I’m taking notes in bed

I woke up in the middle of the night, slightly alarmed by the fact that aliens were trying to contact me while I waded through the Susquehanna River. I found the way they spoke to me in my head amazing and I was really pumped that they chose me to communicate with. I realized it was a dream since the metal plate in my head would actually prohibit alien communication through thought invasion, but as a dream, it was a winner.

Now it’s just a slight memory and I’m angry I didn’t have a notebook, recorder or even my phone by the bed to make a few notes because that dream was great and I could have used it as a springboard for writing material. I remember in my half awake, half asleep fog that it was note-worthy, sadly I drifted back off and didn’t write a single note and I can’t remember exactly how things went down in the dream. Why must dreams be so fleeting?

I swear, tonight, I will have a notebook/recorder/phone. I think just having my camera beside the bed and turning on the video recorder is the best idea. (Strictly to record my dream memories, let’s not go elsewhere with that.)

I start my new job Monday!!!

I was kidding about the metal plate,
~P.

Blue Crabs are Delicious, But We Ate None

Wallops Island Morning Afternoon Friday 061

The students of York College of Pennsylvania enrolled in the summer Marine Biology 210 course traveled to Wallops Island in Virginia to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station to study marine life, particularly crab species, for three days. This was my last course to complete prior to receiving my bachelor’s degree.

We arrived shortly after noon at the field station on Friday May 30th and split into three groups. Each group had their own species of crab: fiddler crabs, ghost crabs, and blue crabs. I was part of a small group of four studying the blue crabs.

Fishing for and the processing of blue crabs is a huge industry for both Maryland and Virginia. My group was interested in whether there was a size difference in the crabs on Wallops Island, which is owned by the government and closed to the public, versus the crabs found at Assateague Island, an island that is visited by countless tourists yearly.

The blue crab is a scavenger, eating nearly anything it finds at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. We fished for the crabs on Wallops Island using chicken, shrimp, oysters, and gummy worms. The crabs ate all of it, though the chicken was the most popular bait. My group was not interested in what the crabs were eating, but the size of the crabs caught in the 25 minute time frame given.

On Wallops Island, a total of 12 crabs were caught off of a dock with half being male and half female. The average size of the Wallops crab was 3.75 inches in width. On Assateague Island, 22 crabs were caught using only chicken from the banks of a running stream. Of the crabs caught, 14 were females and 8 were males. The average size of these crabs was 4.68 inches.

Eat in one bite

Eat in one bite

What we learned was the crabs caught on a public island was larger than those caught on the private island disproving our hypothesis that the larger crabs would be found on Wallops because there were no humans fishing there. Possible theories I came up with to explain this were the human activity on Assateague contributed to their larger size because more food was made available to them through fishing and accidental or intentional feeding. The legal size to keep a blue crab is 5 inches. Based on the sizes of the crabs students caught at this time of year, the crabs should easily reach legal size at the height of fishing season in August.

People love to eat blue crabs and they are especially good with Old Bay Seasoning. Humans are probably the biggest threat to the blue crab population, but not because of fishing. As long as the guidelines and laws are followed for crab fishing, the crabs are able to replenish yearly. The real problem for the blue crab population is the excess of nutrients found in the Chesapeake Bay that is making it difficult for the blue crabs to survive in their own habitat.  There is too much animal and human waste, car exhaust and power plants that are contaminating the creeks and rivers that empty into bay and all that pollution is having a negative impact on the blue crab. The excess nutrients cause algae to grow which leads to poor water quality and low oxygen levels making the bay habitat unhealthy for the crabs.

All too small to keep

All too small to keep

There are easy steps humans can take to stop causing the blue crabs habitat to deteriorate. First would be to cut back on the use of lawn fertilizers. These fertilizers wash away with every rain and always wind up in the running streams and rivers that lead directly to the bay. Secondly, whenever possible, carpool, use public transportation, ride a bicycle, or walk. The less exhaust released into the air, the less that will eventually end up in the water supply and dump into the bay. Lastly, plant a tree or two. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide cars create while releasing oxygen back into the air. They also absorb pollutant gases in their leaves and bark keeping them from every making it into flowing water. Sadly, if something isn’t done to keep the water that flows into the bay clean, the blue crab population will continue to decrease yearly and there will be less and less to harvest for humans to eat.

