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Friday, June 14, 2024

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Birthday, Holiday and Summer, Hooray!

Birthday, Holiday and Summer, Hooray!

By Amy Patsch

Amy Patsch
Amy Patsch

I celebrated my birthday recently and my husband, Neil, and I made sure we scheduled nothing for that day so that we could enjoy the abundant pleasures of Cape May County. God provided an absolutely stunning day of sunshine and warmth for us.

We started the day with an early morning bicycle ride on the Ocean City bike path, returning by way of the Boardwalk. This is one of our favorite things to do in the spring, especially on a quiet weekday when we enjoy the fresh early morning air, the birdsong, and beautiful views. Our spring this year has been particularly delightful and the flowers seemed to have come into bloom earlier with the mix of sunshine and rain.

Next, I met up with my prayer partner and we spent time catching up before lifting up many of our friends, family, governments, world issues, and churches in prayer. We set aside at least an hour of time to meet and pray and I have to admit this is one of my favorite hours in the week. I look forward to praying together every Monday morning as it blesses me to pray with a friend with a like heart for God’s Kingdom.

After that Neil and I headed south in the car. We included errands and stops in our trip to Cape May to make it more of a slow and easy journey which meant fish and chips for lunch. We enjoy many things in Cape May and so we took a ride around town taking in what was new since the last time we were down – including the road work which is certainly appreciated.

Many friends from out-of-town locations called to wish me happy birthday and also filled my counter with well wishes in the form of birthday cards. And to top off the lovely day Neil and I treated ourselves to Dairy Queen cones as we sat under the shade of trees. What a lovely way to spend a day even if it is commemorating moving up in years.

Local friends who were not able to join us on my birthday went with us later in the week to Cape May to enjoy some lovely seafood and lively atmosphere. We had a great time as, of course, we all do with good friends and good food. They, too, looked forward to spoiling themselves with the wonderful gifts of our area.

As we celebrate Memorial Day every bit of this enjoyable birthday celebration reminds me why not only we but others enjoy this special area so much. Neil and I recently were in Marlton truck shopping and when the salesperson learned we were from Ocean City she was excited to share that she had just been in OC again for the weekend and loves our town. That is no surprise to any of us who live here because we love it here as well.

Memorial Day with all the festivities, including honoring those who died fighting for our freedom, is the unofficial start of summer here at the shore. Even as I become excited with the sunny days and flowering plants I realize that those who have made plans to come to the shore for their summer vacations are getting excited as well. We all make and treasure the good memories that happen regularly here in this the most beautiful county in the state.

I realize that mid-summer may seem a bit overwhelming for those of us who live here full time but I can’t help but want to share God’s glorious seashore with others who do not get to enjoy this heady wine every day. Visitors come to enjoy the bounty only on special occasion and I truly want every one of them to go home with joy and wonderful memories in their hearts of this place that is so special to me.

As Jesus tells me after the first greatest commandment of “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” that the second greatest commandment is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That, of course, is every neighbor of mine every time I meet them. 

It isn’t always easy loving my neighbor but that is not an option if I want to obey my God. Like you, I, too, encounter the occasional visitor or resident that may be perceived as rude or unruly. After asking forgiveness for any angry thoughts, I ask God to help me react the way He wants me to – with love, even stern love, but never with unkind words towards those who do not know Him. So, I ask myself, “What would Jesus do?”

Wishing all of my neighbors a blessed summer!

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.

Columnist

Amy Patsch writes religious and faith-based opinion content for the Cape May County Herald.

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