Life, Love and the Big Blue Sea

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.” ~Isak Dinesen

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It is hard to believe that our time here on the Outer Banks is over, but come tomorrow morning, we will be hitting the road. The last couple of days have been spent cleaning things up and getting ready to roll. The house is clean, bikes are loaded, laundry is done, Waldo is washed. A few things will need to be stowed in the morning, but we are pretty much ready to go, and tomorrow night we will be sleeping in Maryland.

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Living alongside the ocean has been truly amazing. I quickly learned that she has as many moods as the rest of us. Sunny days found her happy, waves crashing playfully upon the shore. Other days she was meditative, hardly a wave to speak of. She apparently did not like the wind any more than I did, because on the days where the wind was the strongest, she appeared very angry, waves roaring as far out as the eye could see. But no matter what her mood seemed to be, she was always beautiful.

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I am going to miss my morning beach walks with Charbie. And hunting for seashells. And watching the kids run wildly in the waves. Sand in my shoes, daily conversations with the ocean, countless pelicans flying overhead and the beautiful sound of waves crashing upon the shore.

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I will not, however, miss the wind that has been sand blasting Waldo for the last few months. (I don’t think he is going to miss it either.) Even with the unbearable wind, though, our time here has been exceptional, and we are taking with us countless unforgettable memories. And perhaps a seashell or two.

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Something about leaving the ocean feels like leaving behind an old friend. But she will always be there, waiting patiently, no matter how long it takes us to return. And when we finally make our way back, we will pick up right where we left off. Just like the best of friends…

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“Seashells are love letters in the sand.”

Life on the OBX

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it is sent away.” ~Sarah Kay

We made it to the Outer Banks of North Carolina! We were all giddy little school children when we found out just how close to the ocean our RV pad is. There is a sand dune right behind us, and when I climb upon it and look around, I can see Waldo in one direction, and the Atlantic Ocean in the other. Off in the distance, the Bodie Island lighthouse guides ships safely home. We cracked the window last night and lay there listening to the soothing sound of the waves crashing upon the shore. What is it about the ocean that is so captivating?

Rob begins his volunteer position tomorrow. He will tour the island and get to know the visitor’s center for a few days, and then he will begin working on his own. It will be a nice, quiet job, especially since it is the off-season here in the Outer Banks. We will be here through April, though, so slowly the shops will reopen and people will return to the island, bringing more visitors to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center.

I think we are going to like it here. We are going to like it a lot.

Charleston

Last weekend we made a run down to Charleston, South Carolina to visit one of Rob’s old friends. They had worked together for about seven years, but had not seen each other for almost three, so it was time to get them together. They had a great time catching up and Ben was a wonderful tour guide. He took us to beach, to Fort Moultrie, to dinner at one of the most amazing BBQ restaurants ever and took us on a beautiful walking tour. We were only there for about 24 hours, but it was time well spent.

The highlight, of course, was the Atlantic Ocean! The weather was absolutely perfect for walking on the beach, although there was a $1040 fine for wading. (Seriously?) Catheryn collected more shells than she could carry, so after she began handing them to me to carry for her, I was forced to “accidentally” drop some. William had fun gathering dead crabs, spongy seaweed and miscellaneous body parts from jelly fish. Nathan was content to drag a stick through the sand and occasionally stopped to dazzle us with his sand art. I love how different they all are. They had never seen the Atlantic before, so this was quite a treat.

One of my favorite things about Charleston was the people! I couldn’t get over how many people were outside. Runners, walkers, bike riders, dog walkers, you name it. There are so many places where you rarely see anyone outside, so to see so many in one city was pretty amazing.

Rob enjoyed Charleston so much that he would like to spend next summer there. It is quite the tourist community, so finding jobs for the season shouldn’t be too hard. I guess we will have to see next year when summer rolls back around.