Wallops Island Morning Afternoon Friday 071

Finding a job

jobagency

I’ve been told by many people, “you’re the total package that employers are looking for.”

Great, so why hasn’t one serious employer called to at least interview me? I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve applied or tested for easily 50 or more jobs and I realize that finding a “real job” where having a college degree is involved for the position and not one for say, greeting people as they enter Walmart or asking if they want fries with that takes a bit of time, BUT my summer work study position is down to six weeks left and I have yet to get one call or email for a job I can seriously consider.

Sure, I get tons of emails about sales position jobs and spam emails about companies that once you Google them you learn “2014 Quality Service Award” is just a bunch of BS. I have years of management and accounting experience, retail sales and I’m not too shaky with the English language, so come on already, someone give me a shot here!

It’s super frustrating to see all these help wanted ads, apply, and then wait. And wait. And wait some more. It won’t be too long and I’m going to have to start paying back that student loan soon.

Ready to work…call me maybe?

~P.

Colonial Philadelphia’s Christ Church

William Penn had this crazy idea to allow all denominations the freedom of worship and with that idea arose the magnificent Christ Church in 1695 located at corner of 2nd and Market Streets in historic downtown Philadelphia. This church, which includes the burial tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is full of history and beautiful inside and out. There are still services held at the church. For more information check their website. http://www.christchurchphila.org/

I enjoyed taking photos and was particularly fascinated by the tombstone in the floor of the church and Mr. Franklin (or is that Mr. Penn?) on his cell phone.

~P.

PWC day 2 044PWC day 2 045PWC day 2 046

PWC day 2 038PWC day 2 040

Click on the first thumbnail to best view the full size photos.

A colonial cell phone?

A colonial cell phone?

Philadelphia is full of history. . . check it out but be prepared to pay for a parking garage or meters!

~P.

2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Photos

The 2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference was informative and lots of fun for all the writing geeks. Here’s photos of presenters, members of the conference board and attendees having a great time.

The winner of the random writing prompt knighted James Knipp.

The winner of the random writing prompt knighted James Knipp.

Donna Cavanagh gives a workshop on humor writing. She is the owner of HumorOutcasts.com.

Donna Cavanagh gives a workshop on humor writing. She is the owner of HumorOutcasts.com.

Cecily Kellogg takes about the importance of social media for writers.

Cecily Kellogg talks about the importance of social media for writers.

Board members Don Lafferty and James Knipp keep busy at the registration table.

Board members Don Lafferty and James Knipp keep busy at the registration table.

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

Katherine Ramsland gave a workshop on muse writing…she also told us about her strange adventures with vampires and ghost hunters.

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

President of the Philadelphia Writers' Conference Board Eileen D'Angelo (right)

President of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Board Eileen D’Angelo (right)

Dinner was delicious

Dinner was delicious

The keynote speaker, Lu Ann, encouraged us to let out our inner child and blow bubbles at the dinner table.

PWC day 2 052 PWC day 2 053 PWC day 2 055 PWC day 2 056 PWC day 2 057 PWC day 2 058 PWC day 2 059 PWC day 2 063Another great conference with many opportunities to meet agents, editors and other writers. I was thrilled to take first place in one of the writing competitions and to make new friends in the business.

~P.

 

Graduating 25 years after high school

Image

When I started York College of Pennsylvania four years ago, graduation in 2014 seemed like an eternity away. Now I feel like my four years at YCP flew by. I’ve had the most amazing experience going to college as an adult rather than right out of high school. I believe attending as an adult made me try much harder to achieve a high GPA and I truly believe my dedication to making high grades kept my mind off the fact that I was struggling to get through a long, ugly divorce process lasting six years. Now, to my delight, both have come to an end. I finished my last college course last week and the week before my divorce was finalized! Now I can focus on writing my story about life lived with a narcissist. This blog has followed the process of divorce, the book will be about what life was like. I’m not looking to villainize my ex or portray myself as a helpless victim. I will write this book so that others know the signs, and possibly, I can help one person realize the traits of a narcissist before they say “I do.”

