Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ramblings from the beach, Part 1

I’ve spent this week with my extended family at the beach. My siblings and I rented two five bedroom houses across the street from each other. For the first several days, we were all there: all my siblings, our spouses, our children and my parents. It was probably the longest we’ve all be together since I was in high school. Then my sister had to go back to work. She left on Tuesday. But she doesn't have any kids. The rest of us continued enjoying the sun and sand and water. We had to be out this morning and now I'm back at my parents home. Tomorrow we'll visit a family reunion up near Carthage, then it'll be time to head back north.

This been a great week of soaking up the sun, digging toes in the sand, fishing, swimming, reading, sleeping and eating (we took turns fixing the big meal of the day and most of us are good cooks, so we had great food). It’s also been a great watching my daughter. She has only recently started swimming, now she’s growing gills. It's not been a great week for internet access and with no local phone access, I wasn't going to pay $10 an hour or drive 10 miles into a larger area for wireless. Hence, I haven't been online since Monday. I'll post some of the "tidbits" I've written over the next few days. Here I go again breaking my rule of not talking about my family.

Tidbit #2: Last Sunday morning we went to the worship service on the beach. The guy leading the service this day was a famous singer/song writer that I never heard of. I think he mentioned Jesus at least twice in his talk (a few more times in songs), but he talked a lot about his friends in the music business. We learned about how he once toured with the Beach Boys for six weeks. Then there were other bands that he played with like the Loving Spoonful. Supposedly he wrote a song for the Oak Ridge Boys and a couple other groups. As for a worship service, it lacked a lot. He sang a few songs and gave us a rehearsed testimony centered on his best friend in High School dying from alcoholism poisoning. He made a few jokes about drugs and the 60s (such as if you remember the sixties you probably weren’t there). He then said something about he’s now okay because his Momma prayed for him and because of Jesus (this was one of the Savior’s two mentions). Nothing was ever said of what Jesus did or how he came to know Jesus or of what changes took place in his life other than he quit doing drugs and drinking alcohol. Furthermore, there were no scripture readings and no real allusions to scripture and no prayers. When it was over, my sister said something about she thought we were going to a church service and not a NA/AA meeting. She continued saying, “I’m sure glad we were outside, I don’t think his head would have fit inside a church building.”

A little later, when my daughter wasn’t around, she continued, “I don’t think what he was talking about was appropriate for children.”

“Yeah,” I agree, “I was just glad she found the pelicans, (who were busy dive bombing fish out in the ocean) more interesting.”

Tidbit #3: Squadrons of Pelicans fly in precision formation just above the water, rising when a wave approaches only to drop back behind the swell. When the first bird begins to flap its wings, the others follow suit. When it goes into a glide, all the birds glide. They maintain formation as they cruise just off shore in search of fish. It’s fun to watch Pelicans attack a school of menhaden. Individually, they take turns diving at amazing speed into the water. If one catches a fish, he’ll sit on the water and toss back his head. You can see the fish drop down through his long neck. Then he’ll just sit on the water with a look of satisfaction. He’s accomplished his mission.

Tidbit #4: Wednesday, August 16, 2006, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Yesterday, a six foot long killer whale that had been playing with a family on Ocean Isle Beach for the past three days headed back out to open water. This patient beast allowed the family’s kids to jump on it and to drag it up on the shore and in general abuse it. After several days, the kids neglected their large friend. With hurt feelings, the beast took advantage of a strong breeze off the land. The air filled whale quickly took to the seas. And attempt was made by the father who grabbed a buggy board and tried to swim out to the whale and entice it back. But this was to no avail. The whale was too fast. The beast was last seen as it dropped over the southern horizon. (Editor’s note: Just in case you missed the clues, it was an inflatable whale. And to set the recond straight, Sage and his extended family were not involved with the incident except to watch with amazement.) -Nevada Jack Reporting


  1. Sage, thanks for the update. It was good to read your tidbits although admittedly the worship service on the beach sounds like a real disappointment. I loved hearing your description of the pelican's fishing tactics. And your last tidbit, I was thinking that no way this can be real - that you must be pulling our legs. But you had a great ending that brought it back to reality.

