Sunday, August 31, 2008


Hello old friend,

Its really good to see you once again.

Eric Clapton -- "Hello Old Friend"

Do people you've only known for 5 years count as old friends?

Perhaps it's just that the Arthurs feel like old friends, comfortable and easy. Always fun. As the old saying goes, they are who we would call if we needed bailing out of prison. Not that I think that's going to happen Mom and Dad(who don't want to think about such things) and Arthurs (who don't want to make that drive to Virginia), but if it were to happen, we know they would answer that call. Collect, even.

Now that they live half a country away we don't see the Arthurs as often as we would like, but Janice and I talk almost weekly and Pat still tries to make it to North Carolina for the annual Merlefest dude convention along with John from the previous post "Worries to the Sea I". Still, we miss them terribly, so when we had the chance to spend a week with them on Ocracoke, one of our favorite places, we were extatic.
Our house was AMAZING, as you can see from the beautiful photo of the back of the house taken from our boat and our fantastic view. We were able to dock our boat in the canal in the backyard; every day was spent on the beach and the fellas fished from the back patio every night. They caught around 10 species that included, besides the usual suspects, some sharks, some rays, some very nasty looking eels that even the crabs wouldn't touch, and a turtle.

The Short People and the Arthur boys are much more self-sufficient than when we did this two years ago, so we could relax without feeling that a child was on the verge of drowning at any moment. What a relief! We also needn't worry about a dealing with a fall down the stairs, a two year old with a dizzy spell, or someone coating their face and hair with vaseline when we weren't looking (yep, they all really happened on our first go 'round...I'm sure there were more calamities but time and the Margaritas have blocked them out).
Some things don't change. Of course, just like two years ago, Kate had us up at the Crack (Crap) Of Dawn every morning. That child has some kind of internal clock that I would like to reset but just can't. Maybe in 2010 she'll sleep until 7:30?

The highlight of our trip was taking the boat to a large sandbar near "Teach's Hole", the pirate Blackbeard's hangout where he guzzled rum and did whatever else pirates do - including burying treasure, or so the legend goes. Wouldn't you know it, but the kids found these mysterious "Xs" in the sand and when they dug, voila! Doubloons! And one for each child. What a coincidence. Someone alert the papers! Psssst...Pat was the one with the brilliant idea. I'd steal it if I were you.

The water on this bar was as clear as if we had landed in the tropics, and we saw skates, anemones, tons of huge hermit crabs, and great shells. The waves were so gentle; perfect for young children, and the sandbar was nearly empty. Heaven! Here is where I could have spent every day. I might still be there if they hadn't dragged me away. I cannot describe the unmarred beauty and clarity of this spot. The sandbars change every year, particularly after hurricanes, so who knows if I will ever see this sandbar again, but it lives on in my memory as the best day of our trip.

We also enjoyed the bounty of the ocean and I'm sorry that I don't have a photo to show off our fabulous feast. Or perhaps it's good you can't see what gluttons we were! We ate smoked bluefish, beer batter fried fresh catch (Pat's specialty), steamed blue crabs and clams, corn on the get the idea. It was better than I could possibly describe and all caught by us except for the clams (Pat found 2 so we had to cheat and buy some...we'll get lessons in clamming before our next trip).

The kids picked up playing as if they had just seen each other last week. It was amazing to see them together again; Joe and Gus were really the Short People's first friends. In fact the Short People liked each other SO much that Janice overheard Kate approach Joe and inquire "Joe, India wants to know if you like her". In typical guy fashion he had no clue what she was asking so he looked at her as if she were insane and replied "Uh, Yeah?". Kate then clarified (and here is where my concerns begin) "No, I mean, do you like , LIKE HER like her?"


I don't know what to be most disturbed about in that exchange...a) there were way too many uses of the word "like", b) that India and Kate understand a little more about boy/girl relationships than I think is proper for a 4 and 6 year old, or c) that India is using Kate as an emissary to do her dirty work. Sounds a little mafioso to me; next thing you know she'll have Kate bumping off her playground rivals. At least Joe had the good sense to be clueless like an almost 7 year old should be.
Boy/girl issues aside, clearly this was a fabulous vacation. And even if I couldn't find all the energy that I wanted, even if I was the first grown-up in bed every night, even if I didn't feel perfect every moment, the moments were wonderful. Thanks, Arthurs. We miss you!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh this sounds absolutely DREAMY! I want to go to that Sandbar place, Right Now! This is my kind of place because it is soooo Peaceful! Were there Shells there? I have always LOVED Shelling and if there are shells there it must be pretty Awesome!

I really loved your concerns about The Girls and "like" and "Like" doesn't surprise me in a way. I think we are capable of 'falling in like' very very early on. I know it happened to me but I just didn't talk to anyone about it....!

I'm so happy for you with the joy of this Vacation, especially considering your Health Issues!
The Joy you felt was palpable!

Long Day With Short People said...

Oh, yes. Shelling was marvelous with lots of sand dollars, whelks, jingle shells, "Chinamen's Caps" and some other real beauts. My next "Worries to the Sea" post will have some photos of some even lovelier Bahamian shells though. My poor husband tolerates my obsessive shelling and they are in bowls and jars in every room of the house!

renee said...

I wish I could have been there. Sounds like fun! Michele sent me BTW!

Janice said...

Oh, the pictures almost make me weepy with the happy. Seems like it was so long ago already, and so long before we'll get to go again. Honestly, one of our best vacations yet. Thanks for sharing the pics and for your kind words about my little family. :)

Deana said...

You guys look so happy and lively! What great photos, everyone appears so friendly. And that house, WOW, that is nice. I'm glad you got to get together with your "sorta old" friends and have some fun. I wish your energy would come back, are you going to be okay?