The title of my future book I Used to Drive a Mercedes.

For now I drive a 1992 Honda Accord and celebrate having a wonderful man in my life and an earned degree.

The worst is over,

~P.

 

pregnant, but not

I’m trying not to be upset, with myself or God. I’ll be honest, it’s a challenge. I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant March 31st. It was impossible for me to keep it between Brian and I. I guess that’s where my optimism got the best of me. Generally speaking, I’m a realist. From the moment Brian asked me if I’d like to try to have a baby, I told him, “I’m 43! I don’t even know if I can GET pregnant.” But six weeks later, I was and I thought for sure God wanted this to happen for us. I’m not pointing the finger at God, I’d like to keep thinking he’s in my corner. It just hurts.

For the first time in my life I feel what true love is. Brian has touched my heart in a way I didn’t know was possible and it sometimes eats away at me that we have known each other since we were twelve yet never once even hinted to the other that there was some interest in more than friendship. My life went one direction–marriage and two sons–and his went another, Penn State. By luck of a newspaper article and the amazing reuniter of people, Facebook, Brian and I got back in touch after 25 long years. We didn’t plan to fall in love; it just came and smacked us both upside our heads. Every day I feel stronger about him and more certain that we probably should have been together for the past 25 years, but hey, that’s life. You gotta live it and apparently we did just that, lived it. Now we love it and for the first time since getting together, we are hurting.

The emotional pain of being pregnant and told the baby isn’t alive inside me is horrifying. I’ve been through this before. I was pregnant back in 2007 when I was still with John. The difference this time is I have a man who loves and supports me. When I finally miscarried in 2007, John blamed me and wanted to let me home with Tesla so he could go play softball. Yeah. Really. Today, I had to insist Brian go to work because I saw no reason for him to stay home if physically, I’m fine. My doctor’s office just called about fifteen minutes ago to tell me the ultrasound confirms a non-viable pregnancy. Maternal Fetal Medicine sent me to have the pregnancy levels checked in my blood. They didn’t come back yet, but I really don’t have any hope. I see no reason to cling to hope when everything points to a collapsing amniotic sac within my uterus. They baby was there, but it had no heartbeat. Now I just wait for the pain, cramps and bleeding to come.

I don’t consider myself lucky over the recent years. I’ve been through a lot since the split of John and I in 2008. I struggle every day with the fact that some idiot judge who was forced to retire gave custody of my child to her father based on the fact that he had our house. When you lie in court and get other people to lie for you, it’s not that hard to get what you want, especially when your wife can’t afford an attorney. I should be hateful toward him, but I’m not. I can’t say I like the man, but he is the father of Tesla and I’m not going to wish death on him or anything. I have more in my life with Brian in the past 6 months than John could have ever given me because what Brian gives me comes free. There is no way to buy love. The luck I do have brought Brian and I together. The bad luck that seems to haunt me daily will probably rear its ugly head Saturday. The worst day to lose this pregnancy would be when I’m getting ready to graduate college with honors after 4 long years of hard work. Yeah, I’m calling that one. Not trying to be negative, just realistic. Might as well hold off until the day I’ve been waiting four years to celebrate.

Yes, I’m sad, and yes, I’m angry, but I don’t have regrets, well, maybe just that I told everyone I was pregnant so early when I should have realized this old womb might not have all the cobwebs swept out and be able to bring Brian and I a cherub-faced baby that we so much would love to have. On a good note, the doctors say all my female particles work and that’s not the issue. The most difficult part will be telling Tesla and Matthew and that they won’t have a brother or sister in December. Telling my mom she won’t be a grandma again is going to really bite too. Mom was so blinking happy and I hate having to make her sad. We’re all going to be sad together, Brian and I, our families and our friends. Everyone has been so supportive and this is such a huge disappointment. I haven’t decided if we will try again. I don’t know if I can take this emotional pain over and over. It is much more painful than the actual physical part of losing a pregnancy. That part hasn’t even arrived yet…but the doctors tell me to be prepared. So I just wait.

