Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Closing days

Vacation days are quickly coming to an end. Here are a couple "things I did on my summer vacation" to share with those of you whose vacation is long over or is still to come...even for a few days away from the daily!

We took a long walk on the North Wildwood Sea Wall--a marvelous mile long sidewalk built along the shore line on top of huge rocks that have been there for decades.

And here is a view, from the beach, of the Hereford Lighthouse. If you're into lighthouses, as many shoreline people are, take a look here to read about this Wildwood, NJ lighthouse right on the Atlantic Ocean.

And, finally, we have watching some DVDs that we were able to check out at the local library. The ones we're really enjoying are movies that I believe are called "cozy mysteries" because they have no serious violence, sex, guns. They are movies made from Alexander McCall Smith's books The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Set in Botswana in southern Africa, they offer a delightful mixture of African culture within and around the mysteries that are presented (and solved).

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Photos not usually for the album

I set out to take photos of things I wouldn't normally consider, but that have their own "interest."

At the Christmas Store on the boardwalk: everything is an ornament.
 If you'd like one, let me know right away.

Again at the Christmas store, the Halloween corner,
 but I have never seen a Halloween tree.

Smokey the Bear lives in New Jersey,
in case you've wondered.

Exit 0 !?!?!?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Here are two unique events from my knowledge of vacationing in New Jersey:

1) Wawa--a great conglomeration of local convenience stores. In our town they might be close to Country Fairs, but these Wawas are something...there is a CONSTANT flow of traffic in and out and, since "ours" is rather small, customers are kind of shoulder to shoulder, but they seem to be able to glide among each other, find what they need and make their way to the cashiers. All at fast, yet calm speed. Amazing establishments!

Our Wawa.

2) At the ocean yesterday we viewed a group of dolphins "passing by." As in 20 or so dolphins swimming in a long, long line parallel to the shore. Every once and a while one would rise up just a little, but we never saw a full jump or anything even close. Among other things this experience takes me back to one of my favorite books, An Exaltation of Larks. Just what is a group of dolphins called? Answer from the book: a pod of dolphins. Nowhere near as clever as a leap of leopards, a parliament of owls, an ostentation of peacocks, a smack of jellyfish or a murder of crows!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Heard Museum-Phoenix

While we were at the LCWR assembly in Scottsdale, Arizona, we went to this museum that is home to an outstanding collection of Native American art. It was begun by a couple that moved to the southwest from Chicago. They started showing their pieces right in their home, but as the collection expanded they moved it to a building across the street where today it is a first class collection of art and artifacts from numerous tribal traditions from the southwest.

Native American women from five nearby tribes.

A beautiful needle work quilt.

Beaded Native American woman, horse, baby, two small horses
and two (non-visible) children riding in the back.

Barry Goldwater's family donated their extensive collection of Native American dolls.

Material for fences.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Saguaro world

I'm in the southwest this week and amazed at everything that is so Arizona-like. It has been over 105 in the afternoon every day...a totally different kind of heat than ours! But the natural world here is beautiful...I'll share lots of photos Monday. The most amazing single thing is the saguaro cactus. If you have 5 minutes go here and you'll see all about them.

We also went to the Heard Museum which specializes in Native American art (again, pictures Monday)! However the special exhibit on the Indian schools of the late 1800s+ breaks your heart...thousands of children taken away to awful boarding schools to be anglo-sized.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Black-eyed Susans time

We are "recuperating" from this year's really wonderful Summer Community Days, last Wednesday through Saturday. I put the word in " " because it's not that it is like getting better from a disease, it's just the coming back to "ordinary time." Since only a minority of the 91 of us are blooming extroverts, (not I), all that time with people, people everywhere (even ones you love!) and activities each day, take their toll---and coming back to the everyday pace and interactions are welcome.

In fact, we were walking around the Benetwood and Mount grounds tonight, feeling awash in black-eyed Susans, which are around every corner and in every single garden patch, when we came upon one of our postulants. She was sitting by herself, music coming through ear buds I'd guess, and just enjoying the quiet and peace of sitting on a bench in our backyard. Forty feet later we passed the sun room and who's sitting there by herself reading, the other postulant. Both "recuperating" I'm sure, from their first Summer Community Days. Smart gals!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Alarming Grace

This week I had a chance to see live and in person one of my very favorite authors, Barbara Brown Taylor---speaking at Chautauqua. (Here's the review of her talk in the Chautauquan Daily. ) I had read her magnificent An Altar in the World and before that, Leaving Church and just this summer finished her latest, Holy Envy. They were all so real, so spiritual, so witty. Please read about them on amazon or someplace and if one at all sounds "possible" for you, give it a try. She is one of the best!

Cover of TIME April 28, 2014  her book
about finding God in the dark.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

How can it be August?!

The cutest little kids were all around at this family affair event this weekend at one of our many local wineries.
 I haven't officially heard yet, but I'm betting that it's been a banner year for our grape crop and, if so, the annual
North East Grape Festival in September will be a very happy event for the many grape farmers of the region.
We have thousands and thousands of acres of grape vineyards....primarily for wine and for Welch's in
New York state about 20-25 miles east of us.

Our final concert of the season, I'm afraid. The Rooftop Project at Penn Shore Winery.
 Great music, great time.

Continuing on the weekend theme of enjoying summer events, about a dozen of us took in a game Sunday afternoon for our AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers: the Erie Seawolves. It was my first game of the season and they won! 3-2. Reeking of Americana...I thought I saw Norman Rockwell in the stands sketching the crowd in all their baseball paraphernalia, eating hot dogs and singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Yes, we really do stand and sing it in the seventh inning!