Summers To Remember

Summers To Remember

We’re seated by a young girl with a brand new Mullet Bay t-shirt on. Just by looking at her fresh pressed shorts and brand new tennis shoes, I know her deal.

The waiter fumbles to remember today’s specials because it’s his first day of work.

The adorable waitress from Japan doesn’t know what a Shirley Temple is, but when I tell her it’s Sprite and cherry juice, she writes it on her little cheat sheet. She won’t forget now.

This is the beginning of a summer to remember for so many people on the Island.

From now on, they’re going to be able to say, “I worked a summer in St. Simons and it was the most fun I’ve ever had!”

I know because I can say that, too.

I’ve been back to St. Simons a zillion times since I nannied here in the summers of 1995 and 1996. I was married here. I’ve vacationed here and yet, for the first time, I’m feeling almost weepy with nostalgia when I think about the boys and girls who are here to work, get paid, enjoy their freedom and most of all, make memories.

Granted, some of those memories will end with massive hangovers and huge regrets, but whatever… it’s summer.

I see them huddled together, nervous and self-conscious, waiting to see which tables they get to serve, rehearsing what to say, but in the back of their mind they’re really wondering whether the guy who’s helping the bartender is interested in them. Will he be the one who asks me to the beach on our day off? Does my hair look ok? It’s not too frizzy is it? 

I know them because I WAS them.

Luckily, my job involved keeping an adorable (now freaking grown) elementary aged girl. (You people don’t want me waiting on your table, I promise.) Haley and I spent our days at the pool, doing arts and crafts and generally goofing off. The second summer I had a friend with me and we ventured out more at night, eventually both finding boyfriends — locals who were bartending for the summer. Of course those weren’t long-lasting romances, but they were fun. We enjoyed ourselves and the memories I have of the things Haley and I did will surely stick with me forever.

And that’s what this new batch of kids will do this summer.

Whether they’re bartending, waiting tables, putting up umbrellas on the beach, nannying or working in a retail shop, the memories will be made. They’ll dance to bands at night, swing on the swings at the King and Prince with their dates, climb the lighthouse, bask in the sun to perfect their “I lived at the ocean” tan, and sleep until noon if they can.

Maybe they will appreciate it while they’re in the moment, but probably not. More than likely it’ll take them a good 15 years before they realize what a wonderful experience they had.

And when they do? They’ll be the one tearing up in the middle of Mullet Bay because they’re flooded with emotions and gratefulness for the summers they spent on the Island.

(What? That wasn’t me tearing up. I’m just saying.)

(Ok, fine. It was me. And I’m proud of it.)

How To Cure A Phobia

How To Cure A Phobia

I’m lilpsophobic. Also, brontophobic, ombrophobic and ancraphobic.

Translation: I’m afraid of tornadoes and hurricanes, lighting and thunder, rain, wind.

Storms are anxiety-inducing for me. Obviously I’ll never be a weather-girl, unless there is an IV of ativan being pumped into me continuously.

I didn’t balk when we decided to drive into a tropical storm to hit St. Simons for a few days. Not sure why, but it just didn’t cross my mind to be concerned. I lived here for 2 summers and rode out a few tropical storms… they weren’t bad. I evacuated for hurricanes but the tropical storms were just rain and wind producers. No biggie.

The wind is extreme. But not terrifying.

The rain is off-and-on extreme. But not terrifying.

I don’t feel like my life is threatened. I feel calm.

Maybe it’s because when you see something like this, you realize that really, you’re not in charge. None of this is in your control.

I’m serious. HOW can you look at that and not believe in some higher power? On one hand, you have a terribly angry ocean that could take you under and kill you in an instant. And on the other hand, you have a bright blue sky with delicate clouds and a double rainbow, absolutely perfect in every way. It’s the yin and yang of the coast.

Anyway…

After that rainbow came the guts of the storm. And it wasn’t horrible. In fact, I slept right through it.

The morning brought some sun between the clouds. The boys went out to walk and when they came back, Henry said, “Jim Cantore is way down there but we didn’t go all the way. Do you wanna go walk with me?”

Uh, hell yeah, I do! 

I grabbed my camera and took a deep breath. The clouds were dark but sun was peeking through. The tide was low-ish so we could safely walk on the beach. I would be ok and the storm wouldn’t pick me up and take me out to sea (I hoped).

Walking against the wind (see the ancraphobia reference above) was difficult. It was probably 30-40mph wind gusts at our face. It was very hard to stand straight up. Every now and then we got pelted with small drops of rain, but drops that felt like tiny bullets going through your legs. Same with the sand blowing. It hurt. The combination of sand and sea salt coated my glasses and my hair? We shouldn’t talk about my hair.