I write this because it gives me relief. I don’t know if people can understand, but writing gets me through.

Thank you for reading,

~P.

The Problem of God: Absentee Father

Pattie Crider

PHL 250

Final Paper

May 12, 2014

Bonnie Religious fathers day

The Problem of God: Absentee Father

 

God has many problems to work out trying to watch over the humans he created. People are not mindful of the Ten Commandments and often seem to break them purposely as if spitting in the face of God. Humans feel let down by God and disappointed in his ability to fulfill the role of a father figure. Many people have had no earthly father figure making it even more difficult to think of God as a father when he has no physical presence in their life. I find this to be a problem of God in that he has a responsibility, at minimum, to find a way to show humans that he is there for them in life and not like so many earthly fathers who have only contributed the sperm needed to create a child.

“I don’t believe in God, and how could anyone believe in him? If this is, as we are told, our heavenly father, then he seems a rather absent one. Why doesn’t he notice at all the piss poor state of the world? [He] can’t exist or he’s a poor excuse for a father.” –Jack (YahooAnswers np) Jack doesn’t pull any punches in asking his pointed question about God being our heavenly father yet is seemly absent in so many people’s lives. Jack is not just upset with God but also with himself. In his question I pulled from Yahoo Answers, Jack goes on to share that he has a daughter he only saw once, shortly after her birth, and never again thereafter. Jack acknowledges that he is an absent father himself and is unable to make the connection of God as a father in his own life. Jack, like many others, questions why God has allowed the world to “fall to ruin” if he is such a “caring father” to humankind.

“How can I call God “Father” when I do not know what a father is? I have tried so hard to understand my friends when they talk highly of their fathers. I am angry with him for leaving our family” (Balthazar 543). The writer of this statement is not alone in his thoughts. According to The Centre for Social Justice Report, lone parent families are increasing by more than 20,000 a year and have been steadily rising over the past 40 years. The report estimates there are more than 3 million children growing up predominantly with their mothers (Richardson np). The teachings of Jesus and from the Bible are that God is our heavenly father but how can a child ever relate to this concept if their earthly father is nowhere to be found? Even those who do have both parents present in the household may have difficulties with this concept, especially if they have never engaged in biblical study through a pastoral figure, church or Sunday school. Even with such guidance, understanding an unknown figure that cannot be seen or spoken to as a father would still be difficult. Is this the problem of humans or the problem of God?

If God’s goal is to have us accept him as our heavenly father than I would lean towards this being God’s problem. Certainly a difficult one as family’s fall apart daily making finding a solution or creating a solution is nearly impossible, even for God. People, even those that are the best Christians possible, fail miserably every day, yet God somehow expects parents to be role models for their children. A difficult task if a father is not present in the child’s life. In Gannett’s article, “The Parent. The Child-And God” he refers to the parent as a trustee. He then compares God to a parent as God watches every moment on the earth instructing the man and woman to “Hold him, keep him, tend him for me. He is my boy, she is my girl: tend them for me” (Gannett np). This article written in 1903 places the responsibility back on the parents to tend to their child and raise their child in a Godly manner. Unfortunately this dual parenting system has gone by the wayside. Gannett continues that God is fate to the child and God is not the absentee, but God is present, securing by the wonderful method of his parental love. I seriously have my doubts if the three million children who have an absent father look to God as his replacement.

