71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Day 43: Working at the Dock

“Anyone can be a fisherman in May.” 

― Ernest Hemingway

This week, we’ve had temperatures in the balmy 90s, but everyone wants to eat some clams, so Jeff and the crew have been enjoying the sun and fun! I worked in the office some this week, answering phones while every caller mistook me for my mother (we do sound alike). I did get to take some pictures of our returning clam farmers. I know if I had to work that hard every day, we’d be eating a lot of beans and renting out a room or two.


Clam Farming Lesson #1: Loading and unloading the boat begins and ends every trip.

Clam Farming Lesson #1: Loading and unloading the boat begins and ends every trip.

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Clam Farming Lesson: Wear a shirt that says, “Do Not Arrest This Man.” Actually that is a good idea any time, anywhere.

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Jimmy and Gray picked up some shrimp to share with their Wabi Sabi customers. Fresh veggies and seafood – can’t go wrong with that.

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Beginning your day with a dolphin escort to work — can’t go wrong with that.


Clam Farming Lesson #1: Hats and ponytails are a necessity when the sun beats down on your freckled skin.

Clam Farming Lesson: Hats and ponytails are a necessity when the sun beats down on your freckled skin.




Day 42: A lovely view

I am frequently and thoroughly amazed by the beauty all around us here in paradise. Come sit on the swing at the Seamen's Memorial (government dock) to soak in some beauty!


Day 34: Santee Camping


Jake in his ENO hammock with rain fly and mosquito net….too hot to sleep in though. He was a camper sleeper after about 12.

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Day 32: Thankful

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The dock when we left. Maybe it was a little DARK.

Last night, we enjoyed delicious meal of open-faced shrimp salad sandwiches (with sliced Wabi Sabi tomatoes and mozzarella) and huge shrimp courtesy of Shrimper Extraordinaire John Jackson for which we are very thankful. Our thanks don’t end there as that was early in the evening.
We got a phone call from a friend who had run aground with his family. It was 10:30, but since Jeff knows the water pretty well (about a gazillion times better than I do) we gathered flashlights and towels and loaded up for a new adventure. Luckily, Jeff called a friend who called another friend of Jake’s who showed up at the dock to join us.  It was soooo dark, like inside of a coffin dark, with no moon, but some occasional starlight and flashing channel marker lights (which really messes with your night vision).

We navigated to the back side of the island, Josh using a flashlight to identify channel markers while Jeff drove the boat, periodically consulting his GPS.  As I was riding in the boat, I came to several realizations: 1) I don’t think I’ve ever ridden in a boat at 11:00 at night – cruise ships do not count 2) faith is required since I couldn’t see and we could have easily driven into a sinkhole/vortex from hell/volcano/fill in your worst fear here, and 3) maybe I’m not my most comfortable in the dark — I did mention it was DARK, didn’t I?


Where Five Fathom meets the ocean.

When trying to find a place to beach, we ended up in a shallow surf from which it seemed we could not emerge for hours (or maybe 72 seconds). White caps were the only thing I could see and they were breaking over the stern. At one point, to stop the growing panic that was washing over me, I began digging life jackets out of the dock box.  Josh was so kind and said he would put on the life jacket if it would make me feel better. His kindness really brings a tear to my eye as I write about it now and I am truly thankful that he joined us.

Our friends were on the ocean/surf side but we couldn’t get close. After the surf/shallow water incident, Jeff agreed that we couldn’t get to them. After some phone calls with our friends, we called the Coast Guard and told them the situation. We got a 4 a.m. text from our friends saying that our local DNR officer came to their rescue. So glad all are safe and well. Their granddaughter can tell a great story to her friends. The boat is still out there and our friend is working on getting it back, but everyone is home, safe and sound, if a little tired.

Once again, I am in awe of how blessed we are with friends who give us shrimp, call us for help (yes, also very grateful for that) and answer our call for a late-night rescue and even put on a life jacket to make my panicky self feel better. Vacation Bible School with my crew of wiggly little ones was a little more poignant today. I am thankful.

