That’s More Like It

It’s been raining on and off since we arrived here in Not-So-Sunny-Florida.  We are, however, with a Nana and a Captain Ahab that we haven’t seen in a good long while;  and, so, we’ve been enjoying each other anyway.  Imagine. The Captain, however, is up to his same old tricks.  I haven’t  come up with a catchy name for the debacle that occurred this morning yet.  It could be called Watergate.  It really could.  But that’s already been taken.  Here’s the gist:

Ahab: “Let’s run the kids over to the beach to check the ocean before the day gets rolling.”

Me: (Naively) “That sounds like a great idea!”

The sun was sparkling across the water and peeking out just enough at 7:00 in the morning to give us hope for a decent day. We grabbed hold of that hope with a little more zeal than caution would warrant for the skies that were overhead. Can I just stop here a moment to tell you all, (all 8 of you), how poignant it is to watch my children walk the beach early in the morning with Captain Ahab?  That same daddy walked me and my brother when we were their age.  Oh, how the beach shell turns…

Aren’t Those Skies Talking?

Far longer than a “short beach run” later, we arrived home soaked to the bone.  You see, Captain Ahab thought it would be a mighty fine idea to walk the kids (including the littlest – Sweetgirl) all the way to the jetty.  And back. From where we started out, it was a good quarter-mile (or more) there, and then another good quarter-mile or more back.  That would have been great if we just had the two 9-year-old boys.  Alas… Halfway TO the jetty, Sweetgirl started telling us that her legs were tired of All The Walking.  Not a good sign.

Just about the time Ahab and I realized we should probably start heading back from the jetty, the skies decided to get angry.  We tried to shuffle the kids away, but dang it, there was a hot-pink mask washed ashore that was just Sweetgirl’s size, and a half-dead sea fan that begged to be brought back (despite the stench); not to mention the two turtle hatchling eggshells we found.  Oh, The Excitement!  Unfortunately, all of The Excitement made trying to hurry them along kind of like herding cats.  Only, harder.

Happily at the Jetty

All that to say, about 2 minutes into our 15 minute walk back, the skies opened up and rained on our beachy parade.  Here are a few things I heard from the lolly-gaggers before one of them needed to be picked up to keep the party moving along.

Sweetboy:  “We’ve walked 3 or 4 miles now, haven’t we Grampa?”

Sweetgirl: “My Eyes!  My Eyes are getting wet.  See, Grampa?”

Cousin:  “Can I just go ahead and jump in the ocean and go swimming?  I’m already wet!”

We did make it back. Wet, but happy to have enjoyed the adventure.  And to have made it back without getting struck by lightning. Obviously. As, I’m now sitting here in the comfort of the house telling you all about the latest adventure “abroad”.  Only, “abroad” is really just down South from up North.  Indeed.

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Ain’t You Sweet

Ever been to a part of the good ol’ U.S. of A., other than the one you live in, and experience some major culture shock?  C’mon, you know what I’m talking about.  I just know you do.  It never ceases to amaze me, though, how hospitable some parts of the country are. Now, I’m not going to get into calling out “this part” of the country versus “that part” because I think the whole “red state” versus “blue state” notion is about as unifying as a wedge.  And while I don’t cater to the “why can’t we all just get along” theory all that much, I do cater to the “treat others as you want to be treated” theory.

And so, I’m going to share a wonderful kind of culture shock that I was subjected to a while back.  Summertime was drawing to a close, but since  Sweetboy was still an “only child” at that point and not yet anywhere near school age,  I bravely left Sweetdaddy at home to work and took off on a plane to spend a week with Nana and Grampy.  We were visiting them in their latest retirement destination possibility.  (Another post for another day…) This particular state is a wonderful smorgasbord of a place, with a bit of everything for everyone; lakes and rivers, the ocean, mountains, and some metro areas along with some very backwoodsy kinda ones.  We were in the backwoodsy, along the river part.

One fine day, while winding through gorgeous mountainous roads, we had to make a quick pit stop at the grocery store for a few essentials (ice cream, chips, salsa, beer – in that order!).  I left Sweetboy in the car with the grandparentals and ran in to grab our necessaries. I was waiting patiently in line thinking about the order in which I might like to consume said essentials, when the lady in front of me wrapped up her transaction and it was my turn. I noticed that she left her co-cola bottle on the counter next the debit machine. So I, of course, felt it was my duty to hightail it after her and make sure she had it in hand to drive with.  It hadn’t even been opened yet, you see.  Let no co-cola be left behind, was my thinking.  I caught up to this woman in the parking lot and breathlessly said, “Ma’am, you left your co-cola behind at the checkout line!”  She beamed. That is to say that she flashed me the biggest toothless smile I could never even have imagined and said, with all earnestness, “Well, ain’t you sweet!”.

It has become a family motto around here. Oh, yes indeedy, it has.  Need I say more?