August 2018

Dear Friends,

       I’m including in this newsletter a cute article from The Wall Street Journal on the joys of having grandchildren. Conni and I have five grandchildren now ranging in age from 5 years to 2 months. But this summer has been the first time we have had them to ourselves for a while. It’s been a joy and an education. We kept two of the boys for 48 hours so that our son and his wife could have some time to themselves. I hate to admit it, but after two days alone with the boys, ages 3 and 1, we both felt like we’d been to Marine boot camp for two weeks. There is no let up for parents of young children. You have to watch them all the time. They simply demand your attention, which doesn’t sound like it would be that hard to do, but no matter how careful you are you inevitably hear yourself saying things like, “No, no honey don’t put sand in your mouth!”  And “Please don’t take things that belong to other people. Your brother has a right to hold that blanket; you have your own blanket!” Everything you say is followed by an exclamation mark; it’s constant crisis.

       There is a reason why God designed us to have children when we’re young—we still have the energy to do it. After a certain age, raising kids just becomes plain hard work and we run out of energy faster. On the other hand, it’s hard at any age to raise children. When my son and his wife returned from their 48 hours off, we asked them what they did. They said, “We slept for twenty hours!” And so you’re drained all the time and you never know what to expect. I heard our one boy, age two, complain to his dad as they sat in our living room, “The internet here is too slow!” I felt like saying, “It seems fast enough to me.” On the other hand, what do I know about internet speed? It’s terrible to discover that a two year old knows more about internet speed than you do. He also asked his dad, “Why doesn’t grandpa have an iPhone?” to which my son replied, “Because Grandpa is technologically backwards.” To which my grandson replied sadly, “Oh."

       I may be behind the times but some things never change. Boys will be boys. A Ravens pre -season game was on the other night and our two-year-old grandson crawled up beside me in the chair and watched the game with me shouting, “Football! Football! I need a helmet!” I asked our granddaughter to join us in watching the game and she said, “I don’t like that!” She prefers playing with Barbie. We visited a petting zoo where our two-year-old grandson took a pony ride. As soon as the pony began to walk he yelled out at the top of his voice “Yee! Ha!” His mother fell over laughing. “Where did he learn that? “ I asked her. “I have no idea,” his mother said. Human nature is what it is. Well, the children have left. Conni and I need several weeks at a spa to recuperate. On the other hand, we already miss the grandchildren. I can hardly wait for next summer when we’ll have them to ourselves again!


Fr. Jansen String


Dates to Remember

Sunday, September 23;  Holy Eucharist at 9am.   Bishop Sutton will make his annual visit. He will meet with the vestry following the service. So, vestry, please plan now to be present on that day. Unfortunately, I will not be in town, Fr. Tobias Haller will supply. Our son Jean Luc is getting married on September 8 in Lake George, New York, and following the wedding Conni and I are taking a tour with National Geographic Expeditions to Switzerland and Italy. We planned this trip a year ago, long before we knew the date of the bishop’s visit. I’m sorry for the conflict, but having hosted many bishops over the years, I’m sure you all know perfectly what to do. You’re the best congregation ever. I thank you in advance for faithfully handling this situation.

Saturday October 13, 1–5pm.  The Bull and Oyster roast. This year it will be held at the Knights of Columbus hall (by the Dundalk Firehouse and Dundalk Middle School). Tickets are $45.