Once, when I was in grade school in New Jersey, we had a big snowstorm the night before St. Patrick’s Day. The next day, school was canceled and I walked to the bakery to get Italian bread (yes, I’m Irish, but in NJ, everyone is Italian and my mom was making spaghetti for dinner). An old man was talking to the baker “Oh yeah, the luck of the Irish, huh?” I was sad because it meant that all of the parties at school were canceled. I hadn’t heard about the luck of the Irish till then and I was sure it didn’t exist.
After the last 8 years here at Ferry Beach, I didn’t think I would ever be sitting here thinking about how to stretch our cash until we can begin operating again. I thought those days of waking up in the middle of the night wondering if we would be able to make payroll were done. Last summer we were able to address some challenging facilities issues, the campus looked great and there was prosperity in the air.
Who knew? As the oldest of seven, in that unlucky Irish household, we had our challenges and I learned from my mom how to stretch a dollar. I also learned how to remain calm when the kitchen is on fire or the Christmas tree falls on all the presents. My mother’s extended family was quite large (23 grandchildren) and I learned how to share from watching her brothers and sisters take care of all of those kids.
As I contemplate how long this challenge will go on, I think about all the folks I love to see in the summer, the hugs and smiles we exchange. I can’t imagine a summer without Ferry Beach. I can’t imagine a summer where there will be no singing in the Grove or Thursday night talent shows or the bagpipes or horns on the beach. I can’t imagine it and so I won’t.
We have a large community around us, like I did as a child. I believe in our collective energy, visioning an end to this pandemic. Won’t you send us your best pictures of our loving community in the summer and we will post them on social media (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also share photos on social media using the hashtag #summerofjoy. Each day, we will see them and imagine the summer of 2020, the summer of Joy and it will be so.