In a YouTube video, the concept of God as an absent father is addressed. The men in the video discuss how the neglect of their father’s led them to pray to God for support and answers, but they felt they never received answers. “God never says, ‘Good job’ as my father figure. There was never a tangible person and having the Holy Spirit inside was not enough.” After living 28 years and receiving no feedback from God the one man said it lead to suspicion in his life and questioning if there really was a heavenly father. He asked, as many people do, “Why does God let tragic things happen and do nothing?” He found this unacceptable to believe and a real problem of God. He believes there is not external force that will come in and take responsibility for the tragedies in people’s lives. He now believes we must accept what happens and realize the tragedies are not necessarily comic. “We must do what we can to avoid these evil things and prevent them. You must trust in your heart because the answers are not in the [biblical] text.” After years of struggling with the neglect of his father and the difficulties in accepting God as his replacement father, he came to a decision. This man pushed the Bible away from himself and told God the Bible was not good enough to take the place of his absence (DeSkepticon np). He broke away from both his earthly neglectful father and the heavenly father that he never quite felt was present.

The video the two men made discussed their feelings towards God as a father figure. Years had been invested in giving God a chance to “step-up” and prove he is worthy of this title. It may be said that this is a twisted concept of how we are to accept God’s love. We are to not question how God works and instead have faith that how our life unfolds is his ultimate plan for us.  Psycho-spiritual analysis suggests that inadequate involvement of fathers can bring anger that impairs people’s understanding of how God can be “Our Father” (Balthazar 544) If this is indeed factual, than what is God doing about this problem?

Looking again at the article from 1903, it raises the importance of a “family alter” in the sanctuary home where the family bows their individual souls together at morning or at night. This is when the father and the mother and the two or three little ones live as one unit of blessedness, one household of love and has the feeling of family thankfulness and aspirations. The author states that this practice has fallen by the wayside in households placing the blame on the parents and removing the responsibility as a problem of God. He calls this the shame of the liberal faith for not lifting the souls in a household thanksgiving (Gannett np). Could this be the very downfall of a two parent family unit, the loss of giving thanks to God as a family within the household? Even if God is forced down the throat of a child daily, this will not necessarily guarantee a child will accept God as their heavenly father and be set on a course for eternal life. The lives of children and adults have changed so drastically since 1903 that the concept of a family, even one that attends a traditional church service on Sundays, also having a morning or evening gathering of thankfulness at home seems incredulous. I’m willing to bet nearly every household would state there just isn’t time in their schedule. The time once dedicated to worshipping God has been lost to careers, school, sports, television, the Internet or video games. Socializing in person or on the World Wide Web holds higher importance than praising God as a family unit and factor in the high number of single-parent homes and God is moved even lower to squeeze into the schedule. If more people are pushing the Bible away from themselves as DeSkepticon did, is there any hope for improvement for humankind through God as a heavenly father?

If human-beings are moving away from God, then Slavoj Žižek concept in his video is not that difficult to believe. While Jesus was hanging on the cross as recorded in the Bible in Matthew 27:43, at about the ninth hour into his hanging, he knows he has reached the end of his earthly life and cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Žižek claims this is the point in which Jesus realizes there is no God. He also states “Of course we cannot know what God wants from us, because there is no God” (Žižek np). This is the personal opinion of Žižek, but could it be true? God has a problem, not just that of absent fathers or being an absentee father himself, but that people have lost in their faith in him. What needs to happen for faith to be restored in humankind now that so much has ebbed away over time? An old-fashioned revival or maybe an old-fashion, vengeful act of God to get our attention that has strayed so far since biblical times? Couldn’t God just solve all his problems by sending Jesus back to earth and making those who don’t believe realize just how wrong they were? It is not God’s problem if we don’t believe in him, but our own and personally, if I find out in the long run that the Bible was a book of fiction and God was just human’s way of trying to keep people inline (which obviously would be a FAIL) I don’t see there was any harm in my beliefs. If there is no harm to this belief while living, and in death I find it all to be true, then the rewards for my belief in a heavenly father will be too numerous to write and I will in fact have held the faith regardless of God giving me proof while on earth that he is indeed above, watching over us all.

 

 

Works Cited

Balthazar, Pierre M. “How Anger Toward Absentee Fathers May Make it Difficult to Call God     ‘Father’” Pastoral Psychology. (2007) 55:543-549 Web accessed. 1 May 2014.

DeSkepticon. “Is God an Absent Father?” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 11 Mar. 2011. Web accessed. 7 May 2014.

