Pirates and Hip Surgery

If anyone was following, you may have realized that I missed two weeks of blogs. I’ve been in New Jersey since August 4th, and between my family members there is currently only one laptop so stealing it for an hour to write is challenging.

I spent the first week in Wildwood NJ at the beach. My extended family on my moms side goes every year. It’s a sacred tradition to them. I have a large family, many aunts uncles and cousins, and even some members who are not actually related that we somehow adopted over the years. Out of those there are two girls who are close to my age; Anna my cousin and Jennifer my almost cousin. Since I can remember Wildwood has been a time of togetherness for us. No matter how distant we are the rest of the year, or how different we are, at Wildwood we’re best friends. Looking back especially at our preteen and early teen years I can’t help but to compare it to some silly girl movie about friendship forever, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Those were some of the best times of my life, and the closeness and trust can never be replicated in the same way. Last year I realized it couldn’t last. We were going different directions with our lives, interests, and beliefs, and it felt like the definite closing of a story. I mentioned this to them and was immediately shot down, but this year I proved to be right. The closeness trust and silliness just wasn’t there like it was. We’re held together by traditions and memories, but not by looking to the future.

I’ve mellowed out a lot this year. I’ve changed so much that I couldn’t possibly have the same experience as before. Jennifer agreed that I’m a lot different. “You’re growing up.” She said, and laughed to try lighten the mood. I spent a lot of time alone reflecting and exploring this year. It was a good for a totally different reason than before. I discovered how beautiful the sunrise is on the beach before a storm.

IMG_6667-001 Early morning and night is absolutely my favorite time to be on the beach. There is nothing as divine as reflecting on God’s creation in quiet tranquility.

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I brought my bike this year, which gave me more freedom to explore and do my own things like sitting over a jetty at 7 in the morning (the picture above). It made for an amazing experience. People didn’t understand what I was doing most of the time, and “I’m praying” was a confusing answer for most, but it was incredible.
Of course riding has some dangers, especially in the rain… on worn tires.
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Isn’t it awesome? It’s leaving a pretty wicked scar. I fell and my leg was caught in the chain. I consider it a souvenir from the trip. At least it’s a lot better of a story than some of the others I have. I may even be able to lead some to believe it was a shark attack. Maybe. Maybe not such a good idea… but if I’m feeling mischievous…
I also spent more time with some other members of my family, like these guys. IMG_6705

“We’re searching for buried treasure!” Each one of us said to anyone who asked, a little more excited by the idea than we would have admitted. “We’re the Irish, Italian pirates of Wildwood!” I decided. In our efforts we found several cans, aluminum wrappers, and quarters. A treasure fit for the pirates of Wildwood!
One of my favorite things to do involves a speed boat and the ocean.

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I love sitting on the tossed waves with the salt water whipping my face and plunging overhead as we rise and fall with the rhythmic tide. The beach in itself I don’t especially like, but the ocean is wild with mystery in it’s depths, untamable and unexplored. It’s vast and unpredictable and wordlessly incredible and beautiful. I feel the heart of God in the purity of His creation. His flourish and His flavor resonates in the heart of time.
Some nights I spent with my new friends at the boardwalk chapel. IMG_6692

 They run a very cool ministry right on the boardwalk with a service every night, and afterwards they go off and witness to people until 10 PM every single night. I’m impressed with their perseverance. The first time I sat outside for a bit and watched people go by, and all of them mocked them, and either walked away or stood, scoffed, laughed and then walked away. To still donate so much time and effort despite being laughed at and hated shows much integrity. I’m glad I could spend some time with them, and it was encouraging to know that even in a place of darkness there is still light to be found, however seemingly small. I pray for them and that their efforts are not in vein.
One of the best things that happened with Anna and Jennifer was this little gem we happened to stumble across. Just before we were saying that we’d like to see some live music. We took a walk, and there it was. When this girl walked out in her yellow dress and cardigan, I thought, ‘okay, this is gonna be cute’, and braced myself for impending cuteness. That’s not quite how it went.IMG_6695

We all looked at each other, our mouths gaping open. What just happened? “I’m starstruck!” Anna said afterwards when we were thinking of talking to her. “She was born for classic rock!” It seemed that way as she stole our attention and belted into the microphone. I will forever remember the girl in the yellow dress.
Fulfilling tradition we still had our annual blindfolded makeovers and picture, despite the awkward dwindling away from each other that occurred. The Sisterhood of Loser Moose Squirrel still exists though not quite like before. I’m not sure how long we can keep this up, but I’ll enjoy what’s left while I can, and look boldly to the future because there are better things ahead.
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Now I should touch on why I’m still in NJ past my vacation date. My grandfather Anthony Fantauzzo fell the day after vacation and broke his hip. He also has been sick and has a fever, but they did the surgery anyway despite complications with his blood pressure dropping. It went well, though recovery now it miserable. He still has a fever, so he can’t go into rehab and is stuck in a hospital bed. Last night I heard that his wound from surgery in infected. I don’t know what that means for his recovery.
I don’t know when I’m coming home. I think my mom is bent on staying until he gets to rehab.
Keep him in prayer as he recovers. He is not happy.
The way this is going I may not be home until September. If that’s the case then I’ll try to keep blogging anyway, and anyone can still contact me. Thank you for your time and interest in my life.

Psalm 24

A psalm of David.

1
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.

2

For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
    and built it on the ocean depths.
3
Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?

4

Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
    who do not worship idols
    and never tell lies.

5

They will receive the Lord’s blessing
    and have a right relationship with God their savior.

6

Such people may seek you
    and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Interlude
7
Open up, ancient gates!
    Open up, ancient doors,
    and let the King of glory enter.

8

Who is the King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty;
    the Lord, invincible in battle.

9

Open up, ancient gates!
    Open up, ancient doors,
    and let the King of glory enter.

10

Who is the King of glory?
    The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—
    he is the King of glory. Interlude
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