Friday, June 1, 2012

# 276 - The Ocean or The Woods?

This past week, I had a ball with my oldest niece. She's 15 years old and has a lot on her mind. I remember being 15 years old; I wouldn't go back to that age for ANYTHING. Most kids this age are having all kinds of battles...not OLD enough to be an adult, yet not YOUNG enough to be a little kid.

It's the middle-zone in the truest sense. This age can be a load of fun as well.

We have a great time hanging out together, but she still gets to see me in my "obey the rules" Mama-mode. Since she's a good kid, there's never a problem, except when it comes to using too much whipped cream on her pudding.

This week, I took her to the beach near our house. We could've rode bikes to get to this area, but we had a list of places to visit for the day, so we drove the whopping two miles to get to this sandy area. It felt good to walk along the water's edge and to hear the waves.

It's nice to have the ocean almost at your backdoor. However, I'm more than eager to open my backdoor and finally see a forest.

This beach near our house is man-made, so Phoebe is fascinated with the thought of how much work it took to create a beach...she kept closely inspecting the consistency of the sand and pebbles. She said the beach felt weird under her feet. There were spots that almost felt like sinking sand, very prone to give you the feeling that it could swallow you whole in two seconds flat, as if a huge bubble of sea water waited beneath two inches of sand. Just in case, we walked around these super squishy zones.

We hold discussions about her future. It won't be long and she'll be making applications for colleges and universities. Knowing that her actions and her grades will start to "stick" to her, as if she is a walking application, has increasing importance for her to understand. Even at 15, she's doing things right now to determine her future path.

As she stooped over to inspect pebbles, I suggested she think about Geology? However, she told me that she has always wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Hmmm...that was my youngest daughter's initial major at the Texas A&M Galveston campus, with a dorm that overlooked the ocean. Stefie had been accepted into the Marine Biology program at A&M; she studied as a Marine Biology major for one year, then she had her car accident and everything changed. I guess the Marine Biology and Oceanography interests run deep in our family.

Stefie and fellow A&M Students in Galveston

Here is THE campus for Marine Biology studies!

So, it doesn't seem unlikely that Phoebe is interested in this field of study, besides, this gal is one hard-headed, determined young lady who is also a very rational young long as boys stay out of the center of the picture. Isn't that how it always goes for this age group? When I was her age, I was already in love with the ONLY man I would ever love, Deputy Dave. That's a scary thought when I look at other 15 year old girls in the family. I know how rare it has been for my marriage to be successful after beginning at such a young's better to marry at a more mature age instead of needing your husband to finish raising you, due to your being so young at the moment of "I do."

Deputy Dave loved me enough to wait for me to grow up so we could start our life together. But, the moment I turned 18, we ran off and eloped. My poor parents! Of course, they didn't know about us eloping for another ten years because I still didn't live with Deputy Dave until after we had married in church a few months later. Before then, I went home to my room every day for those months, until we had our church wedding. Didn't everyone do this type of thing?

I look at Phoebe and remember how I couldn't WAIT to be 18 so I could be with Dave FOREVER. It's amazing that I still look forward to FOREVER with him, and still feel that youthful eagerness to be by his side; each day with him is a blessing. I hope all the girls in our family will find such powerful, lasting love in their future husbands...the husbands that will be FAR into their future.

In spite of most 15 year olds magically wanting to be "grown-up" the very next morning she stand on the beach and remembers to enjoy being 15. It's a time of continued freedom on an unparalleled level as well as a time of feeling increasing responsibilities wearing you down more heavily than before.

Sometimes, getting away from our day-to-day environment can give us time to take a refreshing breath so that we can again continue onward in our journey through life. Taking rejuvenating breaks is important for all of us to be able to resume our daily lives with a good attitude. A fun detour is often good for the mind and spirit. For me, that happens as I spend time in the backyard gardening or feeding the chickens. But, there's no doubt that standing beside the ocean can initially make you feel small and insignificant, yet as you stand there a bit longer, the ocean seems to also deliver a powerful, unspoken fresh perspective of the world. It tells you that you are an integral part of the overall scheme of things. You are here for a reason or for multiple reasons and you need to give thanks for the chance to see things as magnificent as the ocean or a mountain or a growing garden or a little child with your smile.

Standing near the ocean is a beautiful experience, you smell the salty air and feel the moisture hit your skin, you hear the waves crash and it is an experience, for me, that is addicting. Once you've lived around the ocean, it seems to softly call your name for a visit, especially if you've been away from it for too long. Phoebe and I were taking his day trip to the water's edge because I longed to share the simple moment with her. No playing in the water all day or building sand castles, just a walk along the beach.

Of course, for a long time now, the woods call to me. It is clear that the forest is more loud and attention-grabbing than the ocean. For me, our acreage has been beckoning me for many years. I think the ocean must have gotten jealous; hence Hurricane Ike destroying our house in 2008. So, let's keep this on the down-low. Yep, that's city talk; I'm in serious need of country reformation.

Our acreage is waiting to be cultivated and enjoyed to the fullest. The land doesn't care how fast or slow I move, as long as I am steadily moving forward with my hands in the dirt on a regular basis and getting to be among the swaying trees, I am fulfilled to the point of being over-filled with joy in the midst of country living. Plus, lately, I hear the land saying, "Build me a BARN!"

Didn't you overhear it too? The acreage was interrupting us, it can be rude like that!

It says, "I need a red barn with a solid foundation to use as a workshop; build me and I will make my presence even more worthwhile."

Yes, the land is trying to strike a deal with me. At least it sounds like a good excuse to go build a barn as soon as possible.

My goal for June is for Deputy Dave and I to find the time for us to meet with our concrete guy at the acreage to discuss pouring the slab for the barn/workshop. Whether we sell our house or not, it's time to move forward a few steps, always in faith.

And Phoebe said she's ready to visit her aunt and uncle on our land...she's eager for us to move. It's been too long since she's been on our acreage.

Phoebe Easter egg hunting on our land,
many years ago. She's even more precious now!

I hope she woods will speak to her as loudly as the ocean does. Since she is finely in-tune with nature, I'm sure she'll hear it, loud and clear.


Anonymous said...

How nice you get to spend time with your beautiful niece and how wonderful for her she has such a great auntie!
Btw I just read what happened to deputy Dave. Omg how scary! I am so thankful that your hubby came home safe and sound to you!
Take care
Deb in viola, Ks said...

Deb - thank you for commenting so I know that you were reading, it means a lot to me! As for my oldest niece, she is a huge part of my heart! I love her dearly. And the Deputy is doing great. We are so thankful to that fishing guide for following his instincts and going out so far to check on the kayaker that he could not longer find on the horizon. Pro-active people in this world help make it a better place! I'm grateful to God that He orchestrated a rescue for my husband! Thanks for reading...hope all is well with you too!