Gannett, William C. “The Parent. The Child-And God.” Friends’ Intelligencer. (1853-1910) 24 Oct. 1903. Web accessed. 8 May 2014.

Richardson, Hannah. ‘A million children growing up without fathers.’ BBC.com. 9 June 2013. Web accessed. 9 May 2014.

YahooAnswers. Society & Culture>Religion & Spirituality. “Isn’t God an ‘absent father?’” Answers.yahoo.com. 2007. Web accessed. 1 May 2014.

Žižek,Slavo .The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. Dir. Sophie Fiennes. Zeitgeist Films, 2013. Film.

Does God Love?

Pattie Crider

PHL250

04/24/2014

Does God Love?

 

The pain in my chest is overwhelming today and I wonder how much I can endure. I’m angry at God and can’t understand why there must be so much suffering. God if you love us why do you let tragedy into our lives? I want to love you. I want to believe you love me and all of us on earth, but you make it difficult. Is it a test of our faith? If it is, you are taking it to a level I can barely endure.

“Aunt Peggy! Hi, it’s Pattie. I’m calling to see what time you want us to come for Easter dinner.”

“Oh Pattie, I have terrible news. My Frankie died in his sleep last night. I’m still having dinner and want you to come, but I’m pushing it back to later in the day. More of our family will be coming.”

I felt like I had just been punched in the gut. Frankie, my 34 year-old cousin was so full of life. He made even the grumpiest person smile with his antics. I sat down to let what my aunt had just said sink in. Frank was gone. I wouldn’t see him at dinner tomorrow and he wouldn’t get all the kids wound-up to the point we would have to yell at him to settle down as if he were 8 years old himself.

I went to Philadelphia the next day and ate dinner with my family but there wasn’t much praising of God, or even a prayer thanking him for giving up his son for our lives. We were all thinking the same thing, “Why did he take our Frank?” My aunt did not plan a funeral for Frank, no opportunity for us to gather and see him one last time. No prayers or hymns asking God to welcome him into Heaven. We left Philadelphia still dazed, hugging our family members, some we haven’t seen since we were children, hating that the only reason for our reunion was the death of our dear cousin. I will be honest; we weren’t thinking about God’s sacrifice of his son, we were thinking about ourselves and the loss of a man we loved dearly.

I came home and tried to get back into the swing of things. I was making progress, accepting that Frank made poor choices in his life and perhaps God took him out of love to save others from the dangers he could have brought into their life, particularly his young son’s life. I almost convinced myself that God did this out of love and Frank is now in Heaven with his wings, no longer suffering severe back pain from a work injury.

Then yesterday happened and my anger towards God is nearly at a boiling point. My dear friend for some unknown reason shot herself to death Tuesday night in her home. I cannot understand why and I’m overwhelmed with guilt for not calling her more often or stopping to see her at work. She was literally two minutes up the road and I barely saw her in person. She always seemed happy even, when I dropped off her Girl Scout cookies last month. Would a God who loves take or allow her to take her life? I am so angry that this happened and even angrier at myself for not being a better friend.

Last night my dad called about 8:30 PM to tell me my mom isn’t doing well. She is in Pittsburgh recovering from the first of two surgeries necessary for a small intestine transplant. The thought of losing my mother terrifies me. I am praying to God to make her strong and to give me the strength to get through this unbelievable amount of stress going on in my life. My mom is the most kind, caring and loving person I know and did nothing to deserve the suffering she has endured for the past 20 years. If God loves, why does my mother’s pain continue? My dad said they will probably move her to critical care because she is having such difficulties breathing. It is devastating to me that she isn’t even strong enough to talk to right now. In fact, she is so weak we don’t want to tell her about the loss of Frank in fear she will begin crying and her body won’t be able to take the stress.

I want to believe in a Christian, loving God. That is the God I pray to asking him to hold my strength as I get through the loss of my cousin and friend, as I try to be patient with my mother’s recovery, as I finish my last term in college, as I try to get custody of my daughter from my abusive ex and finish the divorce he started six years ago. The stress is incredible and I try to have faith that God will be by my side, especially since I have a life growing inside me that should not be touched by the drama and sadness taking place.

