We absolutely have the entire beach to ourselves, South Carolina schools are still in session, the ocean is all ours. Jim and Preston brought some heavy duty metal shovels, and the kids have dug their school year frustration out properly. South carolina DNR rules require filling in all holes, turning off porch lights so as not to disturb sea turtles laying eggs. How cool is that?
I'm entranced with the vegetation, palm trees abound, palmettos and bouganvillea everywhere. I can wander for miles just loving everything I lay my eyes upon, I'm happy as a pig in a poke, my teenagers are behaving beautifully. Tabby and Nando are beach busy all day with Ray, Hazel, CJ and Mae.
There are 24 of us here, at least half are rather reclusive folks, which makes the togetherness all the more ironic, but there's certainly room to escape all the humans, via porches, decks, sand, fishing piers, rooms, and long walks,
Chuck keeps setting out crab pots, books are being passed around, Grandma laughed all the way through The Sweet Potato Queen's story yesterday, now it's Sarah's turn, then Yolie's, and we'll certainly pass it to the Biggers at home. They'll all love it. Certainly Hispanic they are, but also deeply Southern.
I'm reading The Man Who Quit Money. Dee'd sent me an article about it and I'd been immediately hooked.
Preston broke his hand the first night he was here. Dang, his right hand, his work hand, his truck stick shift hand since the other hand's usually holding a coffee mug. I never heard a thing, he drove himself up to Charleston's emergency room, it's set now and in a soft cast. Stupid stuck window did him in. I guess my sons can cast his fishing pole out, help him reel it in? Preston's tough as nails, I saw him limp off to work once the second day after knee surgery. He's originally from coastal Georgia, loves the seaside, a broken hand won't slow him down here.
My friend, Susan, my dear friend and mentor, Lisa R's sister, seriously needs everyone's prayers. She lost her husband sometime back, sweet Ed who'd hired and mentored all of my Biggers, Susan's father died within the last year, and now her lovely daughter, Melissa, will be undergoing surgery next week for a malignant abdominal mass. We're praying for a complete miracle, for total healing. Melissa has two young kids and a husband who need her. She's hardly Sarah's age. I'm putting this here so Big Joe, Jesse, Sergi, Deysi, Saray, Gina and Marcela will all join me in praying for her, they all know and adore this entire family, the rest of my kids all know the extended family as Melissa's Uncle Tracy has long been a pastor, friend, and mentor of ours.
I still laugh at thinking 'bout Ed telling Jesse, "I didn't think you'd ever amount to anything," as Ed dealt with my very challenging teenage boys back then, none of them were easy, or so I thought until I met my later sons, who made the first batch of sons seem nearly on a level with choir boys in comparison. My first three sons loved Ed and were devastated at his sudden death. They also love his wife and daughter, Melissa. Ed lived long enough to see Jesse become a huge success story.
My email comes through my phone, internet unnecessary, thank you 3G, yet I have 4g LTE envy, and my Pastor Terry's Care Ministry prayer requests have been many. So housebound usually, prayer is all I have for folks, but prayer is all folks need.
Lauren's other grandparents sent a ton of popsicle money for my children, something my budget doesn't exactly allow for, they've been in Hog Heaven about this, while also grappling with the fact that Lauren has grandparents they don't know. "These are Kevin's parents," I uselessly tried to explain, they think my favorite brother-in-law is too old to even have a mom and a dad. I'm also praying for Mr. Billy Ellis, Kevin's dad, as he battles the same Pulmonary Fibrosis diagnosis that my own dad fought against.
Barbara, and her husband and grandchildren are also coming to visit the following weekend in June. I've been besties with Barbara since 1968. Nineteen sixty eight. 44 years of friendship, we'd met when I'd just turned 14 years old, a month before she did. She lives in Lousiana now and we used to meet in Pensacola, Florida where my Miriam now lives, but we'd bring our kids and camp at Fort Pickens together. I'm not far from being able to do that again in the near future. 44 years have flown by, lemme tell ya.
And here at this beach that I adore? Big meals, fun days. Last night was my turn to cook, not an easy feat for black bean tostadoes without my heavy, very large cast iron black skillet, instead I had three frying pans going at the same time in place of my one beloved skillet. I fried up 135 corn tortillas. Tonight Jim and Grandma are cooking. Yolie'd made about a hundred pancakes yesterday morning for everyone. There's a fire station fish fry we're thinking of attending tomorrow. This house, well worn and comfortable, has two stoves, an electric one and a gas range, and the prettiest fridge I've ever seen, mongo side by side stainless steel.
Lauren's been entertaining my teenagers. "You are a FUN youth pastor," Scotty blurted, over-excited and super amped up.
"I don't act this crazy with my youth group, only with my cousins," she'd seriously explained to the one who couldn't picture her not being so much fun. "I'm an adult there."
Silence from my teens as they tried to digest and comprehend her other side of life.
Chuck and Yolie haven't vacationed with me since that year on Pawley's Island when I had 17 kids under age 11. I'd made them all wear their life jackets at all times even though they could swim, I was just over protective. Ocean dangers were literally the least of my problems though as I'd had some seriously mentally ill children with severe diagnoses and horrendous behaviors I'd been trying to manage. Looking back? That I'd survived emotionally and physically just blows me away and makes me appreciate every single minute now with just regular behavior disorders. So manageable, just annoying.