Then I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said,"Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Outer Banks

Once more our breath has been stolen by the vast creation around us. We were invited to spend some time in the Outer Banks with some friends last week. Located on the northern shores of North Carolina, these small bodies of land are surrounded by strong ocean currents, continuously shifting sand bars, and over 2,000 sunken ships justifying the name "graveyard of the Atlantic". In this area are many lighthouses. And for our schooling, we did a unit on lighthouses. We studied about the reasons why thy are needed, the different types of light sources used over the years, and stories of the light keeper's lives. To complete this unit, we visited Cape Hatteras lighthouse. It is the tallest lighthouse in the North America, and was once the tallest brick building in the Americas. It is a beautiful sight, just under 200 ft tall. Josiah, Elise, Michael and I climbed to the top, while Titus enjoyed the company of our friends safely at the bottom. From the top we could see way out into the ocean as well as across the peninsula.

We also enjoyed watching a variety of animals. These white cranes were so sleek with their thin necks and moved so gracefully along the shore.

I personally enjoyed the Great Dane that was frolicking like a young puppy up and down the shoreline. He was easily as tall as Josiah when on all fours, and must have been an older dog judging by the grey hairs around his snout, but he could bound from one side of the point to the next in effortless strides. A couple times, when Josiah would run to one of us to share some of his 'news' this dog would rally up behind him looking for a good game of chase. I am just thankful Josiah didn't turn around, or he would have been terrified!

In the Outer Banks there is no law against driving your vehicle onto the beaches, so there were all sorts of 4-wheel drives along the sand. Most of them had large shore fishing poles fixed onto the front grate of their vehicle. I had never seen such a thing, and if we ever have a chance to go back I would love give shore fishing a try. They were catching fish after fish out there, and someone told us that it was one of the most incredible places for shore fishing.

At the point of Cape Hatteras, two ocean currents collide, one heading North, the other heading South. Seeing these large waves collide made me realise why this area was so well known for its rip currents. It made me want to keep a keen eye on the children....and it made Michael want to try out surfing for the first time. After a 30 minute tutorial on the world wide web, a few minutes with the locals at the surf board rental company, and a lot of positive thinking, my Big Kahuna challenged the ocean. As you may notice, there were some considerable waves surrounding him, especially since there was a nice storm about to blow on to shore!

Many failed attempts later, Moon-doggie decided to go to the bay side to learn on some smaller waves. He came home beaten by the waves, but with a smile on his face and the desire to do it again.

Much like his father, Josiah also was up for a challenge. My son, who used to not put a toe in the water, was learning to boogie board. This kid could not get enough of it! He would lay on the board where the waves would have their last break, and would be swept in by the water.

Elise enjoyed her time on the beach playing with the many sand toys our friends had brought along. She filled buckets and dumped buckets. She sang and danced around and twirled. She got dirty and was always wanting to stay longer.

Titus hung out close to me. When we first arrived at the ocean, Daddy dipped Titus' little toes in the water and I think I heard my easy going son's first protest. As the photo depicts, he was not too thrilled about what his dad was up to. However, he really enjoyed the tent that we placed on the sand. I molded the sand into a little seat for him to rest in. It was deep and soft sand, very comfortable. When it was really windy (the storm front) we tied his tent to the truck to keep him from flying away! Our friend's dog 'Ren' kept watch over Titus.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching my family. The whole time away I was relaxed, not having anything to really accomplish. I don't remember the last time I experienced this! I really was blessed by the company of our hosts, Barb has become a trusted friend. After a long day at the beach, and nice showers to wash off the salty brine, we watched Love Story. Michael and I had never seen it before, and we both thought it was good....for a depressing movie anyways. I am glad our 'story' has been a lot more joyful, even though we say 'sorry' a lot!

The house we stayed in was on a little inlet where we could take the kids in the kayak. Mike took the kiddos individually, and then Josiah took me out for a ride. He did all of the paddling. So chivalrous. :)

On our way home we took a detour to Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers made their first flight. It was so windy there!! Mike laughed as I kept saying this, as he thought everyone knew that they selected the spot because it was the most consistently windy place in the US. I guess I didn't learn that fact growing up. The kids had fun running down to the last landing spot of the first day of flight, and Mike loved soaking up more aviation factoids. Titus and I, well, we thought it was windy.

Needless to say, we are loving our year on the East coast. I know that these days will be memories we will keep forever. We are all so thankful to be here, and for the church and people we have been placed in ministry with.

Lastly, I want to share my favorite bumper sticker that I saw on the trip: