July 23, 2016

Figure Eight Island

Beach walks, summer storms, nightly viewings of America's Got Talent, Monopoly, good meals together, and lots of laughter.  We had such a good time visiting with Nana, Poohbah, Carol, Luca, and Yardley on Figure Eight Island in North Carolina. After spending our honeymoon here sixteen years ago, it is wonderful to return and share it with Camille.

July 19, 2016

Camp Bliss

This summer my kids weren't the only ones who went to sleep-away camp. Noah made the annual trek south to Mississippi for another memorable summer at Jacobs Camp. Camille wanted to give farm camp a try and that prompted me to start thinking about finding a camp experience of my own. 

So Camille and I packed our bags, loaded up the van, and drove north to the Hudson River Valley. The first stop was Sprout Creek Farm where Camille was all geared up to spend the week milking goats/cows, meeting new friends, and swimming in the creek. After helping her get settled, I headed thirty minutes up the road to Omega where I spent a blissful week doing yoga, taking fun classes (hula hooping! writing, drawing, etc), kayaking, and taking afternoon naps in hammocks by the lake. It was truly a week of deep renewal and rest. And so much better than my previous experience with summer camp which was a homesick and anxiety-ridden week with fellow 4-H members in rural Louisiana. 

Noah is still at camp and although his notes home are brief, they are filled with exclamation points and we can tell he is having fun. Camille can't stop telling us stories of her farm adventures and has been maintaining near daily contact with new camp buddies. And two weeks post-camp, I am still feeling the after effects of re-calibration and already day dreaming about a return next summer...

June 29, 2016

June List

For Listening: Hooray for the return of Invisibilia  
For Discussing: The Giver and Debatable
For Playing: Bring Your Own Book
For Summer Hiking: All Trails app
For Road Tripping: Are We There Yet? and Sisters
For Digesting: Finding Dory from an adoptee's perspective
For Planting: State Fair Zinnias 
For Considering: Letters of Recommendation 
For Exploring: Smithsonian Folklife Festival
For Repeating: Do The Right Thing

June 25, 2016

Steampunk Beach, Navarre 2016

This year our annual trip to Navarre Beach was a bit different: noisy,surreal, and steampunk. There were big machines, dredge boats, and a large rusty pipe running through the middle of the beach...all part of a Sisyphean task to enlarge this sliver of a barrier island. As a result, the water was murkier, the walk to the water was much further, there were lights and machine noises throughout the night, and there were periodic leaks from the pipe. Strangely, with all of that going on we had more Black Skimmers than usual swooping along the edge of the water and a huge Blue Heron who hung around our house each morning. 

June 21, 2016

A Return

Pierce and Camille, evening dune walk, Navarre Beach, June 2016

There are well established rituals that happen every year when our family flocks back to Navarre Beach for our sandy week-long gathering. The sunset walks in the dunes, the late nights of card playing/drinking/storytelling/puzzlemaking, early morning shell hunting, the assigned meal nights, the competition for outdoor shower time with hot water, and the eventual fight that always breaks out on Thursday after spending too much time together and having the air conditioner freeze up. 

And then there is the Florida Book, which is actually comprised of several well-worn volumes of spiral bound notebooks. Aunt Carol, the keeper of the Florida Book, always places them on the coffee table in the main house and over the course of the week funny snippets of conversations are recorded, interesting beach discoveries or adventures or documented, drawings and bad jokes are collected. And every year at some point in the week, entries from the previous years are read aloud and brought back to life with laughter and embellished reminiscing. Family beach stories document generational shifts/additions/losses, hurricanes, Family Olympics (every four years) and weeks ripe with jellyfish and seaweed muck. 

There is something so primal about this ritual of ours, this need to document and re-share stories of annual family beach gatherings. I am so glad we do it. And it is actually prompting me to return to this dormant blog of mine. It's been over a year since I posted anything here and I really wasn't sure if I would ever re-vive it, but I have missed it and I realize that it is serves a purpose similar to the Florida book. It documents bits and pieces of our life and stores them for future moments for when we might want to do a bit of time traveling/reminiscing. So here I am again. Hoping to return to this space on a more regular basis. Hoping to put together a meaningful collection of thoughts, memories, images. Hoping to return to the process of sifting and sorting/ writing and photographing.

February 7, 2015

Emee and Camille

Taken on the morning of my sister's return to Louisiana, before the tears began to flow and the reality of her departure hit. We have loved having my sister in the DC area for the past few years and will really miss having her so close.