Could the Hebrew God really be what looks down at us? Not really caring, but just going on with business as usual because what he started with Adam and Eve has been a bust and we humans are just the mess left behind that he must try to tidy up daily? I can’t say I’d blame God if that’s how he feels. God demanded we obey and worship him but most of us fail. If his love is contingent on a transaction in which we fulfill, I’m not surprised by all the suffering the world endures, or even my own suffering. I would expect the pleasure he gets from our creation to be minimal because the reality is we humans suck at upholding even the simplest of obligations. We had the opportunity to have perfect lives and it was ruined in the Garden of Eden with rebellion, sin and crimes against one another. So those original sins perhaps are the cause for the suffering we have every day. I don’t believe it’s fair. I feel bound to God through the love I was raised to believe in and feel towards him, but the weight of life and the recent happening in my personal life make holding this love difficult.

I don’t want to believe that God doesn’t love us. That belief is what keeps me holding my faith. I want to believe God loves us and there is a reason for everything that happens, whether it is the death of a loved one or the surprise of becoming pregnant at 43 years old. I don’t want to think there has to be bad to compensate for good or that all this happens randomly with no higher power involved. It would obliterate everything I’ve been taught since I was old enough to understand Bible stories. I instead place my life in God’s hands and will replace my anger with stronger faith because anger and hate will never make things better and only bring me down further.

This wasn’t a fictional story, I just couldn’t bring myself to write fiction when my reality is so tangible right now and making me question whether God does love. I will continue to believe he does in the Christian thought because to allow the Hebrew view of God enter my life would not be beneficial to my family and me. I need to believe God is good and God loves otherwise, all I’ve been taught would have been the fictional story.

Perrydell Farms~where the chocolate milk rules

My natural field science course had a field trip to Perrydell Farms Saturday and I not only was I educated, I picked up delicious chocolate milk and chocolate peanut butter ice cream too.

Perrydell farms is a third generation dairy farm that originally was not specialized. Tom, one of the owners, said in the beginning the farm had everything– chickens, pigs, cows and crops–but after World War II all the farms, including Perrydell began specializing. Tom thinks this is a downfall to farms and has begun building up farming crops and having other animals again. Except for pheasants, which fly away every time he releases them.

Here’s a little history about the farm from their website.

Perrydell Farm is a working and fully self sufficient dairy farm. We own 170 acres of land and also rent an additional 180 acres where we plant and harvest almost everything we need to feed our cows.

The farm was bought in 1923 by Howard Perry. His two sons, George and Roger eventually took over the farm and they had the foresight to start bottling their own milk in 1963. Because of this approach, the farm now supports four families from the milk of only 130 cows. This is quite an accomplishment in today’s farming economy.

The farm is now owned and operated by George’s sons, Tom, Greg, and Chip. Everyone in our family stays involved in the farm, since there is always work to be done. We consider this a blessing in disguise that always ensures our family will be together and close.

At Perrydell, they make white milk, chocolate milk, orange dream milk, strawberry milk, buttermilk, cream, ice cream and yogurt and sell it in their store along with other local farmer’s products. Tom said Rutter’s and Turkey Hill were really mad when they opened their farm store in the early 60’s because it shut down the huge companies milk delivery routes in the area. It wasn’t too long after his store opened, the two huge competitors began opening their own farm store. Tom’s family stuck to ONE…you know how Rutter’s and Turkey Hill’s went. The milk I bought on Saturday had been in a cow the morning before, Rutter’s and Turkey Hill can’t top that!

The farm is open to all visitors. You can go see the calves, check out the cows (they’re all girls–it’s a dairy farm), see them get milked and even trying milking them if you would like.

Great tour, I highly recommend checking out the farm. Tom and his son Ean were super nice. The products are fresh and delicious with no additives and no hormones used on the cows.

90 Indian Rock Dam Road • York, PA 17403
717-741-3485

~P.

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