This morning, as I was driving down Harris Road to go surf at Wrightsville Beach at a little before 7 AM, I saw a number of police cars blocking off all the roads off of Harris.  I got to a checkpoint near Briarcliff Apartments, where my brother-in-law, Michael Mercer, lived until very recently.  I reached for my shorts to get my wallet (I was wearing my swimming trunks), but the officer said I didn’t need to show my license, glanced in my car and let me go.  Further down the road I saw K-9 units.

It turns out that at about 5:00 this morning, as Tarica Pulliam, a detention officer, was walking to her car she suffered multiple gunshot wounds inflicted by her ex-boyfriend, Anthony Antwad Bowen, against whom she had a restraining order, for all the good it did.  She was shot in the parking lot or in front of Briarcliff Apartments, maybe two miles from our house and the very complex Michael moved out of a few weeks ago, although his moving out had nothing to do with dangerous conditions.

Tarica Pulliam was the mother of a seven-year-old girl, but fortunately she was staying with her grandparents at the time.  Amanda and I prayed for her family tonight.

I don’t know how to segue from something like that, so….

I met up with Michael at Anna and Barry’s.  He got there on time, I was a few minutes late, but we went out to find… nothing, really.  The water was just like it has been for the last few days.  We were there though, so we surfed some shore break and had what fun we could.  Hannah Frazelle, Michael’s cousin (and my cousin-in-law) and her friend, Julie, came out.  The waves got better as soon as they got out there, although they were still nothing to write home about.  Julie told us it was her second day learning to surf.  She, Michael and I all caught the first wave that came along once they got out there.

I went in a little after they came out, since I had to work.  I ended up sticking around the Frazelle house though, since I could check mail and get calls on my iPhone.  For days where I don’t have to open up Photoshop or Dreamweaver, it’s pretty handy.

Hannah fixed some bagels, which were yummy, and Michael raided some bananas.  Anna and Kirsten (Hannah’s mom and sister) got home after a little bit from Kirsten’s track practice.  Michael and I took off shortly after that.  He was meeting a friend of his, Elizabeth Rand, at his Port City Java for lunch or a bit to drink, and I went to The Connection, which I haven’t done for work in quite some time.  While I was there Amanda called and asked if I wanted to do lunch, so we met at the Chick-Fil-A across from the mall.

I got home, did some work, yadda yadda.  We got a couple bills in over the last few days so I took care of those then headed off back to Wrightsville Beach.  It’s small group night, but Kaitlyn decided she wasn’t going so it just ended up being me and Mike surfing.

Once again, there was nothing but shore break, but like me and Michael this morning, we were able to catch some stuff, so I figure it was a good time.  I hope I don’t get to the point where I feel that if I don’t catch a bunch of good waves that the session wasn’t worthwhile.  I like being able to appreciate any day where I can stand up.

Michael was planning on joining us after work and Theo was going to join us after band rehearsal, but neither one of them made it.  I picked up a purse from Anna for Amanda to show to people then headed home.

On the subject of the purse, here’s the deal, in Anna’s words.  Consider this another attempt to get it out there.

Barry and I have some friends, Mark and Jennifer Hunt, who served as missionaries in Japan.  Upon their return, they felt God calling them into ministry, and are currently living in Raleigh as Mark attends Seminary School.  While in Japan, their hearts were burdened by the living conditions of the women in Thailand.  Many lived on the streets, homeless, hungry and abused.  A program has begun to help provide income for these women.  They are making beautiful, unique handbags from the area’s natural resources (reeds, palm leaves, silk, etc.) and selling them.  Jennifer sees this as her mission to get these women off the streets and give them hope.  I am having a handbag party for these women of Thailand.  These bags make great Christmas presents as well as just a gift for yourself.  Please come and support this ministry on:

August 14 from 3:30-6:00.

Drop in any time.  Bring some friends and see the talent of these Thai women.  Jennifer will also have handbags from California which helps with her gas expenses as she travels.

This way Amanda can show people, like at work, what kind of handbags they’re offering.

Back on the subject of surfing, Barry told me and Lars (that’s Mike) that there’s supposed to be some really good waves from tomorrow around noon lasting until Thursday, so I’m pretty excited about this weekend.  As if I haven’t been surfing enough lately!

I am getting a little sore, actually.

Anyway, I came home, where Amanda had gone through a bunch of papers and envelopes I’d been meaning to shred since, apparently, December.  The office does look much nicer now.  We watched Super Nanny then she went to bed.

In the category of prayer requests, Justin Hauenstein told me that on top of his wife Lisa’s ongoing mysterious medical issue, a big family thing came up and he’d tell me more later but he didn’t have much time right then.  Mike told me what he’d heard, so I don’t know if it was that or if it was that plus something else, but those two kids are going through so much right now.  I’d just ask that if you read this you pray for them.

Oh, here’s a little tip for you.  One of the very first surfing safety lessons I was taught is that you don’t put your board in front of you when you’re heading into the water and a wave is coming.  I know that, and I’ve known it for quite some time, and yet when I yawned just now I was reminded of my lapse in thinking earlier tonight.  One thing you certainly don’t do, in light of this surfing safety lesson, is to turn your board sideways in front of you as a wave is coming.  It could, as in my idiot case, slam the edge of the board into your throat and make you feel like you have a sore throat.  I got off lucky- I could have had some missing teeth and shredded lips or a broken nose.

Zach Dotsey