My abnormal brain woke me at 4am Sunday with the message that sleep time was over, not to bother rolling over and trying for another hour. So i quietly went through my morning routine and slipped downstairs to grab a cup of coffee and go watch sunrise on the beach.
Sunrises never used to impress me, then we started coming to the beach. There's nothing quite like it. The morning was cloudy so i knew i wouldn't actually see much of it, but i was able to see the sky turn rosy above them and even the thickest of the clouds were tinged with pink and orange as the light increased. It's wonderful to get in your exercise (walking in sand is exercise, make no mistake about it) and see such a beautiful sight at the same time.
Walking back i was just in time to catch the beach attendants putting out the umbrellas and cushions for the day. Both had already worked up a good sweat, even though it wasn't really hot yet, and one remarked to the other, "Every summer when I come back to work here, I remember why I'm in school!" These young men, mostly college age, work hard through the summer and earn enough for a year's tuition at small, local colleges. It's a great plan, and they earn it all.
Since i had gotten in touch with my friend Di, who lives in Mobile, and she is out here on the island, too (the lady for whom she is "nanny and house mother" has family who own a nice place here), we decided to meet up and go to church service together on Sunday morning.
Now, i have been to some services. Growing up Roman Catholic, going to Greek Orthodox church with friends, going to Anglican church with other friends, being in the middle of the Catholic Charismatic movement, and variously going to Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, and churches that dance in the aisles and pray in tongues, not much surprises me and i very much enjoy most types and kinds of services, traditional and modern. It is simply balm to my heart to be in church. This one, the one we decided to attend, is still unique.
In all the years we have been coming down here, i have never ventured into one of the shore's most famous landmarks: The Flora-Bama Bar. The famed place sits right on the state line between Florida and Alabama, and is home to the Interstate Mullet Toss. People come from all over the country to this place, and it is a run-down ramshackle of a place, several buildings on both sides of the road, tents, beachfront, and souvenir shop.
This church service is in the bar tent, with the Solid Rock in the Sand Band worship team set up right on the stage on which they have the bikini contests. With beer banners all over, all of the wooden picnic tables moved and folding chairs set up, smaller kiddie tents where your children can draw and color before the service begins, and brightly colored fishing tackle boxes as collection boxes (which are not passed, if you want to donate, you go find a box to put it in), they play and sing and preach and the music is old-time religion mixed with honky-tonk and modern praise and worship tunes.
On this particular Sunday there was an acapella quartet visiting that specializes in fifties music as well as gospel. They were fabulous, and as usual, the bass was the tallest and skinniest guy in the group. (Did you ever notice the bass is always the tall, skinny dude? You never see a short, fat bass in one of these groups, even Sweetie, back when he was the bass for such a church group, was the tall, skinny guy.) They put on quite a show, the sermon was short and to the point, and they gave a prize to the people who had come from furthest away -- they had people there from Hawaii and Alberta, Canada. You could tell that the church that puts this on each week love G-d with their whole heart, it shows in how many of them come out and serve to bring G-d's love even into a bar, and they do it after the two morning services back at their main campus.
Once church let out, we went back to the condo and decided to head to Everman's, the place where i get my health food fix for the week -- yes. even on vacation. It's in the old part of Pensacola, so we made the almost half hour drive into town to find that two things have changed. The sewage treatment area behind the store has been moved, and the store is doing so well that it is expanding. By the time we come back next year, it will have almost doubled in size.
We spent a pleasant hour eating some very delicious stuff -- wraps and sandwiches for everyone else, a nice wheatgrass smoothie and salad for me and Bigger Girl -- and then i shopped and got bread that i can eat and fruits and veggies and even a few healthy snack foods.
On the way home, i received two phone calls. The first was from #2 Son. Doc had taken him to BigBoxStore to get a fishing license, because now that he is 17 he has to have one, and it turns out he needs more than just his state ID, he has to have his Social Security Number, too. Of course, i don't have his memorized, so he'll have to wait until i can call our accountant on Monday, he will have it in his records and we will get it that way.
