There is a cold blob in the North Atlantic. I did not make up the term, it is the moniker used by oceanographers to describer an area of water south of Greenland which is far less salty than water approaching from the Gulf Stream arriving from southwest of the blob. What should happen is the salty cold water of the area should sink, allowing the relatively warmer waters of the Gulf Stream flow. The lower density water of the “blob” doesn’t sink creating a partial road block…backing up things all the way to Africa. If you are interested in a fascinating and approachable article on such things of the ocean, take 10 minutes or so and read this fascinating article from the New York Times.
I recently celebrated a birthday. There were plenty of years I did not celebrate it – not because of any reason other than I was not with a group of people for whom it wasn’t on “their radar.” As best I can remember all the birthdays between high school graduation and leaving the service of the US Navy passed by. A lot of the time I was at sea and spent my birthday on watch. I know the date was in my personnel file. But I only remember celebrating the Commanding Officer’s birthday and that was because his wife had bribed the Supply Officer to make it happen. Upon returning to dry land, there was always a stack of birthday cards and well wishes waiting for me. From family and close friends, people for whom my birthday was important. Every year they remembered
In one of yesterday’s posts, I began replying to an inquiry about how I decided to go to Kenya and take up the mantle of missionary. Yesterday was about memories that persist, today’s post is about context in one’s life. As it happens, the story is part geography, part “betwixt and between,” part random question, and part taking-a-chance.
Upon leaving active duty in the Navy, I took a job in Northern Virginia with a tech company. The company’s offices were in Tysons Corner which seemed to me to be very congested and mostly concrete. So I thought to myself, “I hear the Virginia countryside is beautiful, maybe I should look for a house somewhere west of the office.” I ended up buying a home west of Leesburg and settling into a small town parish. The church was tiny with a seating capacity of 89 (according to the Fire Marshall). The Sunday 7:30 am Mass was in the Church; the other Sunday Mass was in the high school auditorium.