Bloggerhood Etc. 9/1/14

Norv Turner loss map

The saddest map in the world (Image: SB Nation)

Happy Labor Day, Happy September, and Happy Back-to-School. There’s a busy week ahead, but let’s take a breath first and look back. Here’s the best of the week from around the blogosphere …

Best List.24 Maps That Explain the NFL” by Ryan Van Bibber at SB Nation.

Best Thank You.On Labor Day, 2014” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Funniest Vacation Post.Hillbilly Vacation” by The Furry Bard.

Best Non-Shaggy Dog Story.Dog Days of August” by Matt Norman at And So It Has Come to This …

Best Summer Project.I Know What You Doodled Last Summer” by Brent Almond at Designer Daddy.

Most Disturbing.A Tale of Two 9-Year Olds: The One on the Playground and the One With an Uzi” by Aaron Gouveia at Time.com.

Best ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Homer Simpson Ice Bucket Challenge” (via YouTube).

Best Question.Am I My Brother’s Gatekeeper” by Elisabeth Esther.

Best Photogallery.Oregon Explored: Astoria and the Columbia River Basin” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Back to School Post.Lord Help Me! It’s Time for School Again!” by Kelly Langston at Not Alone.

Best Example of “Love Your Enemies.”Henry Gerecke, Minister To Nazis During Nuremberg Trials, Examined By Tim Townsend In New Book” by Kimberly Winston at Huff Post Religion.

Best Time Waste. “Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator.” at Tumblr. (My favorite? “Bentobox Capncrunch.”)

Best Article.Care for Persons, Care for Planet” by Daniel R. Delio MTS at CHAUSA.org.

Best Idea.Catholic Kids Love Summer ‘Chant Camp’” by Joseph Pronechen at National Catholic Register.

Best Essay.The Right Thing to Do vs. The State of Florida” by Michael Kruse at SB Nation.

Best Video.Worst Game Show Ever!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube)

“Circle gets the square!”

Where I Belong

Heceta Head lighthouse and cove

Photo: Anna Ozab

When I’m on the Oregon Coast, I feel like I belong there.

I love the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean. I love the beautiful rock formations, the stunning cliffs, and the cold wind. I love the wildness of the beaches, so untamed compared to the tidy and overcrowded stretches of hot sand in Southern California.

I love the lighthouses. I’ve visited all eight on the Oregon coast, and several in Washington as far north as Puget Sound. I own a collection of lighthouse figurines made by a regional artist—one for every beacon I’ve visited.

I love the coast and I got to spend the last four days there. Now that I’m home, I miss it but I realize that I don’t belong there.

I belong here, in Eugene, with the fans running throughout our apartment to keep cool as the temperature climbs closer to 90°. I belong here at my laptop typing these words. I belong here, with the laundry laid out on the bed waiting to be put away.

Why? Not because of Eugene, with all it’s quirky charms, or because of the heat that I’d rather do without, or because of laptop that I barely opened in the last week, or the laundry that I’ll put away eventually.

I belong here because Julia and Anna are here. We were together on the coast and now we’re together at home.

And wherever they are, that’s where I belong.

Five Minute Friday

Time to Exhale

Waves breaking on a beach.

Photo: Anna Ozab

Tomorrow, Julia and I are taking our first real vacation in ten years. Our last one was our honeymoon. After that we took trips—to San Diego and to Indiana to visit family, day trips to Florence, the Wildlife Safari or the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, and occasional overnights to Portland or Bend. But this is the first real drop everything, take a week away, and have a real vacation since before our Anna was born.

We all need a break from the routine. We all need time to exhale.

So we’re going to the Oregon Coast. We’ll head up to Portland tomorrow, then after Mass at the Grotto we’ll drive out to Astoria Sunday afternoon. From there, we’ll spend the next four days working our way down the North and Central Coast, from Seaside to Florence, and returning home on Thursday night.

Anna is looking forward to it and so are we. I’ll be writing every evening—in a journal, not online—but otherwise I’ll be soaking it all in.

The blog will still be here when I get back, and I hope you will be too. (In the meantime, I’d love it if you checked out some of the 594 other posts I’ve published since December, 2010.)

Later this morning,  we’re off to a Fourth of July parade, an annual visit to our tree, an afternoon of packing for our trip, a family dinner, and fireworks shortly after dusk.

Then tomorrow morning the vacation begins.

Time to exhale.

Five Minute Friday