 500 pages of writing in that bag.

And I can't bring myself to dump it our and sort through it.

I don't know why.

I'll ponder that and let you know what's there.

I promise, just because that will make me do it.

But not until we come back from Oak Island a week from Saturday...and not that day surely.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.