Jul 11, 2011

The beach: Friday

I'd intended to post about our last day on the beach on Saturday, but Friday night at the beach is always chaotic. Everyone's trying to pack up, we're emptying out the kitchen, cleaning out our coolers ... it's crazy. I uploaded the pictures for this post on Friday night, but they didn't finish uploading until 1 a.m., and I love you, Internet.

But that's pushing it.

Friday morning we awoke to overcast skies and drizzle. As the morning wore on, the drizzle turned to intermittent downpours. The kids played inside relatively quietly. Several played on their Nintendo DSis, such as Jake and Coleman.

Nicholas did, too. The den was awash in the sounds of electronic pings.

The girls were nearby playing with pink things. One day I'm sure I'll know what all those pink things are called.

Around 11:00 there was a break in the rain, so we went out and set up our beach chairs. Looking to the right, we were the only people out there.

Looking to our left, it was us and one other family.

And did I complain enough about my camera woes when I was on vacation? If not, let me add one woe to the list: I have GOT to send my DSLR off to have the entire thing cleaned. Look at the sky in those two pictures above. Those aren't UFOs coming to take us all. That's crap inside my camera.

Friday did bring a little more excitement on the beach, as if almost losing Nathaniel wasn't enough for my heart to take earlier in the week. The kids found a jellyfish five feet from our encampment, and luckily they didn't step on it or touch it.

They decided to bury it in the sand so no one else would step on it, either.

The sky, meanwhile, was getting more menacing by the moment.

The family next to us showed us a baby shark that a fisherman had reeled in. Does it piss you off when fisherman fish with live bait right next to your kids in the ocean? It really pisses me off. Worms are one thing. But bloody fish heads and live bait attract things like sharks, and I think it's really irresponsible to do that while families are swimming right beside you.

Regardless of the threatening rain and chances of being eaten by sharks lured in by fishermen, we had fun on the beach for a little while on Friday morning.

My brother-in-law Gerry is always a good sport about letting the kids drench him repeatedly with salt water.

There are many things in life I'm a good sport about. This isn't one of them.

Thanks, Gerry, for taking one for the team.

Jake figured out what was going on.

And that kid wanted IN.

You don't have to tell him twice.

Give him a bucket and he's golden.

Gerry decided he needed just a little retaliation.

But he went easy on him, and soon afterward, the kids were all ganging up on him.

When we'd been out about 90 minutes, the rain began again, and it turned into a downpour. We dashed inside, and the kids watched a movie upstairs after lunch.

We made it back outside around 4:00 for another couple of hours, but that was it for our time on the beach on our last day. We thought the excitement was over for the week, but then. BUT THEN.

Two firetrucks appeared in our driveway, and we had no idea why. We saw the firefighter/paramedics fan out on either side of the house, then use the public-access boardwalks to get to the beach. We all walked out to the back porch to see what was going on.

Several houses up the beach, there was a large group of people pointing out to sea. The paramedics walked calmly but purposefully toward the group of people on the beach. We, of course, were all dying to know what was going on, but I was already getting a pit in my stomach. I was having flashbacks to when I thought Nathaniel was lost in the ocean.

Once the paramedics got to the group, there appeared to be a few minutes of discussion, then two guys with red flotation devices headed out into the water. At this point, I was virtually certain there was a missing swimmer or surfer. (The surf had been so rough that day because of the storms that we hadn't let our kids in the water at all except a couple of times with adults right beside them.)

The rescuers made it about 30 feet out, then just stopped where they were and scanned. They stayed there for about 10 minutes, then came back in. I had gone back inside once I saw them head out into the water, because I couldn't handle any more. I didn't want to see whether they came back towing someone, or no one.

We checked the news on TV and online later that night, but we never saw any reports of what happened ... and although we're all still curious, it's probably better for me not to know. Three adult men drowned during the week we were there; two a couple of miles north of us in Myrtle Beach in the ocean, and one a couple of miles south of us in Murrell's Inlet on the intracoastal waterway. I am so sad for those families who lost their fathers.

On a much less serious note, I was also really sad to say goodbye at the end of the week to our rental house of the last five summers, Smiles Away.

But next year we won't need an eight-bedroom house; we'll be downsizing to five or six. It's hard to say goodbye to a place that holds so many special memories for all of us, but financially it was a no-brainer. If you know of a great house with five or six bedrooms on the Atlantic Coast, north of Hilton Head, send me an e-mail or leave me a Comment with the info. We're on the hunt!


April Jung said...

I've so enjoyed following your beach adventures! It sounds like you had a great week. I am feeling your dirty camera woes...mine desperately needs to be cleaned. A couple of years ago, i took a DSLR class at Samford and the instructors both highly recommended Cameras Brookwood for cleaning. Just thought I'd mention it in case you are looking for a local option. Hope the "re-entry" goes well today! :)

Sewconsult said...

Enjoyed going to the beach with you. We did something similar with hubby's family when our girls were young, Outer Banks. I prefer the mountains! Have a great week.

Carrie said...

Have you thought about Emerald Island, we loved it there when I was growing up.

brightleigh said...

I am sending you the links to two cottages where we have stayed on Emerald Isle for the past several years. One is beachfront and one is 2nd row, but it's right across from the beach access and it has a pool. Check your FB message box.

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