Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Beach, Goodbyes, and a few pictures

The rain was so heavy, it seemed like a solid sheet of water hitting our car, the roof sounding like a tin one on an old cottage. And that is how our whirlwind of a week at the beach began, driving to South Carolina in two cars in the pouring rain.

We arrived just before midnight at the house on the ocean's shore. The kids' cousins had been asleep for hours, but the adults had stayed up. It seemed only minutes after I had fallen asleep that Peter's fussing roused me and I looked at the time. 5:30 am. I groggily made my way down the unfamiliar stairs and found the door to the porch. With the sun slowly bringing morning's light over the water, he and I cuddled and savored the quiet, for there were 17 other souls in that house. Quiet is not one of the words I would use to describe our week.

It was Sunday, but Mass would not be until 11:45, so we ventured onto the beach and took the first of many walks. The sand on Edisto was coarser than Folly Beach, and the beach had lots of flotsam washed ashore from previous night's storm.

We arrived at the tiny little Church just in time. There was a hand-written sign stating that they had no cry room, but you could use the office if needed. I needed. I could still hear everything, which led me to believe that they could still hear me too. The priest was Indian and he had a visiting priest who also was from India. The visiting priest gave the homily. He was talking about the times that he got to work with Mother Teresa! I had goosebumps just thinking about it. In this little metal building, on a small little island, I was hearing a firsthand account of Mother Teresa. What a treasure!

Pelican Beach is what Anna renamed the island on Monday. All day long, pelicans would fly overhead in long straight lines. Sometimes 15 or 20. One time we counted 92. We would later find out that they were flying from their nesting ground to their feeding ground. Seems to me, you might want to live closer to your food source, but then again, I am not a pelican. I loved watching these birds. They would sometimes "adjust" themselves in mid-flight, shaking their bodies and kicking their legs, yet not get out of formation. Peter was just as fascinated by these elegant birds. "Dis! Dis!" he would cry and point to the sky.

The house had a pool. When I heard this, I was worried because my kids are not swimmers. I know, I know, I really need to get them lessons. I needn't have worried. The 'pool' was so small that if I stretched my arms over my head, I could reach the other side. Lengthwise wasn't much better. It was perfect for my kids to gain confidence in the water. They loved it.

Tuesday we drove to Georgia to visit Ben's grave one last time before he head to Germany. We brought him new flowers and cried.

We also visited with the dearest of friends. I got to meet the special little girl for whom I knit the pink blanket. She is truly the beautiful result of years of prayers. We also had dinner with Jack's godparents, who just happen to be pretty special people.

By Wednesday, I was so tired that when the rest of the family went on an ecotour, I stayed home with Peter and got a glorious three hour nap on the porch, the ocean breeze singing me to sleep.

Then the clock decided to go crazy and spin out of control. I knew it was coming, and all of a sudden, Tony and Olivia were packing the red van and giving hugs and then she was gone. On her way to college. Oh, I am not ready to let her go and test her wings. I did this already with Sophie and it is hard. Very hard. I felt I had to impart all the wisdom I could in those last days. I am sure I drove her nuts.

The next day, we all had to say good-bye. We had a final farewell lunch in Charleston at Blossom. I highly recommend it if you have never been there. We took a quick stroll through the Market and then started the long trek home. And then Sophie had to go and leave for college the very next day. It is so strange around here, just me and the little ones. I feel out of sorts. I miss my big girls.

And that, my friends, is my story for today.










Anna took this one. I had been trying all week to take a picture of the pelicans. She succeeded.
edited:

I cannot believe I forgot to mention one of the happiest moments of the trip! (Actually, that is reason for the name of this blog). My sister Holly knocked on the door of the beach house early Thursday morning, surprising us all. She lives in San Diego and had told us she could not make the trip. The tears and laughter intermingled as we hugged her so tight, rejoicing that we were all together for at least a little while.

10 comments:

  1. Just eat up those little ones because in no time they will be big ones, as you know. (Hugs)

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    1. Thanks for the hugs! I am holding the little ones tight this week.

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  2. Oh my goodness.....I cannot believe Olivia is off to college. My heart hurts for you. The time passes too quickly....I know it will only be a moment and Corban is gone. :(
    Glad your vacation was so beautiful.

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    1. I'm telling you now, don't blink! They will go and grow up on you every time.

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  3. I've got one more year before Brenna up and leaves me. I don't like it one little bit, no I don't. But at the same time, I'm so proud of her and can't wait to see her grow into her own self. I guess it's all kind of bittersweet, isn't it?

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    1. Bittersweet is definitely the word to use!

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  4. My oldest son is a senior this year - I'm dreading it already! When do you leave for Germany? I know it will be hard to be so far away from the girls, but we were stationed there when I was in middle school and it was the best assignment my Dad ever had. Loved it! Two years in Bad Kreuznach and one year in Baumholder.

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    1. We should be going sometime in January. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. We will be in Sembach.

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    2. oh, nice! You'll be near Kaiserslautern and Ramstein - both nice, big bases. There is just so much to see and do over there. My parents' philosophy was "we're in Europe, we're traveling"! I'm still so grateful, because I really remember everything. I was there ages 11 - 14. Jack and Anna are about the same ages as my younger sisters and they remember a ton also. It will be such a fabulous experience for you! I know it's nerve wracking to move to a foreign country, but it really will be awesome. I can't WAIT to read all about your adventures.

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  5. Oh, I love all your pictures, but that 2nd one is my favorite!! What beautiful memories. My heart also hurts for you, letting go. (((hugs))))

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