Category Archives: Beach

My lovely little …

convertible is, so I’m told, on the mend.

For six weeks, I’ve been without her.

Begging and borrowing vehicles on the fly.

Never knowing from one day to the next what I’ll be driving.

As much as I miss my car, I miss my Outer Banks bumper sticker, which I proudly displayed on my hood, more.

Pirate’s Paradise it proclaimed.

On my hood.

I miss that sticker nearly as much as I miss my car.

I want a Jeep, yes, but on my timeline.

And the OBX sticker is a dealbreaker.

I suppose the only thing (family not included) I love more than my car is the OBX.

I want that sticker, preferably still attached to my car.

Hope springs eternal, right?

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And so it does.

Spring eternally, that is.

The dishwasher …

has expired.

I’m currently saving every penny to put down on a new vehicle as my beloved convertible has deserted me.

I suppose all the trips into the mountains, on roads she wasn’t made to travel didn’t help.

I never meant to abuse her, but she knew what I was about when she called my name.

At any rate, she is now disabled so another vehicle must be acquired.

I’m going for a Jeep. I know exactly what I want excepting the color.

Still working on that.

But, that has nothing to do with dishes.

Or so one would think.

I can’t afford a new vehicle and a replacement dishwasher.

I had dirty dishes, but I hand washed them. 

I am currently in serious mountain trail withdrawal.

I suppose I can, when forced to, hand wash my dishes.

I don’t have to like it.

Considering, however, that Autumn is near, my priorities scatter.

Washing dishes is a small price to pay for being in the middle of creation as it undergoes its unimaginable metamorphosis.

I’m a photographer.

That doesn’t mean I can’t, if the need arises, be a dishwasher.

We do what needs to be done so we catch the shot. 

Ansel would agree and, were it necessary, wash dishes; of that, I am certain.

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Yep. Certain.

Vacation is over …

and tomorrow, it is back to business as usual.

The Outer Banks is a fond memory, both recent and distant.

It seems that, while I know I was there, I wasn’t there at all.

A week isn’t enough time to find everything I left there the year before, or the year before that or the one before that.

I feel, while I am there, as though I am as much a part of that world as the marshes and gnarled, wind-withered trees.

Yet now that I am back in the world I know, I wonder if I were ever there at all.

Will it remember me?

The sea, the sand, the wind, the beauty, the essence?

Will it long for me as I do for it?

I think not.

I am an outsider, a passerby, an intruder.

I am a stranger.

It doesn’t make it any less compelling or beautiful.

It simply makes me sad to know that there was nothing of myself I could leave behind to remind that place who I am so it will recognize me when I return.

 

Sunrise in an orange sky

Sunrise in an orange sky

Sun melting into the Sound

Sun melting into the Sound

Sunset fisherman

Sunset fisherman

Currituck light

Currituck light

Bridge at Whalehead, near Currituck light

Bridge at Whalehead, near Currituck light

I’ve said it before …

and I’ll say it again.  I am much too soft-hearted to be a  nurse.  So many things that I come into contact with on a daily basis makes me want to weep and scream at the injustice of life.

I am supposed to simply speak to people and let them know that they are not just a patient, but it isn’t  that simple.  They are people to me.

They are my mother.

They are my father.

They are my daughter, nieces and sister.

They become part of my heart and being and I take them home with me.

I have cried many, many tears for those that I visit with.  I have held their hands, held their family’s hands and prayed with them.  I try to leave them where they are, but they won’t stay there.

They come home with me.  I think about them and hope that they will live until morning; hope that if they don’t, their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers will be able to cope with loss of their existence.

I want to be strong.  I will myself to be stoic and unattached, but that lasts as long as the mist under a strong morning sunrise.  I love these people.  I fall in love with their families and I feel the pain, sorrow and devastation of their loss on every front.

The older I get, the more squeamish, melancholic and dramatic I become.  I surely thought that I would be stronger and more able to control my emotions at this point, but the truth is that I am more susceptible to emotion and empathy than I ever thought possible.

