That kind of week….
Yes, we’ve been in the Charleston area all week. Isle of Palms, to be exact.
I had never spent time here before my son and daughter-in-law relocated a couple of years ago. (Well..not exactly true. I did speak at The Citadel maybe 8 years ago or so….my primary memory, though, is being continually on edge while we were spending time in the Bishop’s residence, full of Old South Antiques as it was, and we having two under-6 year old boys as we did….)
I like it.
This past Sunday, we went to Mass at Stella Maris on Sullivan’s Island. It’s a tiny 19th century Gothic church, located right across from Fort Moultrie. They have scads of Masses on the weekends – the area is so heavily touristed and the church is so small, including two concurrent Masses at 9:30.
Now, please note, if you can – the church seems to be mostly in its original state, which means that this is the original altar, with no extra altar stuck in the sanctuary.
Yes, Mass was celebrated ad orientem. It was mostly in English (except for the Gloria in Latin), and no Propers, but with decent hymnody and some Bach from the hard-working choir and organist. The homily was quite good, centered on the concepts of exitus and reditus as an way of talking about the Ascension and mission.
And can I repeat? Mass was celebrated ad orientem. The Leonine Prayers were recited after Mass. The homily was theologically substantive and evangelical. There were no self-referential extemporaneous goings-on. The place was packed. The congregation was attentive, reverent and vocal.
Everyone survived and the earth continued to revolve (I think).
The major finds of the week have been a foot-long horseshoe crab tail, and this:
Joseph found it on the beach, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was. It (the striped thing) was alive, firmly attached to the shell, but a puzzle.
So we put it in water – planted it shell side down – and waited to see what would happen.
Of course – a sea anemone.
Not as gorgeous as those you find in Pacific tide pools, but exciting because It Had Been Found. A cute pet for a few minutes, until we threw it back into the sea, hoping for the best.
(Sorry for the lousy photos. All I had was my phone, and of course I couldn’t see anything on the screen, so I was just pointing, pressing where I thought the button was, and, once again, hoping for the best.)
Today, we took a journey here:
It is Capers Island, a barrier island. We went on one of these tours, and it was fun – we saw lots of dolphins, learned about crab traps and oyster beds,
saw a huge dead horseshoe crab on the beach, and played amid this landscape.
(Seeing the dead horseshoe can never beat the time – two years ago, I believe – when down on the gulf, a live one scuttled past us in the water – that event made that vacation THE BEST VACATION EVER for then 7-year old Michael, to be sure. )
I threatened to make us all get white shirts and have our photograph taken jumping on the beach, but no one took me seriously because, of course they know me, so there was no reason to even fake horror at the thought….
Beach reading? Well, with two boys in the ocean, my eyes are pretty much glued to their bounding figures and bobbing heads, but when I can, I’ve been trying to read No Name by Wilkie Collins. An odd thing, but it was free on Kindle, the plot sounded intriguing, the reviews were good, so 19th century beach read, here we go!
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