Today is Husband’s birthday. As a reward for living another year and making me oh so very happy, I am making him homemade punkin waffles, eggs and bacon.
Me: I love you more than burritos.
Him: More than chilitos.
Me: I don’t even know what that is…
Him: Toes that aren’t in socks.
I think I’m rubbing off on him.
On that note, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with loved ones and that you’re all Auburn fans. War Eagle!
When I was 15, my dad took us on our first family vacation. He is a builder, and had recently completed a remodeling job that the homeowners loved. As a bonus for a job well done, the homeowner gave us use of his vacation house for a week. We packed up everything we thought we needed, (and I’m sure some things we didn’t) for a week at the beach, piled in to our air-conditioning free Bronco (did I mention it was August?) and hit the road!
The drive is about 5½ – 6 hours, and my brother and I are getting antsy. We go through a small town, and then nothing but wilderness, or so it seems to the 15 and 13 year old in the car. We cross a bridge to an island and it’s a nature preserve with a real working lighthouse you can go up and explore. We cross another bridge. There are still a lot of wooded areas, but we are also seeing small smatterings of shabby, weather beaten buildings now. A restaurant here, gas station there. We see a small restaurant called The Shrimp Shack and across the road from it is the Gay Fish Company. No matter how old I get, it still makes me laugh inappropriately. I suppose there is always a 14 year old living inside of us. There is another bridge before us, and as we cross it, I look down and see dolphins dancing in the sea below us, and there is a huge water tower that resembles a golf ball on a tee in the not so far away distance.
From the word go, even at 15, I knew this place was something special. We checked in at the guard house, got our parking pass, directions to our house, and we were off. Sam and I almost got whiplash looking from right to left trying to take it all in at once. The speed limit on the main drag is 15mph, and that was still too fast for us to see it all! We took a left onto a small road paved with shells, our heads hanging out of the windows, smelling the salt in the wind, looking for our house number. We pull in to the driveway, each grab a bag, and run up the steps to the front door. It’s a small 3 bedroom one level house over a garage with a porch out back. Nothing big or ostentatious-perfect for a beach getaway. We claim our rooms, and go out onto the porch and cannot believe that we can see the ocean! The tide is out, and that walk is long, but all our road exhaustion leaves us when we see the water. We got changed, grabbed some towels and headed to the beach. South Carolina beaches are new to us, and we were especially surprised with the sand burs that we kept stepping on. There was a u-turn and flip flops were put on!
We looked up and down the beach, and it was beautiful. There were families scattered around, but it wasn’t overly crowded; there were no problems finding a spot to lay our things–no out of control beach goers. People simply enjoying the sun, surf and sand. We threw down our things and ran for the water!
We spent the week body surfing, exploring the island, collecting shells, and even found time for a trip to the lighthouse we saw on the way in. We rode our bikes all over the place and saw deer everywhere and huge alligators and their offspring sunning themselves! When the tide went out we could walk a half mile out in to the ocean to a sandbar and we found dozens of amazing conch shells. We had dinner at home most nights, and my grandmother had no qualms taking our money playing poker!
That week sparked something in my family, and we never went anywhere else for vacation-there was no need. This Island was in our souls. We told the rest of the family about it for several years, and when they finally joined us, it became their special place as well. A family thing.
We continued to stay in the same house until the owner’s family had grown large enough that they didn’t rent the house any longer. When that happened, we rented through the Island, and stayed at a myriad of houses in different locations on the island. It became the location for several family reunions with our Pittsburgh clan, and eventually my wedding.
I have known since the word “go” that I wanted to be married at Fripp Island, and I am so lucky my husband sees what I see in the island and agreed. We said our vows outside overlooking the beach with the ocean crashing in the background surrounded by friends and family. It was amazing. It was perfect.
Every year I look forward to our annual pilgrimage to Fripp. I feel like I get a piece of myself back–I draw strength somehow from this amazing place. The crashing of the waves and the cicadas at night, the deer that eat out of your hand, the gators that hang out in the lagoon and on the golf courses, the Boathouse for dinner, the sunset pontoon cruises with dolphins swimming with the boat, the sun glimmering on the water while holding hands with my sweetie and a dog at each of our feet. It truly is my own slice of paradise.
I love baseball. I love the Atlanta Braves.
I love the smell of beer and peanuts. I love the electricity in the air of all the fans getting ready to cheer their team on to a win and the tension in the stands of a close game with a division rival. I love my trying to eat a hot dog and hoping the cameras don’t get me. I love the fact that I haven’t changed my profile picture on Facebook since opening day because we’re doing so well and I’m just that superstitious. I love that when my best friend gave me my Javy Lopez jersey, I didn’t wash it for two seasons because I didn’t want to wash the luck out of it. I love the fact that I am certain that Samantha and I kissing a plastic warthog on the nose helped us win the 1992 NLCS game against the Pirates.
Cancer sucks. So start walking the walks. The 5Ks. The bike rides. Whatever tickles your fancy. Just do it. I think you can even Fly a Kite for a Cure, but don’t quote me on that.
Let me give some backstory. Cancer isn’t prevalent in my blood relatives with the exception of my favorite aunt having eyelid cancer. I could change that since I did smoke for 20 years, but as a whole, cancer is not what gets us in the end. We have heart problems, but for the most part, folks live a long life (my grandfather is 91 and my grandmother is 89 and will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in December, God willing). However, it has touched my cousins and numerous friends and their families.
So I looked at the calendar the other day and realized that I have gone through a lot of changes in the last five years, and I didn’t realize how many or the significance of them until I sat down and started thinking about them.
So I got annoyed a few times today, and figured here is as good a place as any to have my rant.
First of all, if you have more items than will fit in a hand held basket at Kroger, you should NOT use the self check out. You’re totally ruining self checkout for the rest of the world. Self checkout should not take more than 5ish minutes to do.
When I think of a sports bar, I think of places with long, scarred, beat up wooden bars and tables, chairs or stools that swivel to make it easy to watch several games or talk to different people, but also rock dangerously from side to side and usually have coasters or a pack of matches keeping them tipping over.
Do you have favorites? I do. I have a favorite color, food, music, band, song, husband, etc. I just learned my favorite uncle is getting a divorce. I am not going to go into the whys of it. That is not what this is about. This is the second marriage for my uncle. They have been together 18 years. (I think that’s right). He has two children with his wife, and they are close to the ages that my brother and I were when our folks got divorced. I am not close to them (wish I was), but I imagine they are feeling a lot like my brother and I did when ours split.
Ten years ago, I thought my world was crashing around me. Let’s see…I was looking for a job as i had just lost both of mine, i was the only roommate who actually paid any bills, and being the one that paid most of the bills, some of my things had to get pushed off (like car and health insurance) My boyfriend was in the process of moving out of my house and was picking up the last of his things that morning. I remember getting up to let him in the house, and going back to bed because my heart was hurting so much. I just wanted to hide. (Turns out him leaving was the best thing that EVER could have happened to me…I’m not sure if I knew it then, but it really was)