Tag: ocean

Tampa Day 1 and 2

Hello from Florida!  (Almost said Aloha but wrong beach!).

I don’t have long to write this morning but I just wanted to say hello and let you know I am having a great time in good old Florida.  Getting here took me 2 days and was miserable but it was all worth it for the beautiful beaches!  The sand is white, the water is turquoise and warm as bathtub water.  The company has been great and I’ve just had a blast!

I will include more details in my next post but this should give you some flavor.  Hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day weekend.  🙂

beach day1c day1b day1a day1

Beach Day!!!

So if you hadn’t gotten the idea yet, I love the beach.  I love the sound of the waves.  I love laying out in the sun reading.  I love swimming in the ocean.  It’s just so great.  Nature’s amusement park if you will.  I miss the beach greatly when I am away for it and haven’t seen it since 2011.

Today I got to go to the beach!!  We went to Seal Beach in California, which was a new beach for me but great.  It’s crowded but beautiful, with a huge pier and lots of parking.  I was just so happy to be back in the water and away from the ‘walking vacation’.

seal beach

The day started great.  We left the hotel and headed to Seal Beach to first meet up with one of my twitter friends Samantha Ferraro.  She is a food blogger and we started talking because of a mutual love of cooking and Julia Child.  The first time we tweeted she asked the question-

twitter

I thought it was funny that anyone would be deciding to make tomato cobbler and orange curd.  After that we kept in touch and she asked for some advice in preparing for a triathlon and we chatted about the open water swimming part.  She lives in Seal Beach so it was too convenient not to meet up, so that’s what we did for lunch.

We ate tacos and chatted and had a lovely time.  I told her to come out to Utah and I can show her around.  It would be fun to cook together sometime.  You can read her food blog at http://littleferrarokitchen.com/

My second tweet up.  Both have been great!
My second tweet up. Both have been great!

It’s so neat the way we can connect with others so easily, have a positive impact and make friends with people we would never come in contact other ways.  I especially love twitter for this.  It is so nice to have a forum to share with likeminded individuals that share common interests.

So after our lunch Maddie, Mom and I went to the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon playing.  I got out my safe swimmer and swam for about 20 minutes.  The current was really strong or I could have gone longer.  It was so much fun!

open water beach beach girls beach2

It was just so peaceful and fun. I could have stayed there forever.  Sadly we had to leave to get back to my folks house and the long trip to Northern California started.  My Mom drove the whole way which I was very grateful for and we had good conversation, so it all turned out well.

Favorite day of the trip- beach day- followed closely by the massage.  So great!

 

Aloha!

For me its balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surf is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud-rack; I can feel the spirit of its woody solitudes, I hear the plashing of the brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.
Mark Twain, a Biography

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient.

One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh- Gift from the Sea

The clouds almost look like halo but don't worry I'm not in heaven- just hawaii.

This morning I am sitting in the lanai at the cottage and soaking in the space that surrounds me.  I wish I was more of a poet and could put into words how I feel but suffice it to say- the ocean is everything.  Somehow just the sound of it is all problems, all victories, all moments of tedium, and all gleeful exclamations.  It makes me happy in a way nothing else does.  It might seem like a cliche but just the sound makes me want to be a better person.  I can’t explain it but knowing there is something that beautiful makes me want to live a more beautiful life.

I just love it so much!  I am a very soft sleeper but last night I just had to leave one window open (with screens of course).  I had to hear the swoosh, swoosh, bang of the waves.  It made 21 hours of travel well worth it.  Anything is worth it.

I’ve had a very tough year and it means so much to me to be here.  I feel like I can throw all my problems into the water and it will take it away for  a time, only to bring it back with the tide.  In the meantime, I have 12 days to absorb life without all the burdens and struggles.  I can be perfectly happy and that is the magic of Hawaii for me- perfect happiness.

Gift From the Sea

Over the weekend I must admit to feeling a little depressed.  It’s hard to explain exactly why.  It may have been the new injections, the surgery date or that I didn’t feel great and was simply exhausted, wrung out in every way- emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually.  I was perhaps also a little bummed out at having to move my DC trip to September and I’m sure being alone over the Easter holiday didn’t help.  Who knows?  Sometimes I feel down for no reason at all, not very often, but it does happen.

Needing some comfort and inspiration I turned to a little book I had not read in at least 10 years, A Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh.  It was the perfect book for me to read at that moment and I devoured it!  (It’s not long- 127 pages.  Its more of a collection of essays than a book)  In the book Anne shares her contemplations after a vacation at the ocean.

Looking at a hermit crab leaving his shell Anne says “He ran away, and left me his shell.  It was once a protection to him.  I turn the shell in my hand, gazing into the wide open door from which he made his exit.  Had it become an encumbrance?  Why did he run away? Did he hope to find a better home, a better mode of living?  I too have run away, I realize, I have shed the shell of my life, for these few weeks of vacation.”