    Great storytelling and travel safe!

  2. Sage - Tidbit #3 almost made me envious until your Editor's note. I thought perhaps you were experiencing a real version of the movie, 'Whale Rider'. I should've known better. ;-)

  3. I can't believe how undedicated you are that you won't spend $10 or drive 10 miles for us. *sniff* You just don't love us.


    Interesting tidbits. The sermon sounds more like a Timothy Leary type of service than a religious one. Too bad. The setting sounds like a perfect to lift voices up in praise.

    Tidbit 3 made me laugh out loud. Thank you for that. #2 made me wish I had been there with a camera. :-)

  4. Like Murf, I thought of WHALE RIDER too. Excellent film with a wonderful young lead actress.

    Glad to hear your week of family reunification went well. Great description of the pelicans!

  5. I don't believe I have ever seen pelicans in the wild. Wow. Sounds beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear you had a whale of a good time.

  6. V - You have great taste in movies. :-) Paikea is even on our short list of baby names should we ever have a girl.

  7. I was just questioning my manhood because I wouldn't be brave enough to wrestle a six foot killer whale when you set my mind to ease. I've been to some bizarre sermons in the past but that one sounds like it ranks right up there. Hope you soaked up enough sand and sunshine to send me a boxful.

  8. It seems that I brought Tim back to reality and busted Murf's bubble... Dawn, I'll have to confess that I'm a cheapsake! And I think he even mentioned Mr. Leary in his talk... I think the line in the Moody's Blues song has finally come true (Timothy Leary is dead...) V, I haven't seen Whalerider, but with this family, we could have made a great parody of the movie. Kevin, Pelicans are some of my favorite birds and have really made a come back in the last twenty years--you seldom saw any when I was a kid growing up on the coast, now they're everywhere. MA, how about giving your daughter a name everyone can spell or say! Ed, on NPR today (Wait, Wait, Don't tell Me program, I think), they were talking about Hummer's new ad for a new kind of man, the guy who gets embarressed buying tofu, so he restores his manhood by buying a hummer... go figure. I soaked up a lot of sun and walked on a lot of sand, but still it's not enough....

    from Princeton, WV, on our way back north.

  9. Sage - I want my daughter to have as bad of a time finding bike license plates and pencils with her name on it as I've had. :-)

  10. Sage, I've seen those commercials. There is another one where a soccer mom needs to "get her inner girl back" and buys a hummer too. Makes my blood boil every time I see those two commercials.

  11. To get your true inner girl back, she must drive a pink Barbie Jeep, not a Hummer. Was this girl wearing flannel, Ed? :-)

  12. I would have watched in amazement had me going. I didn't know it was inflatable and couldn't believe you'd found one off Ocean Isle.

    Sounds like a great wonderful the opportunity to hang out with your loved ones.

    Isn't it astonishing how quickly a child can grow those gills and become a darn good little swimmer?

  13. That was no church at all, I think, but I am sure the scenery was wonderful! Nice to be with your whole family for so long, isn't it? We are going next June with everyone - ages 7 through 67 - and I expect to love it a lot!
    Will be glad when you can resume posting.

  14. Murf, if you don't want to think of your daughter's trauma dealing with such a name, think of all her friends who are unable to buy her cheap trinkets...

    Ed, I haven't seen those commericals--only heard of them through "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and with that show, I'm not sure what value to place on the truth.

    Deana, glad to know I had another fooled with the whale (by the way, Kevin gets extra credit for getting in that line, "a whale of a good time."

    Kenju, I'm back. it was fun, look for at least two more posts on the family vacation.

  15. Your sister left to go back to work but she doesn't have kids so______