Friday, July 15, 2011


Last Sunday evening, Sarah and I were kidnapped by a certain Crazy Man.   (Would you get into a car with this guy?)


We were ferried to an undisclosed location where it quickly became apparent that our Crazy Man escort was a skilled skipper.  In fact, he was so skilled that he graciously gave Sarah a lesson in the finer details of the art.


As we skipped (Steve and Sarah) and stumbled (me) our way over the dunes, our destination finally came into view. 

Suddenly, we were transformed into the Seafaring Smiths.





Sarah busied herself with the time honored art of drawing a heart in the sand.



After she had finished, we walked down the beach for another ten or fifteen minutes.  On the way back, she ran up ahead of us to find her heart but had a little difficulty with her search. Since the sound of the ocean made it hard to talk, I looked up and saw this pantomime.



We never did find the mysteriously disappearing heart.  But that’s okay.

Because there was plenty of “heart” elsewhere.   As in, “I heart this man.”


This aforementioned man of mine and I decided that it would be fun to do a spoof of those TV shows where you see a wonderfully toned and tanned couple running along the beach looking unapproachably cool and suave and sending out beams of intimidating elite-esque-ness.  We also thought that he and I running on the beach would be a great way to entertain our daughter and infuse her with galvanizing gusts of uncontrolled merriment.

So we gave her the camera.  We got into position.  We told her to start taking pictures as soon as we started running.

But alas, something happened that waylaid our plans and instead of running, we both started pointing and shouting.  Sarah, being effectively brainwashed by her mother that one should take pictures of anything and everything, started snapping pictures of her frantic (and non-running ) parents.


We were both screeching over the roar of the waves, “Sarah! Birds!  Take a picture of the birds!”  She finally got the message and swung the camera around to capture this lovely sight. 


And then it was finally time to run.  (Or jog. Sort of.  A little. Ish.)



I especially love this pictures.  Steve is looking all energized and happy like, “Isn’t this such great fun?”  And I am looking like, “Um.  Hello?  Is it time yet to fall on the ground and wail and flail in exhausted agony?”


But I survived to walk another day. 


And so ended our brief seafaring journey—a journey that led us to a place of peace.





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Dresser

A couple nights ago when I went into Nathan’s room, I noticed that the top of his dresser was stacked with stuff. Since Nathan has not been home since May, I could only assume that the Stuff Stacker had to be someone who is currently in residence, which would be, um, me.

We’ve been so ridiculously busy lately that instead of putting things away, I’ve just laid miscellaneous items on the tops of various surfaces and thought, “I’ll deal with this later.”


Well, you’ll be so proud of me! I finally decided that the time had come to “deal with it.” And so, being the exemplary housekeeper that I am, I opened the second drawer of the dresser and prepared to sweep everything from the top of the dresser into the drawer. (As you can tell, I am an honored graduate of the Deal With It Later School of Housekeeping.)_DSC0033

But as things turned out, I was unexpectedly rendered incapable of moving ahead with my aforementioned cleaning plan when I looked into that second drawer and saw this._DSC0007

I saw basketball shorts that Nathan used to live in when he was at home; basketball shorts that he left behind when he took off on his new chapter of life.

Sitting right next to the shorts, I noticed his well loved Old Navy sweatshirt that I have seen him wear at least a billion times.


And as if finding the shorts and the sweatshirt wasn’t enough, I also found this plaque at the bottom of the pile of stuff on the dresser.



Steve and I had ordered the plaque after his graduation with plans to hang it up in the house so that we could see Nathan’s wonderful smile and be reminded of his great achievement. When it finally came in, I laid it on top of the dresser so we could find it easily when it was time to do the hanging. But alas. When all The Stuff piled up on the dresser, the plaque got just a wee bit buried until I rediscovered it.

Well. I’m sure you can completely understand that between the unexpected sighting of Nathan’s clothes and the unexpected revealing of his smiling face, I was a goner.

I wasn’t planning on crying. I wasn’t expecting to cry. I had no idea a Big Cry was in my future when I got ready to clean Nathan’s room. But what choice does a mama have when she is nine days away from her beloved son’s wedding and she happens upon unexpected signs of his sweet presence in her life?

And so. I cried awhile, stared at his clothes awhile, gazed at his picture awhile, and then finally wiped my eyes and got busy hanging the plaque on the wall in his bedroom.

This wall is the first thing Steve and I see when we come out of our bedroom and every morning since hanging it, I have come out of our room, looked up, and smiled.


I’m so glad I decided to “clean” the dresser. I'm so glad for the unexpected gift of old precious memories and new precious tears.


(Sarah painted the lighthouse picture when she was in the fourth grade, back when we never dreamed we’d be living just a few short miles away from that very lighthouse!)

And finally . . .

This is the last time I’ll mention this, but since my wonderful readers continue to e-mail me about it, here is the list of where Nathan and Meagan are registered: Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, Belk, and Walmart.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Non Inspiring Pictures. And (Hopefully) Inspiring Pictures.

Late last week, we had a lighting strike at our church which fried a theater lighting system, the main computer, and over half of our PA system.   The only thing that Sir Strike (unfortunately) ignored was our 15-year old projection system which has a tendency to hum along merrily without bothering to show half the color spectrum. That makes for some lovely onscreen graphics, let me tell you.

At any rate, Saturday was Steve’s and my “Don’t Panic But We Need To Get All This Up and Running By Tomorrow Morning” day.  Steve was in frequent contact with the amazing Wyatt  trouble shooting the computer damage to find out which parts were fried and which parts might still be working.   Turns out there was nothing we could do to get it running in time (we’re shipping it out to Wyatt for repair today) so I started working on transferring files from the working part of the computer over to my laptop so that I could  finish the bulletin and get the songs and sermon graphics ready for projection on Sunday morning.  Steve also spent a long time with our sound man getting things transferred from non working channels to working channels so that we could at least limp through the music on Sunday.

At one point in the long and frantic day, I had a modern monitor, my laptop from home and a really old monitor pulled from a storage area to test what was working and what wasn’t.   I felt like a regular computer geek!


As you can see by the red cooler, I packed a lunch when I went in because I knew I would be staying for the duration.   And I did.  A very long duration, might I add.


Oh, and since I’m showing you pictures of my office/church sound room, I just have to tell you about the chair in the foreground.  I got it from Freecycle and it cost me absolutely nuthin’!  I have used Freecycle to pass stuff along that we don’t need anymore and also have gotten a few nice things there.  It’s a great site.


Anyway, as for how the Lightning Strike Crisis ended, we ended up cobbling a whole bunch of things together so that we could (just barely) make it through the service on Sunday. And now this week (when we were already in Near Frantic Mode preparing to leave for Florida in just one week), we’ve also got to get all the systems up and running because we certainly don’t want to leave behind nonfunctioning equipment for the people who will be working in our place while we’re gone.

And in related “happy news,” this is what the switches in our home office currently look like.  Completely unrelated to any lighting strikes, the electricity in the entire room just stopped working on Friday. My handsome, handy, hubby is in the throes of trouble shooting and fixing that problem, as well.   Do we know how to have fun, or what?


And just because I would feel really bad if I left you with only non inspiring pictures on this Monday morning, here are a few lovelier photos from a recent morning bike ride.   I tried to take pictures of the bridge from as many perspectives as possible, which was really a fun thing to do.