What a glorious thing such shedding is!  I feel the same way when I go to Hawaii.  Its sounds cheesy but the mere sound of the waves makes my problems float away and the brightness of the sun makes life feel alive, reborn.

Anne goes on to analyze her life, “I want first of all…to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can.  I want, in fact- to borrow the language of the saints- to live ‘in grace’ as much of the time as possible.”

What a grand goal!  Of course, life becomes very complicated and busy.  Anne says “the life I have chosen as a wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications…This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of.  It leads not to unification but to fragmentation.  It does not bring grace; it destroys the soul.  And this is not only true of my life,  I am forced to conclude; it is the life of millions of women in America.”

What is Anne’s solution to such a challenging problem? Well she compares each phase in life to different types of shells found at the beach:

1.  The Channeled Whelk- the abandoned home of a hermit crab.  “Blurred with moss, knobby with barnacles, its shape is hardly recognizable anymore.  Surely, it had shape once.  It has a shape still in my mind.  What is the shape of my life? The shape of my life today starts with a family…I have also a craft, writing, and therefore work I want to pursue.  The shape of my life is determined by many other things: my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires.”

She goes on to talk about the difficulties of balancing all these shapes.  “Simplification of outward life is not enough.  It is merely the outside.  But I am starting with the outside.  I am looking at the outside of a shell, the outside of my life- the shell.  The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living.  This is only a technique, a road to grace. The final answer, I know, is always inside.  But the outside can give a clue, can help us find the answer.”

2. Moon Shell- “This is a snail-shell, round, full and glossy as a horse-chestnut.  Comfortable and compact…”  With the moon shell Anne talks about the importance of solitude and being comfortable in one’s skin.  “No man is an island, said John Donne.  I feel we are all islands- in a common sea. We are all, in the last analysis, alone.  And this basic state of solitude is not something we have any choice about.  We are solitary.  We may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so.  That is all.”

Anne goes on to talk about the crowding in on solitude from modern life.  “Women, who used to complain of loneliness, need never be alone anymore.  We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side.  Even day dreaming was more creative than this; it demanded something of oneself and it fed the inner life. Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen.  It is simply there to fill a vacuum…We must learn to be alone. ”

3. Double Sunrise- This shell was a gift from a friend. “Each side, like the wing of a butterfly, is marked with the same pattern; translucent white except for three rosy rays that fan out from the golden hinge binding the two together.  I hold two sunrises between my thumb and finger.”  Anne goes on to talk about the purity of the gift and what she calls the ‘pure relationship’.

“Every relationship seems simple at its start.  The simplicity of love, or friendliness, the mutuality of first sympathy seems, at its initial appearance- even if merely in exciting conversation across a dinner table- to be a self-enclosed world.  Two people listening to each other, two shells meeting each other, making one world between them.  There are no others in the perfect unity of that instant…”

The she goes on to say ‘how swiftly, how inevitably the perfect unity is invaded; the relationship changes’.   However, if we look we can find glimpses of the ‘pure relationship’ all around us.  Anne also recommends for couples temporary returns ‘to the pure relationship.’  She says our children need these glimpses also “Does each child not secretly long for the pure relationship he once had with the mother when he was ‘the baby’? And if we were able to put into practice this belief and spend more time with each child alone- would he not only gain in security and strength but also learn an important first lesson in his adult relationship?”

4. The Oyster Shell- Naturally we demand relationships that are more than the passions of a the purest moments.  This brings Anne to the oyster shell. “Each is fitted and formed by its own life and struggle to survive…Sprawling and uneven it has the irregularity of something rowing.  It looks rather like the house of a big family, pushing out one addition after another to hold its teeming life…It is untidy, spread out in all directions, heavily encrusted with accumulations and in its living state- this one is empty and cast up by the sea- firmly imbedded on its rock”

The oyster shell symbolizes the middle years of marriage (or I related it to the middle years of life). It is here that ‘many bonds, many strands, of different textures and strength, form making up a web that is taut and firm.  The web is fashioned of love.  Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic first, then a slow-growing devotion, and playing through these a constantly rippling companionship”.

As a single girl I must say- that is the dream.  ‘a constantly rippling companionship’.  I love it!

5. Argonata-  “These are in the beach-world certain rare creatures, who are not fastened to their shell at all.  It is actually a cradle for the young, held in the arms of the mother argonaut who floats within to the surface, where the eggs hatch and the young swim away.  Then the mother argonaut leaves her shell and starts another life.”

With this shell Anne contemplates on the second half of life when children have left the shell.  Anne says ‘ I believe after the oyster bed, an opportunity for the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one, like the sunrise shell; and not a functional, dependent one, as in the oyster bed; but the meeting of two whole fully developed persons.”

You may find it odd that I would be so moved by more talk of marriage but with so many evils fighting relationships- pornography, addiction, infidelity, workaholism- it is comforting to read of the potential for complete relationships.  Sometimes I am prone to be a bit cynical about love but in reading Anne’s words I thought of the relationships I do have and how they have grown.  My relationship with my parents, siblings, friends and myself have all changed and are changing each day.  How comforting to know that even more potential love is possible as relationships grow.