Sometimes, things happen that are funny and yet, the humor battles sorrow for there is nothing beautiful or funny about someone who doesn’t know who they are or where they are or what they have accomplished in their lives.  The emptiness is devastating.  I find myself bringing people home with me in my thoughts and crying over their infirmities.

I never wanted to be a nurse.  I wanted to be a photographer.  I wonder sometimes if I don’t make a better nurse than a photographer.  And then I realize that I can be both.

One makes me a better of the other.

I photograph for the sheer pleasure of it and  yet, when photographs are forbidden, I see past what is present.  I am thankful, on many levels, for the blessings bestowed upon me.

I am a nurse.

I am a photographer.

I am myself.

I am content.

What more can anyone ask than to be content in the life they are living.

I am, above all things, thankful, for the joys, the trials, the triumphs and the the lessons.  Thankful for the things that hurt me and those that bring me joy.

One without the other is insubstantial; combined, they are powerful beyond the description of words.

I. Am. Blessed.

And I am thankful.  The images, whether in real time or captured on film are what life is about.  Life is images and images make up life.

Again I say, I. Am. Blessed.

Bodie Island Lighthouse (my OBX favorite)bodieislandlighthouse

Matt … a truly beautiful human … hatteras_lightning-59

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A doe at Bodie Island hatteras_lightning-71

Beach Beauties … outerbanks_day1-327

In my dreams and cherished fantasies …

I find myself where I am now; looking out at the Atlantic ocean as it bumps up against the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  When I see myself down the road, this is where I envision my reality to be.  I’ve been places; many places, but none of them call to me, in my soul like this little strip of land on the Ocean.

I find my heart soaring, my inner self singing and know that I have, in every sense of my being, come home.

Maybe in a past life, or with inherited memory, or some other cosmic force, I have been here before, living and breathing and soaring through the air.  I know it as I know my own home.  I feel a belonging that beckons me to stop and stay; for a while or forever.

I can see myself, years down the road, waking to the sunrise, driving to the lighthouses, watching the wild horses, singing a song that only one who lives by the sea can sing.

Tears threaten, but they are tears of peace and contentment.  Sorrow is as far from me as the depths of the ocean I gaze upon.

God has given me this space of time, the peace of mind, the joy in my heart.  He knows of that which I had need.

And He, as always, is faithful.

Papaw’s Girls …papawasgirls

Feeding the gulls (they enjoy Pringles)feedingthegulls

Pelicans and the Pierjeanettespier_OBX

After hours … in the presence of the LightBodieIslandLight

If it isn’t going to snow …

and snow BIG, then I am officially done with winter.  I am filled to overflowing with frosty windshields in the early, still dark mornings.  I am finished with the cold wind whistling through trees that have been bare for too long.  Winter weather advisories that never come to fruition and the forecasters who get my hopes up are now on my short list.

snowfall

Since I love lists so much, it is time to make a new one; a warm weather one.  This new and improved list will not include heavy winter coats, gloves or scarves.  It won’t include three layers of clothes or multiple pairs of socks worn under fur-lined boots.  It also won’t include walking home because the ice is too thick to drive in.

basset_snow

I was recently reminded by a friend that boating season is just around the corner.  It took less than two seconds for the image of skimming across the lake with the sun hot on my skin and the wind in my face to fill my warmth starved brain.  I foresee cold drinks and much laughter as we frolic in the lake.  Actually, I suppose I should clarify; I foresee much laughter as THEY frolic in the lake as I’m not really box-ankled about jumping into water that I can’t see through.  I’m more of a “float-on-the-top” kind of gal.

cherokeelake

cherokeelakejumper

I look at my pale, winter skin and think of sunning myself like a lizard and admiring my tan lines (after the redness fades).  I love the sun and, unlike many people I know, don’t mind the 90 plus temperatures of a steamy Appalachian summer.  I long for the thunderstorms that come out of nowhere, bringing with them the stunning display of lightning and sky that only God can provide.

lightning

I look forward to long hikes along shaded trails and wading in the clear, cold pool at the foot of my favorite waterfall; speeding with the top down over curvy mountain roads to get there.  My sister’s pool with the shimmering water and full-sized slide call to me like a siren’s song.  Trips to the ocean and embracing the sunrise in the wee hours then sipping boat drinks at sunset will find their place at the top of my list.

