The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 4, 2018
Back to School Edition
August is the new September, my friends. At least in the part of the world I live in. Because of “year-round school” and “balanced schedules,” the kiddos around us are heading back to school now, in late July and early August. I had to wait for school buses on my way to work this morning. And my grandkids head back next week. Today is the Blue vs. White scrimmage for the high school football team, and next week will find them scrimmaging in their only “pre-season” affair. Then it’s football season. In the middle of August. It is an abomination, I tell you! Baseball is just starting to get really good, and now they want me to sit in 90º heat in the glare of the sun on aluminum bleachers and watch football?
Now the picture above shows how it used to be. That is your eager Chaplain at the tender age of 6, getting ready to head off to elementary school in Galesburg, Illinois. And notice, he’s wearing a Yankees hat! That’s because in those days the only baseball we could watch on TV was “The Game of the Week,” and the Yanks were on almost every Saturday. It was the year after one of the greatest Yankee teams of all time, the 1961 World Series Champions. Roger Maris hit 61 home runs to surpass Babe Ruth’s record, one nobody thought would ever be surpassed. It was the heyday of Mickey Mantle, my hero. Whitey Ford went 25-4 that year. Now, in 1962, the Yanks were on their way to the World Series again, where they would face and defeat the Francisco Giants. The Giants had the incredible Willie Mays and to get to the Series they had to defeat the LA Dodgers in a three-game playoff after the teams were tied at the end of the regular season. (The Cubs went 59-103 that year. They finished ahead of only the pathetic NY Mets.)
But I digress… my point is — IT WAS SEPTEMBER!!! You know, September. After Labor Day. The beginning of the fall. Before football became a year-round obsession in America. Baseball pennant races. Beginning of the harvest. Apple pies. Pristine notebooks, new pencils and erasers, new school duds. It was back when we walked blocks and blocks to get to the school. Mom took your picture on the front stoop, and then, when you were out of sight, she heaved a sigh of relief that the long, long, hot summer was over.
Well, parents are still rejoicing, and kids are still thrilled/terrified/bummed out about going back to school. Here are some pics of what that can look like:
And here are a few before and after shots of that wonderful first day of school…
SPEAKING OF CHILDREN…
Isabelle Khoo gives parents suggestions about ten biblical baby names they might consider for the new little one:
- Phineas (maybe evokes a bit too much sex and violence?)
- Damaris — Hey look, Damaris, you made the list!
Now, if we were in Sunday School, we could have a “sword drill” to see who could find these names in the Bible.
KIDS ON THE LOOSE!
From NPR: As the sun rose over Idaho on Friday, residents of suburban West Boise awoke to find some noisy new neighbors horning in on their yards: goats. A teeming host of hungry, grunting goats.
Local reporter Joe Parris got the scoop, tweeting a photo of the horde on hooves. They were unsupervised — no handlers, no herding dogs, not even a nanny.
“Updates to follow,” he promised.
But first came a half-hour of harrowing quiet from his account, as onlookers wondered whence came all the amazing grazers. What could be happening to those innocent lawns — and what motive drove so many goats to go on the lam?
As the reporter resumed tweeting, posting some truly moving images of the goats making hay, the world grasped at straws.
THE JOY OF GRANDPARENTING…
From the NY Times: Jim Sollisch writes a luminous piece called “The Particular Joy of Being a Grandparent.”
I never thought I could hold a baby for an hour — my head a few inches from hers, hanging on every sigh, waiting intently for the next scrunch of her lips or arch of her barely visible eyebrows — perfectly happy, an idiot entranced by a magic trick. But there I was on my granddaughter Avery’s first day of life, so happy I didn’t recognize myself.
I have raised children. Five of them. I have held my own babies in their first minutes of life; I have felt that shock of recognition — this is a version of me. I have kvelled (a Yiddish word meaning a giddy mixture of pride and joy) at the things my babies did that all babies do. But I have never felt this thing that stopped my brain, that put all plans on hold, that rendered me dumb.
O.K., I’ve had glimpses of this thing. But this was my first uninterrupted hour of it.
HOW HOT HAS IT BEEN IN EUROPE THIS SUMMER?
It has been hot enough that the highest point in the country of Sweden has now become the second highest point, due to glacial melting. This, from Business News:
The southern peak of Kebnekaise mountain, in northern Sweden, has shrunk by 14ft in the month of July because of the unusually hot sun melting the ice on top of it, according to figures published by Swedish news site TheLocal.se .
It used to be 6892.4 ft, but thanks to the hot weather is now only 6879.2 ft.
The north peak of the mountain is now slightly taller, 6879.3 ft.
The difference will likely become more pronounced as the summer continues and the south peak continues to shrink. The north peak is solid rock, so doesn’t change in the heat.
Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist, a geography professor at the University of Sweden, told Swedish newspaper Norrlandska Socialdemokraten : “The snow is disappearing so that not even the reindeer can find a place to get relief from the sun.
“This is happening very fast. The result of this hot summer will be a record loss in snow and ice in the mountains.”
CHAPLAINS ARE FIRST RESPONDERS TOO…
There is a nice article at Baptist Press about the role chaplaincy teams are playing in giving emotional and spiritual support to people affected by the fires in Northern California’s Carr Fire.
California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief chaplaincy teams have begun providing spiritual and emotional counseling to survivors of Northern California’s Carr fire, which started on July 23 and rapidly grew over the weekend to consume more than 98,000 acres.
…[Mike Bivins, director of California’s SBDR efforts,] said California SBDR teams will deploy a laundry unit today and have engaged local churches to help with laundry and showers for those in their communities. Southern Baptist volunteers and churches also have been able to provide pet care for survivors whose shelters do not allow pets.
“For us, one of the big things is continuing to partner with the local church to provide assistance and help them,” Bivins said. “In some cases, it’s about providing for the local church and enabling them to minister rather than rolling in and taking control.”
California SBDR is on standby with the American Red Cross to help with feeding if they are needed. They are also prepared to provide ash-out services for homeowners whenever asked. In mid-July, California SBDR teams completed ash-out work on nine mobile homes that burned during the West fire in San Diego county.
A FEW SCHOOL ANTHEMS FOR YOUR PLAYLIST…