Sunday, August 19, 2012

Life Is But A Dream

Oh my gosh. Today was incredible. Just when I was starting to give up on weekends, today just went and one-upped yesterday. Not only did we have two fun filled family days in a row, but I still managed to do chores, keep the house fairly clean, plan meals for the week, and prepare in advance my lunch, the diaper bag, my purse, and my outfit for tomorrow.

On top of that, our grocery bill for the week was impressive. I'm planning on making crab mac 'n cheese, beef stroganoff, and ginger-soy chicken. Our grocery bill come to a modest $50 and some odd change! Admittedly, this did not include baby formula or beef tips. BUT it did include a $10 pack of crab meat and staples such as milk, bread, eggs, and lunch meat. Do I hear any cheers? .....(crickets)......

Today started out "iffy." We planned to visit my parents' house so that we could all go for a boat ride. But the weather was overcast all morning. We were on the fence about what to do but finally decided to throw caution to the wind and make the trip despite the weather. I'm so glad we did! The second we got onto the water, the clouds broke and the weather warmed up. It turned out to be a wonderful day for boating on the Puget Sound!

I was lucky enough to grow up on an increduble island near Seattle. For the last half of my childhood, we lived on a beautiful waterfront property. The house itself wasn't much, but the wrap-around views of the Sound and a front yard that stretched across endless beach and sand, offering crab, clams, and fish for the taking, was dream worthy. I grew up surrounded by so much beauty.

And then I moved to the mid-west for college....Corn. Fields. Let's jusy say that if it hadn't been for Lake Michigan, I wouldn't have lasted a month.

Today, stepping onto my parents boat, was like stepping into a world of the past. My dad has had the same 17" Bayliner since I was 5. That's 23 years! It still works...well, sometimes. It's incredible how much larger the boat seemed to my child-self. Sitting in the boat now, I'm seeing it through much different eyes.

I remember sitting in the bow in summers past with my siblings. The three of us could almost completely stretch out as we kept a vigilant watch for stray driftwood ahead. I remember the red and white cooler my mom would pack full of sandwiches and soda, and a beer for my dad. We enjoyed day trips around the island, innertubing, wave-cruising, and overnight camping trips. I remember spending one entire summer in high school sunbathing alone in the anchored boat as it rocked in the waves and wake. I read all of my brother's past issues of junior Sports Illustrated magazines and drank 4 sodas a day in the 17 foot parent-free zone.

Sadly, the boat had been broken for the past several years, missing an obsolete part that my dad finally tracked down halfway across the globe. All those memories sat, nearly forgotten, in the back of the garage. So, when we got the call,  just this past week, that the boat had been resurrected, we all cheered. And today definitely lived up to the anticipation. I loved sharing my old memories with my family. And making some new ones of our very own.

The four of us managed to squeeze in the bow for a`photo. I'm sure the boat looked huge to Jacob, just as it once looked to me.

My parents live right around the corner from the bridge. This is practically their view from every front-facing window.

Jacob enjoyed the waves. In the picture above, I'm certain he's telling me something very important that requires finger gesturing. But I couldn't hear a word he said over the wind.

Ryan looked like a chubby oompa loompa in his life jacket. He loved the boat too. He was relaxed and content the entire ride.

We made a stop at Blake Island. The entire mile-long island is a state park. There's an Indian-style longhouse where tourists enjoy tribal shows over a delicious Pacific Northwest dinner of salmon. My dad, the anti-tourist-in-his-own-home-town, never forked over the money for that. We just played on the beach, picnicked, and camped.

Today, as Jacob skipped happily along the trail to the beach, carefully dodging tiny deer droppings and stopping to pick up a shell or two, a younger version of myself appeared before me. It reminded me how incredible my childhood was, even though I didn't always appreciate it at the time. How wonderful that as parents, we get a second chance at childhood through the eyes of our own children.

When I get bogged down in daily routine and can't see past just making it to the end of each day, it helps to stop for a moment and remember where I came from. Those simple beginnings are enough to put me back in touch with the person that is inhabiting this body of mine. It helps me be thankful for everything and everyone that I have. 

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