Happy Monday to you all! I'm up early and ready to knock out some serious writing this morning. I'm DETERMINED to polish the final draft of my picture book, so I can start SENDING IT OUT! Yoo hoo!
We had a wonderful week-end with dear friends from Asheville. It was really just what we needed. There's nothing like dear, supportive friends to get you revved back up for life. They even took my YD back with them for a two week drama camp in Asheville. Better than the drama camp will be HK's time in Asheville; a glimpse of the 'mountain life' will complete her summer experience.
On Saturday, after the 'all clear' from weather.com, we loaded up the boat and took everyone to one of our favorite private beaches. It's nestled on the back side of Jockey's Ridge which offers fun climbing. Clear, calm water makes for great swimming and exploring. Check out the picture in the margin. Plus, we get the adventure of going by boat, swimming to shore and setting up camp. The kids tube over there, then we pile lawn chairs and the cooler on the tube to pull our things to shore. It's quite an adventure on a regular day. But SAturday? It was an adventure on a whole new level.
So anyway, the grown-ups are totally relaxed (or at least I was) lying on the beach, reflecting on all our blessings, and wondering how we could contribute to making the world a better place. Our friends had recently returned from a mission trip in the Dominican Republic, so we talked a lot about that. Good stuff. As we gazed at the sky, we saw a few dark clouds off in the distance. Then, across the water, we saw it raining in Manteo. "That's okay," we said. "It's going to blow off to the north."
We continued to sit and watch this really beautiful show of clouds and storm off in the distance, glad that weather.com had assured us of no rain or storm activity. We considered, for a moment, packing up and leaving, but it was still sunny behind us (we actually joked about turning our chairs around, so we could just see the sunny part of the sky--good analogy in light of our mission work conversation, etc.)and we had only been there about 30 minutes. (15 of it spent swimming to shore from the boat) By the time we pack up, we reasoned, the storm would have passed. Boy, were we ever wrong.
Soon the wind picked up and the water and waves swelled with whitecaps and swells. The boat thrashed around in its anchored spot, and we prayed it would hold. However, it was really too rough for us to get in the boat and leave. Plus, we were worried about lightning, etc. So we gathered up the kids, and headed for the one little scrub tree. (again, see the picture) The kids were excited, this was an adventure Swiss Family Robinson-style, so they were all about it. We pulled our lawn chairs under the tree to admire the passing storm (again, or so we thought)...
Flash forward 15 minutes later. We're all (women and children--the men were too cool to huddle) huddled under this tree, the wind and rain blowing so hard we couldn't even see. WE pulled the tube/raft over us to form a little lean-to (I couldn't help but think of Gary Paulsen's HATCHET). A and I sat in the lawn chairs and held on to the top of the raft, our backs getting soaked, while the kids sat cross-legged underneath. We told ghost stories, jokes and sang. The kids, who couldn't see our eyes getting bigger and bigger at the size of the storm, were protected by the raft and enjoyed the adventure for the first hour. But then it became clear that this storm was going to be around for a while.
After much grown-up debate, my brave husband swam out to the boat (which took quite a while in the swells), pulled anchor, and the winds pushed the boat closer and closer to shore which caused the boat to become grounded again and again. But finally, as we all watched anxiously, he was able to push off and boat the mere 1/2 mile to our cottage, so he could come get us in the car.
Now remember our remote location. We had a ten minute hike, at least, to get to the spot where he could pick us up in the car. The rain and wind was blowing--hard-- and we're trying to carry lawn chairs, a huge tube, a cooler, soaked towels, and help tired children move forward. Finally we reached the road, Chris arrived soon thereafter, and we returned home for Margaritas and hot bath for the kids. (okay, hot tub on the porch, close enough) Anyway, whew. It was something. We took some 'after' pictures, which I guess will be hilarious, so I'll post those when I get them downloaded. But for now I want you to look at the picture in the margin again and imagine us all under that tiny tree, covered in a raft with a storm raging all around us. It was something.
Before I forget, I want to tell you about this awesome new cookbook my aunt gave me. It's a Reynolds Wrap cookbook, no kidding, and it's all about cooking in foil--in the oven, the crock-pot, on the grill, and it's awesome. Nearly every one of the recipes are very healthy and vegetable-laden, they have few ingredients, all fresh and no preservatives, and they mostly have quick cook times. I'm so in love with this book. It also has a huge section on cooking in parchment paper, which I'm excited to try. Anyway, I'm not sure where she found it, but keep an eye out. Maybe I'll post a recipe or two at some point. The fresh ginger chicken is calling my name and the Thai peanut chicken and vegetables looks great, too. And easy. And fast. And HEALTHY! LOVE IT.
Have a great day, hold your kids close in a storm, and don't forget to enjoy the process. THANKS for reading. Do me a favor, and share my blog address with a friend or two today.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.