Day 30: Six Days in Wordy Mathematics

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Day 1: 62 miles to  Car Dealership + 2 hours in wi-fied waiting room = 0 procrastination and my engine light is off for the 1st time in 2 years.

Day 21 Costa Rican Uncle and Spanish Teacher Aunt + Hummus + Salsa = July 4th melting pot with friends, family and food

Day 3: Ebay sale of + $30 trumpet mute = 10 bucks and Less Clutter – yippee

Day 4: 5 kids and 3 adults on family boat ride + 783,221 freckles + shell search = 3 Blistering sunburns + 1 cut toe + 1 hermit crab friend Joey.

Day 5: 2 kayaks + 1 perot + 8 kids + (1 16′ sailboat – exterior plug)  + 7 adults = (1 short sail + 500 gallons of water) + 30 soar arms + 293,129 new freckles

Day 6: 1 Golf Cart ride +  Vacation Bible School Day 1 =  Stand Strong with 6 busy kids on my crew

Brevity is my theme for this entry, along with some pictures from the last six days. Summer is zipping by, but we’re having a great time making memories.

Day 24: birthdays keep coming!

Today is our son’s 19th birthday, and we celebrated today with lunch with both of his grandmothers at our favorite restaurant, T. W. Graham’s. I am always proud that Jake enjoys spending time with his family when some people his age aren’t so comfortable with anyone older than 22 or younger than 17.
Later, we had a family dinner with the whole fam damily including Jake’s six first cousins, all younger. My sister’s boys, the youngest cousins, have been in their house for three days with our SC monsoon season and were a little “active.” Seeing them and Jake reminded me of the days when my biggest worry was that someone might have a potty accident, spill lemonade or get sick in the middle of the night.
As the mom of a 19-year-old, the worries are amplified to include car accidents and I am hesitant to list the other worries. Saying them out loud could bring them even more to life than they already are in my vivid mom anxiety-loaded imagination. As my worries have matured along with my son, my control over his life has naturally and rightfully diminished. That is the way of life. Our kids grow up to become the grownups they are supposed to be and we hope and pray (a lot) they’ll have more taaadaaas and less utttos in their lives. That is my hope for my little boy, I mean young man. Strike that. Despite the fact that he towers over me with his 6’2″ frame, he’ll always be my little boy. And that’s okay. I’ll figure out how to be the mom of a grownup man and we’ll all live happily ever after. Taaaadaaaa!!!

Day 23: raindrops keep falling!

20130701-215744.jpg So we’re on day 35 of rain. Not really, but it certainly feels like the rain never stops. I did a little research to find out how moods/depression and rainfall relate to one another. I thought there must be a correlation, but from what I read, there isn’t one. Go figure. So once again I must learn to stop whining!
We’ve had 3.3 inches of rainfall this week (thanks Tree Committee members Gabe and Larry). It could be worse….like it will be in three days when all of the mosquitoes hatch! We’ll have sunshine while we marinate ourselves in bug spray, and I for one will be a little happier. Maybe it’s the Vitamin D I’m missing, but despite the research to the contrary, I like to spend summer days outside.
I have caught up on some of my reading though, finishing Anita Shreve’s The Last Time They Met today. I’m a member of two year-round book clubs, a professional book club during the school year plus my student book clubs. I could write (have and will) a lot about these women who are a big part of my life. We grow together by sharing these books, but more importantly by sharing our time and attention. We commit to stopping at least once a month, sitting together and having thoughtful conversation about books looking through the lens of our lives, or vice versa. My husband jokes that it is more of a wine club, but that just sharpens or dulls that lens, and sometimes that’s also what we need.
So, if the rain continues, I heartily recommend we read more books and hang out with friends to talk about them. You can’t go wrong with friends and reading.

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