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beachday1 542

Yes, I am officially done with winter and realize as I write this post and compose my list that I am going to need more paper.   Now, if I can only get Mother Nature to cooperate, all will be well with the world and I can stop shivering.

gulfbeauty

In my mind …

I’ve gone to Carolina.  Yes, it is true that James Taylor may have said it in a song … and yes, it is true that I spend much of my dream time there … and yes, it is true that there is no place on earth I would rather be than on the pristine, protected beaches of the Outer banks.  All true.  All real.  I have been toying with the idea for the past couple of years to take a trip there and maybe, if the chance arose, to spend another night, unnoticed of course, in an alcove in the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  That is a story for another day, though.

Tonight, as I was designing custom greeting cards for requests, which I rarely do, but just felt in the mood, I came across some old photos of the Outer Banks.  There are many places I have been in my life and have enjoyed each and every one of them, but none of them have had such a hold on me as the Outer Banks of  North Carolina.  I can’t really pinpoint what it is about that little slice of land that calls to me as a siren … beckoning me to come and stay, to live and frolick in the white sand and play in the lighthouses.  It even makes me want to ride a horse on the beach and I can think of nothing I would like less than to ride a horse.  They terrify me on a level that is second only to spiders, but in that place, at that time, I would do it; and do it willingly.

There is something about the Outer Banks that seems to belong to me.  It’s not mine, not really, but in my heart, I feel that I belong there.  I feel that there is a place reserved just for me.  That sounds a bit conceited, but what, in the life of a dreamer, doesn’t.  When someone dreams about something they want so desperately, are they not at the center of the dream?  I have never been accused of having an ego and would agree with that non-accusation.  But I do have a very vivid imagination and there is nothing that I can’t conjure in my mind.  In my dreams, things always go my way, always end up as I wish they would and there is always a  very handsome, very tall, five-o-clock shadow man just waiting for me to arrive.

While dreams are fine and dandy, plans are another thing altogether.  I’m not much of a planner, but more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person.  I find great pleasure in getting in my convertible, putting the top down and simply ending up somewhere, wherever it may be.  Plans were made to be broken, deadlines were made to be missed and life was made to be lived.  It I didn’t have to work to put my daughter through college, I would have been gone already.

It always seems to perplex folks that I want to experience New Orleans in the middle of summer with the stench that comes from the heat rising from the Mississippi, but how else can I experience it in the purest sense than then.  Or to sit on a frozen lake in North Dakota in the middle of January.   Who in their right mind, unless they live there would want to do such a thing?  Me.  I want to.  Again, how else can I experience the reality?  I don’t want to be a tourist just passing through these places I dream of.  I want to be part of what makes it what it is even when it is not pleasant.  I want to experience a Minnesota Winter, a San Diego Spring, a Washington State rainy season, the miles of sunflowers in Kansas (and a tornado, if I’m lucky) and to see the whole of Texas.

Then there is Austria, Ireland, Germany, Italy and India just to name a few.  There are so many places I want to see that it is depressing to me to know that I will never be able to see them all before I die.  I care not for the big cities.  Those are a dime a dozen.  I’m for the homely places with grandmothers cooking dinner, vineyards in the moonlight, mountains beneath a veil of fog.  I am about life as it happens.  We are, none of us, all that different.  We live, we love, we dream, we hope, we aspire for something more.  I just want to see it for myself.  God willing, it will happen.  Otherwise, I will remain, for all of my life, a dreamer, with dreams that are so much bigger than my reality.  I can think of worse things than being a dreamer, however, being one with great faith in an awesome God, I look forward to seeing my dreams fulfilled.  I can wait.  I have waited.  And in the end, the reward will far outweigh the waiting.  Of that, I am certain.

BodieLighthouse