The second call was from our bank. Although i had warned them beforehand that we would be in this area vacationing for a week, and given them they dates, they were calling to verify that the recent huge transaction at several stores were really from us. This is service, getting calls like this on a Sunday -- and i thank her for it. It's nice to know if my card ever gets stolen and is suddenly being used in unfamiliar ways, they will notice and find out about it very quickly.
Sunday afternoon attendance at Bedside Baptist being mandatory for us, as many as i could get to do so took an afternoon siesta, and the evening was spent going from pool to beach to cooking burgers for dinner (Doc cooked, and those of us who don't eat burgers had fruit smoothies with spinach and other yummies), and hanging out on the beach outside watching the sunset until the final traces of red faded from the sky, swept away, it seemed, with the light clouds rolling in.
Broken Dolls Day -- Japan (all broken dolls are taken by their children to monks for burial)
Callynteria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (a service of atonement and cleaning Athena's temple; date approximate)
Chimborazo Day -- to publicize that while Mt. Everest may be the highest, the top of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest from the center of the earth
Dr. Charles Drew Day -- honoring the man who made blood transfusions possible
Emanicipation Day -- Tonga (obs.)
Festival to Bellona -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of war)
Impersonate Authority Day -- at your own risk, i will not bail you out just because i noted an internet holiday and you decided to celebrate it ;)
Jack Jouett Day -- Virginia (the "Paul Revere" of his day and place, rode to warn Governor Thomas Jefferson that the British were coming, 1781)
Mabo Day -- Australia
Martyr's Day -- Uganda
National Egg Day
National Chocolate Macaroon Day
National Leave the Office Earlier Day -- sponsored by Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, who urges people to maximize productivity so they can leave the office earlier every day
note that some websites say this should be the first Monday, and some the first Wednesday, of June
Opium Suppression Movement Day -- Taiwan
Pull Your Pants Up Day -- internet generated, various dates given, and some are trying to make it a national movement; to encourage young men to pull up their pants for 24 hours and see if they enjoy having both hands free
Queen's Birthday -- New Zealand; Niue
Repeat Day -- i said, "repeat day" (no, i don't know who comes up with this stuff, sometimes; if i do, i try to place the blame appropriately)
Sovereign's Birthday -- Cook Islands
St. Clotilde's Day (Patron of adopted children, brides, disappointing children, exiles, parenthood, parents of large families, queens, widows; against the death of children)
St. Kevin of Glendaulough's Day (Patron of blackbirds; Dublin, Ireland; Glendaulough, Ireland; Ireland)
Western Australia Day -- Western Australia (formerly called Foundation Day)
Worst Day in the Fairy Year -- Fairy Calendar (must be nice to know when your worst day will be)
U.S. Air Force Academy first graduating class, 1959
The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson, 1937
Rafael Nadal, 1986
Anderson Cooper, 1967
Deniece Williams, 1951
Suzi Quatro, 1950
Curtis Mayfield, 1942
Colleen Dewhurst, 1926
Allen Ginsberg, 1926
Tony Curtis, 1925
Leo Gorcey, 1917
Josephine Baker, 1906
Dr. Charles Drew, 1904
Ransom E. Olds, 1864
Jefferson Davis, 1808
Today in History:
French scholar Peter Abelard is found guilty of heresy, 1140
Hernando De Soto claims Florida for Spain, 1539
Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, begins at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, 1620
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo is founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 1770
President John Adams moves to Washington, D.C., to live in a tavern (the White House wasn't ready), 1800
In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, which prompts the First Opium War, 1839
In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil, Cree leader Big Bear escapes the North West Mounted Police, 1885
The poem "Casey at the Bat", by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, is published in the San Francisco Examiner, 1888
The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway is completed, 1889
One thousand unemployed Canadian workers board freight cars in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario, 1935
Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew, which included the first space walk by an American, 1965
A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico causes at least 3,000,000 barrels of oil to be spilled into the waters, the worst oil spill ever recorded, 1979
SkyDome is officially opened in Toronto, Ontario, 1989
Aboriginal Land Rights are granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought by Eddie Mabo, 1992
USS Carter Hall engages pirates after they board the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia, 2007
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