Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Do Fireworks Really Have To Be So LOUD?

The possibility of silent fireworks  has been tugging at me ever since it emerged in my   Stream of Consciousness on Saturday. So, here’s a follow up.

Tuesday night we went out on our friend’s boat to watch fireworks along both sides of the  waterway between the mainland and the beach.  I was surprised how many different shows we could see, from the city display in the distance to people shooting off fireworks from private docks and small islands. I delighted in the sparkling bursts of color, but even more than the fireworks, I delighted in the moonlight reflecting on the water and on the section of beach not cluttered with houses, docks, or hotels.

I kept wondering how sea turtles and birds would be affected by the boom and brightness of the fireworks. We thought our coon hound Doodle wasn’t bothered by fireworks like our other July 4th trembling dogs who’ve since crossed over the rainbow bridge. But when we got home, Doodle went right to the bedroom and planted herself on the carpet until it was time for her walk. After the walk, she went right back to the bedroom. We let her sleep with us, realizing that the neighborhood firecrackers must have upset her while we were gone.

Doodle sleeping

I barely noticed Doodle in the bed, because I had taken a Dramamine for the boat ride. It worked well, but the drowsiness hit me at about 10PM and took 24 hours to get out of my system.

The next day, I happened to come across an article about silent fireworks displays in places like Italy and California. It’s not just a good idea for dogs, birds, and other animals, but also for human ears. After all those years of listening to loud music in my youth, I don’t want to do any more damage to my hearing.

I emailed our city council asking them to please look into the possibility and sent them this article for more information.

http://www.themonitor.com/opinion/columnists/article_03faa4ea-5df9-11e7-95d8-7b944cf09335.html

If we can put a man on the moon, why not silent fireworks?

 


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Good News Tuesday: Biggest Beach Cleanup Ever

I’d never seen a beach so dirty until I watched this video showing Versova Beach before the clean up.

 

85 weeks later, Versova Beach is clean and beautiful,  thanks to the hard work of volunteers.

This next short video shows more of what it looks like since the clean up.

 

Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.       __Margaret Mead

Sunflower w address


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One Line of Birds, My Entry for our New #1linerWeds Badge

Awesome Line of birds (2)(2)

I hope you enjoy my entry for our new One-Liner Wednesday Badge. I took the photo a few years ago at the beach. I’d been watching the sunset on the waterway, happened to turned around, and there they were – this lovely line of brown pelicans flying over the moon!

Thank you to Wes who designed our retiring badge. Wes, I hope you are out there enjoying your life, and I wish you the best!

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For more information on One-Liner Wednesday, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/15/one-liner-wednesday-new-call-for-submissions/

 


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Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)


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October Swim

 

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Just one more swim

Before the water gets too cold

It’s invigorating!

As long as I keep moving.

When I rest,

My fingertips feel numb.

.

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Back on the beach

Water offers more

 than just a swimming pool.

I study  her art

on the canvas of sand.

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 I ask the golden sun

To erase my goosebumps

And grab my sweatshirt.

Summer sleeps now.

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(All photos by JoAnne Silvia)


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Better Than Drugs

Stars from pixabay

The moon has yet to rise.

In the darkness,

Ocean’s horizon blends with sky.

 Her white crests rolling  into the sand,

Just a murmur tonight

Rising now and then

To remind us of her power.

When I gaze at the stars,

I get the feeling there is more.

Much more.

 I am overwhelmed by the distance.

My senses try to adjust

To something foreign

Yet, intimate.

The vastness of ocean

pales compared to the sky dome.

The Universe whispers,

“This is not a sky dome.”

I reach up to touch the Milky Way.

My finger floats above my head

Feeling lost at first.

But there is energy in the air

Where the ocean meets the sky.

I can’t touch it like I touch your face.

But I can feel it’s energy. His energy. Her energy.

Not just in my finger,

In my whole body

and more

Expanding all around me.

Reaching back to me.

Shouting to me from eternity,

“Yes! I’m here!”

“We are here!”

As I reach up to touch the sky.

Better than drugs.

© JoAnne Silvia, 2016. Only use with credit to the author.

(The image is from pixabay. It’s more vivid than what I saw last week from the beach. But I did see wisps of Milky Way smiling at me.)


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Taking a Break, Sort Of

socs-badge-2015

As you may know, I’m taking a break next week to go to a writer’s conference. My first one! But I’m taking an even bigger break from work since I’m cutting back to one day a week at the job.

But I’m not really taking a break from work. It looks like the conference will be busy. Breakfast starts at 7:15. I’m not a morning person. I tend to stay up late, getting on the computer after the laundry is on it’s last load and I’ve taken care of other business. I really should break the habit I have of staying up late on the computer. Sometimes I’m up until 2am. But usually that’s my limit. I try to stop earlier than that, like 1am. When I have to get up early the next day, I try to get to sleep by midnight. I’m curious about how many night owls there are on WP, or among bloggers in general.

My schedule will be very different from what I’m used to when I get back from the conference. It will be an interesting experience. I predict I will love it – creating my own schedule.

I’ll have two days for writing, including working on my book and blogging, though I tend to work on blog posts whenever an idea hits. I’ll have one day for ART projects, initially at the Rescue Mission where my husband works. I’ll post pictures as those unfold. And one day will be for home improvements followed by going to the beach in the afternoon.

I also have a goal to go the gym at least two days per week, probably on my writing days. I hope to go swimming at least one day per week, too.

There! I’ve put it in writing. Hopefully that will get me to take those breaks to go to the gym and the beach. Beach breaks are the best in the summertime!

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I think these waves are called breakers.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was “brake/break.”

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/05/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2116/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!