Anne says “The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment.” She then asks “What makes us hesitate and stumble?  It is fear, I think, that makes one cling nostalgically to the last moments or clutch greedily toward the next.  Fear destroys ‘the winged life.’ But how to exorcise it?  It can only be exorcised by its opposite, love.  When the heart is flooded with love there is no room for fear, for doubt, for hesitation.”

I know this was a super long post but I felt so inspired by Gift from the Sea and  I wanted to share it with those I love.  Like Anne when I think of the ocean I am filled with light and peace. I think this is because the ‘sea recedes and returns eternally’.  I believe I am a part of creating eternal relationships, whether it be with a family member or a friend- or someday something more.  What we do now has more significance then we realize and Anne’s words helped me remember all of my current challenges are part of my great collection of shells, which eventually will be vibrant, beautiful and eternal.

I hope I have done the book justice.  It moved me and felt like a big hug from my Heavenly Father.  I loved it.  Have any of you read it?  What did you think?

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Hawaii video blog

These are my video diary entries from my trip.  I hope you enjoy them.  I might do this everytime I travel now that I have a new camera.  I was thinking of calling it the Big Girl Travel Blog? What do you think?  I have been looking for away  to make money while traveling- an internet travel website could be just the thing!!I’m kidding- kind of!

Looking forward to rest

I admit it today I would annoy Calvin!
I admit it today I would annoy Calvin! It's been a stressful couple of days.

I can’t write much but I wanted to update quickly on the craziness of my life the last few days.  First of all, I  moved on Saturday to my new 2 bedroom apartment.  It is much roomier and in a way feels more like a home than my last place.  I will always love that apartment because it proved I could be on my own and be happy.  This apartment feels different but I have high hopes for it as well.  As you can expect the move was stressful and exhausting.  I am so grateful to Easton Brown, Sarah Creer and other friends from church who came to my moving rescue.  It was a hot day and the move took several hours.  As I have often said I am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

With the boxes moved in the next task of unpacking came into play.  (By the way, we have also had people in all 4 houses over the last few days which is great but stressful!).  It is shocking how much stuff I have.  Truly shocking!  Thank goodness my roommate has only furniture for her bedroom and little kitchen stuff.  That was a huge blessing! She hasn’t officially moved in yet but I consulted with her before placing furniture and unpacking my kitchen stuff.  She seems very easy going, and I think we will make a good team.

I am proud to say I finished the unpacking today!  The final step was my office.  I will put up photos of my new place soon. I just love it so much!

In the midst of all this unpacking and working I also had to do my final check out of my old place today.  This morning to be more particular.  I thought I had done a pretty good job with things but the inspector sure found a big list of problems.  By the end of the check out it seems I will be responsible for $200 worth of stuff!  That’s the downside of renting.

Naturally I was in a bad mood this morning but then we added on more stress by having a crisis at work.  I won’t go into the details but one of the houses had some minor vandalism and we had someone checking into the house today!  It was creepy, annoying and exhausting all at the same time.  It ended up taking Jim and I the entire afternoon to resolve the problem.  Luckily the tenants are happy and nothing was seriously damaged or taken except some sheets that had to be replaced.  We are now already in the process of getting alarm systems on all 4 houses.

The other stressful event that happened is yesterday I made the mistake of purchasing an Ikea bookshelf with doors for the kitchen as a type of pantry. We got the bookshelf together easy enough but the stupid doors were impossible.  We literally spent the entire day.  By saying we, I mean my friend Melany Bushe and I.  I think the definition of a true friend is someone who will help you assemble Ikea furniture.  It was a lot of work and the frustrating thing is that it still isn’t perfect.  It wobbles more than it should and the doors don’t line up perfectly!  Part of the problem is they only give you those silly drawings as instructions.  There are always a million ways to go wrong- and usually I find all of them! Oh well!  It will have to do for now.  You know there is a joke about Ikea furniture- How may PHD’s do you need to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture?- 3 one PHD in Swedish, one in Engineering and one in relationship counseling.  Luckily mine and Melany’s relationship is still intact and the friendship will persist despite the trial!

Need I mention that I also have my recital for voice lessons on Friday! I am doing Somewhere Over the Rainbow which may sound like a simple song but in fact it is quite difficult.  It has an octave change with every Some-where and Rain-bow. It is definitely the hardest song I have done at a recital and is a bit of a risk.  I hope it pays off- especially with how little rehearsal time I have gotten lately with the move and all.  Wish me luck come Friday. I wish it sounded like this. 01 Over The Rainbow (Single Version)

Between everything going on I am looking forward more than ever to the tropical paradise that awaits me this Sunday.  Hawaii here I come!  I can’t think of anything more relaxing than lying in the sun with a good book listening to the waves.  I’d give up a meal a day for that pleasure! Every ounce of my sore achy emotional body is yearning for that blessed island.  Thank goodness for vacations by the ocean! I need it real bad!