Tag Archives: beach

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

Friends are like a Robert Frost poem …

or at least real friends are.

I’m talking about the ones who take you at face value and don’t hold your weirdness, insane moments or idiosyncrasies against you.

They ignore you when you begin talking to yourself but poke you and raise an eyebrow if you keep doing it.

They are the ones who see your random, rambling text messages or hear the off the wall, beyond the grid, call the men in white coat voice-mails and don’t freak out, run for cover or actually call the men in white coats.

They have your back.

They are the ones you can depend on in the darkest days or the most joyful moments and know they will embrace them with you either in tears or laughter.

These are the people that you can call on when you are hurting and know they will console you, pray for you, or hold your hair back while you puke.

They take the good, the bad, the ugly, the grumpiness, the tears, the yelling, the bitching, the nastiness and the smiles with a grain of salt,  a kind word or a get a grip speech.

They will tell you when you are being a jerk and hold you accountable when it is important.

They will hope your dreams come true and ground you when you get above your raising.

They won’t tell you are brilliant if you aren’t and will, if your butt looks big in that dress, be the first one to say so.

These are the people that will pick you up at two am when you run out gas in the middle of nowhere, tell you when you are being an idiot and encourage you when you think the world is coming to an end.

They will be few, but they will be there when you need them.

Everyone you meet may like you, but only a handful will be in your corner when you paint yourself into one.

Remember to thank them for liking you even when you are unlikable.

They are, after all, the flowers in your springtime and, without a doubt, the joy and encouragement on the road less traveled.

Do not take them for granted … they don’t have to like you, they choose to.

There is a difference.

You’ve got a friend in me … friendship

Just call out my name … beach2012_wed-166

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

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.

2-46

littlestoney_020913-161

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

When the words I dearly love mean nothing …

then I know that I am in a fix.  The words are there, the right words, but they are so jumbled and discombobulated that when they come out, they aren’t right.  They are harsh or meek or, worst case scenario,  make no sense at all to anyone but me.  I lash out at the ones I care about for no good reason at all.  I expect them, since they know me, or say they do, to understand, but it doesn’t make it fair.  It doesn’t make it right.

Right now, at this moment, it takes all of my concentration to simply string words together in a coherent sentence.  Knowing this and knowing that I have conversed with people I care about about in my current state of mind brings about something that, while I am adept, they really have no experience with.   I was told recently by a friend that they were sorry they caused me anxiety.  I don’t have anxiety, I have racing thoughts that, at times, coincide with an intense “non-emotional” state.  It isn’t sadness.  It isn’t depression.  It is simply the absence of emotion.  And the absence of emotion is never, ever a good thing.

I called my mom tonight just to hear her voice. She doesn’t try to fix me or offer advice, she just listens as I tell her how nuts I feel.  And I do feel nuts, whether I really am or not.  That still remains to be seen.  She listens to my thoughts and says to me “we’re here if you need us”.  And she means it.

When I told her I had to get out of here for a while, she didn’t question it, but only said to let her know where I was going.  I have no idea where I’m going, but the ocean is calling to me.  The ocean, it is said, has no memory.  That is what I’m looking for.  Something without a memory.  Something that will not recall the harsh words, sobbing tears or indifference that, over the past few days, I have felt.  Maybe I will make it there and maybe, by the end of the week, I will be back to myself.  Either way, I cannot stand to be here for a second more than is necessary.  And dumping on the people in my life is not the answer.  I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that doing so is not it.

After work on Friday, I will start driving.  What direction is, as yet, unknown, but I will drive until I get where I am going.  And once there, I hope I will find what eludes me at the moment.  Sanity.  Pure and true sanity with a calm mind and rational thoughts.  I will let my  mom know where I am because she asked me to; as for everyone else, there seems no real need.  I am an anomaly in their lives.  I don’t hold it against them. I am an anomaly in my own life; how can I possibly expect someone else to know what makes me tick when I’m not certain myself.  A solitary life.  For the most part, it is the perfect solution; except, of course, when I filet the people I care about because I come to a point where control is  nearly impossible.  Yes, for the most part, a solitary life would be the perfect solution.  I rely on music to get me to a point when I can, once again, speak coherent thoughts.  I am grateful for the pianists, who play the notes my mind sings, that keep me, on some level, sane.  May God bless each one of them.

pianist

John 14:27 ~ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid

Birthdays …

the good, the bad and the indifferent.  Birthdays have always been a very cool thing to me, whether it is mine or someone else’s, I just feel happy.  Most of the time.  This year, my birthday came and went. There was cake and ice-cream, family, friends, co-workers; all the usual birthday suspects.  It was different, though.  This month started out with a fairly serious facial injury and mid-way through, adding insult (and injury) to injury, I fairly seriously injured my shoulder and cracked a couple of ribs.   Now it is no secret to the people who know me well that my mind, in the best of times, is a scary place to be.  During the worst of times, I walk around with a bio-hazard sign flashing above my head.

