Compassion & Community

by Carol Hess on November 5, 2012

I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, and the coast of New Jersey played a pivotal role in my life.  Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of times spent at The Shore.

There were shared summer vacations at the Joneses home, a short block from the beach in Avalon.  That’s where I learned the joys of body surfing, outdoor showers, and long summer nights of fiercely contested card games with the Jones boys.  They were the only ones who ever called me Cow-Cow, and I loved them.  They were the brothers I didn’t have.

Stone Harbor was weekends visiting the Haas place on the bay.  The Haas girls and I had the best of both water worlds – swimming in the ocean and boating on the bay.  Years later, my mother threw a high school graduation party in Stone Harbor for myself and my best girlfriends that ended with a harrowing Sunday night ride through streets flooded from a sudden thunderstorm.

And then there was the famous (or infamous, depending on how you want to look at it) Atlantic City.  I remember a boardwalk like no other, a stolen kiss under a jetty on a co-ed Young Life retreat, and competing at one of the casinos to appear on Wheel of Fortune.  I also seem to recall an expensive lesson learned by a college boyfriend about why you never buy anything from an Atlantic City auction house, no matter how good a deal it seems to be.

The Jersey Shore of my childhood is unrecognizable today because of Superstorm Sandy.  People have been killed, homes and businesses have been destroyed, and lives have been changed forever.

The people of New Jersey and New York need more than our thoughts and prayers.  They need our help.  And the best way to give that help is to donate money (not goods – that creates more work) to the Red Cross.  Here’s a really quick and easy way to do that.  Just click on the link below.

Please donate today. 

If you’re a United States citizen, there’s one more important thing you can do.  Remind your representatives and senators that climate change is not some goofball scientific theory.  It’s a fact of life.  We can’t afford to keep kicking the global warming football down the field.

Tell your congress people they need to shove their entrenched partisanship where the sun doesn’t shine – and I’m talking all of them – and start taking extraordinary, urgent, important action to meet the challenge climate change represents to the safety and security of this country and, for that matter, the world.

It’s about time our political leaders started earning their salaries and our votes.  It’s time for them to do what we put them in office to do – lead.

Thank you for your compassion and your generosity.

by Carol Hess

2 comments

Categories Community, Weighing In (Rants & Raves)

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avatar Jenny November 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

A few months ago I got to go home to the Philly burbs to visit my family. My daughter, Hannah, and I spend an amazing weekend at the Jersey Shore. (Ironically enough, we spent much of our time on the beach taking tons of photographs of the chem trails which blotted out the sun each morning.) We exhausted ourselves walking from one end of the boardwalk to the other in a futile search for one stinkin’ store that sold something other than crude t-shirts and painted hermit crabs. We spent too much money on crappy pizza and failed at winning even a cheap, day-glo pencil at the skee ball arcade. Our overpriced motel room stank of mildew and stale beer and only half the lights would work. But we laughed, and got sunburned, and watched the parade of strange people as the tram car shouted its pedestrian warnings every 30 seconds. And I’m so grateful for every second. It’s all gone now. And for the first time, as I sit on your blog here today, I’m finally letting the tears of grief fall. Thank you.

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avatar Carol Hess November 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Thank *you*, Jenny for sharing your very special memory with us.

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