But, as I so often do, digress.  I can chalk part of it up to the end of October, that which I both long for and dread.  I have a love/hate relationship with that month and it nearly always makes me high.  November, however, is a month of coming to terms with the oncoming winter, saying goodbye to the leaves, hello to the bare sentries of winter and getting ready to be cold more often than not.  And my birthday is this month and that always makes me feel extremely special.  That was not to be this year.  With each new event, there were melancholic thoughts of days past, days that I didn’t care that much for when they were the present.  I thought much of my late husband and felt guilty, at times, that I was ready to let him be at peace and begin the process of getting on with my solitary (as that is how I like it) life.

I don’t discount the many blessings of the last year.  That would be wrong on so many levels.  The blessings have been numerous and I am thankful for each one.  Blessings sometimes get lost in the fray of life, though. I have family suffering from the loss of a loved one, dear friends that I am unable to account for and dealing with turning 45.  Any of these would be like turning a page during normal times, but when they all happen at once, well, it weighs on the mind.

Did it make my birthday less happy?  Yes.  Life has a way of doing what it wants.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy today, or tomorrow or the next day.  It doesn’t mean that I am beyond hope.  Unhappiness is a part of living and if there is anyone who has lived their entire life saying they have never experienced it, then you have seen, up close and personal, a liar.

November is nearly over and the round of Christmas parties, Band concerts, Christmas plays and a thousand other things that I will be trying hard to find a place to fit will present themselves, (at the last minute, always at the last minute), and at the same time, working diligently to keep my sanity (a fine line at best).  While it is true that I’m closer to fifty than I was only a couple of days ago, that is the furthest thing on my mind.  I am happier now than I have ever been.  Free, so to speak, with a daughter in college and myself on my own.  But there are times, as everyone knows, when it would be nice just to have someone put their arms around me, saying nothing as I cry until the tears were gone.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is not a sign of weakness, but proof of humanness; it is life.  It can be, at times discouraging, but in that moment that we find ourselves, unless we make it our mission, will not last forever.  I am already looking forward to doing it better and with more enthusiasm in the next year; whatever “it” may be.  I am a survivor and no matter what comes at me, I can depend on the Jesus to which I cling to lift me when my wings are too broken to fly on my own.  I am truly, humbly, honorable and indescribably blessed and that, I don’t want to forget.

Looking at the here and now can sometimes be overwhelming … but the here and now will be the there and then tomorrow, so don’t let it break you.  Let it get you down, cry when you need to, throw things if it suits you (my favorite thing to do in a crisis), but at the end of the day, realize that our life, our thoughts, our fears are part of what makes us who we are and without them, we wouldn’t really be anyone in particular, but like everyone else.  I like being different, even when it’s painful.  Though I have many regrets, there isn’t anything I would change because if I were to change them, my ability to relate and empathize would become obsolete.  An easy life is no challenge, but rising above the odds and making the best of the worst situations takes us to a whole new level.  It is my goal to serve my Lord and be the best that I can be for Him.   Be encouraged, my friends, for nothing lasts forever.  Nothing.

Lightning over Big Moccasin

Psalms 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart is trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will praise him.

Once a dreamer …

always a dreamer … Being a nurse for the past twenty-five years has been an experience in and of itself.  It would take a hundred blogs running every day to review the exploits that happen just in my little world.  But this isn’t about nursing, not specifically, anyway, but about a path not taken.  I have enjoyed nursing, for the most part, and would not want to trade the experience and knowledge I’ve gained over the last two and a half decades.  It just wasn’t what I wanted to do.

I had three goals when I was a kid and they were to sing, play the piano and photograph the world.  All three of those things took guts and I didn’t have any.  I had no nerve, little faith and plenty of fear.  So I took the easy road, leaving my dreams to wither and fade into the dust of my past.

It only took a few months to realize that I had made a dire mistake, but I still had no nerve, little faith and plenty of fear; I just let it ride.  As years passed, the dreams I left behind refused to be still.  It became apparent to me that a dream that really did fade into the past, forgotten, wasn’t a dream worth chasing anyway; my dream was banging at my head and my heart.  At every opportunity, I found myself with a camera in my hand.   Nature and created things began to be a central focus in my life and weekends were spent jaunting around looking for “pictures to take”.  I went to work every day and spent the evenings fiddling with the camera, playing with settings, learning, without really realizing, to do what I had always wanted to do; be a photographer.  I never learned to play the piano and I sing only at church, but those are but ripples in the pool.  It is the light and shadow that I love and am thankful that even though I was foolish and fearful once, God saw fit to bless me with what I wanted most.

I find comfort in the images He shows me.  I will continue to work as a nurse but on weekends, I’ll be in the mountains or wherever life might take me, photographing the beauty that is before me.  It brings me inexplicable joy to be immersed in the feel and smell of creation knowing that I serve the one who created it.    I don’t believe in coincidences so I can come only to the conclusion that this path is one that God chose for me and continues to bless every single day of my life;  I may not have had the guts  back then, but I have them now, along with the faith and nerve to do it and do it well.

If just one is encouraged by this post to put fear behind them and follow their dreams, then it has served its purpose.

I had the ability to fly all along, it was courage to spread my wings that I lacked.