Halfway there, Henry wanted to turn back. BUT WE’RE ALMOST THERE. And there’s nobody at the beach right now and OMG WE MIGHT SEE HIM! 

More rain. This time a little heavier, quick and painful. But we pressed on. I would like to go on record that my Canon T2i was in jeopardy this whole time but I DIDN’T CARE!

We were finally at East Beach, nearly a mile from The King & Prince, our starting place. I figured if we walked up the walkway where The Weather Channel car was parked, we might get a glimpse of Jim Cantore. Or maybe not. Whatever. We’d come all this way, what did we have to lose?

And damn if he didn’t get out of the car when we walked up!

He said “Hey man, how’s it going?” to Henry. (I know it was the I <3 Bacon shirt… damn, why does everybody love bacon so much?)

Henry shook his hand and Jim handed him his TWC microphone. Of course, I’m fumbling for my cell phone because it’s faster to share the picture on Facebook, Twitter and EVERYWHERE with the phone than with the big camera.

So they posed:

And then I died.

I handed my phone to the other guy and he snapped a quick picture of us. It’s like we planned our outfits, y’all! (except as someone pointed out, HL and I look like we’re off for a day of shopping and JC has on his “oh shit” jacket) (also, he’s short) (also, also, hotter in person than on tv)

And then we walked away.

He said something and I was all, “Huh?” like he was talking to me.

I turned and looked at him and he was like, “Just talking to the guy in my ear.”

Awkward much?

I texted Jason who told me that it was pouring down rain at the King & Prince. So of course I asked him to come get us since we were a mile away and tired.

Plus, it was faster to get back to the room and make this souvenir collage of me and my weather boy.

None are flattering of me, but whatever. It was early and IT’S JIM CANTORE!

So I think I’ve conquered a little of my fear of wind and rain. Also, my fear of walking up to hot weathermen and putting my arm around them.

And Jim Cantore, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU! You made my life my kid’s week! He wrote a postcard to his friend telling him he met you! Also, please stay away from my vacation spots. 

What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

As I was sitting in traffic Thursday night, driving from Dunwoody to Decatur to a museum opening, with Henry dozing off in the back seat, I was struck by how many people were on the road.

Obviously, Atlanta traffic is insane. It always is.

But as I was sitting in traffic, mostly at stoplights, I was looking around and just thinking.

The colors were very bright and crisp — it was hot enough to be semi-miserable, but not hot enough to be smoggy and gross. There were cars as far as the eye could see on Peachtree. Because it was still daylight out, I could see in the cars and see faces, especially when I was side-by-side looking directly at people traveling the opposite way.

It was then that it hit me how many stories there are. Everybody has a story. No two people have the exact one.

Your story — your TRUTH — is as unique as your fingerprint.

So I started looking…

The man with the earbuds driving the Jetta… what’s his story?

The girl putting on mascara at the end of the day… who is she going to meet? Is she going on a date? Is she going to church or a concert?

The mom with her hands on the wheel, grasping it as tight as she can… is she frustrated, anxious, DONE?

How about the two guys in the 4Runner with their ties loosened, looking like they were about to fall asleep… what’s their story? Were they up til 3 playing in their band and then had to go to work?

The VERY old lady driving an $80,000 Mercedes but can barely see over the steering wheel… how long’s her husband been dead? Does she lay in bed wondering when she’ll get to see him again?

The businesswoman with her blonde hair flying in her Audi convertible… what’s her deal? What’s she been through? What’s she GOING through?

The homeless man sitting near the MARTA station with all his earthly belongings in a duffel bag… what happened? What brought him to this particular place in this particular moment? Is he sad or scared or hungry?

How about me? In my car, with my most prized possession in the back seat drifting in and out of sleep, I realized that my story is still unfolding. More and more every day I’m owning my story. It may not be very interesting and well, it can be downright depressing…

But by God, it’s mine. Just like my fingerprints, my story is unique.

What’s your story? Do you own it? Are you proud of it?

 ps: that’s a rhetorical question. you don’t have to answer it in the comments. but you do have to think about it! 

Climbing, Finishing and Shopping. Oh, and #FineChinaFriday!

Climbing, Finishing and Shopping. Oh, and #FineChinaFriday!

My brain hurts so you get what you get today!

Last Sunday, we went rock climbing with Henry’s Scout den for the end-of-year party.

He did not love it. He’ll tell you he did, but he didn’t.

School ended yesterday. I no longer have a first grader.

This is what the first and last days of first grade look like.

If you haven’t visited in a while, you should check out the online store for the nursery I work for. There’s lots of awesome stuff like this:

And like us on Facebook (Grayson), Facebook (Woodstock) and Twitter and Pinterest and all that jazz! Oh, and the blog. Don’t forget that!

Been to Band Back Together lately? So much awesomeness going on over there. Check it out. You won’t be sorry!

Also, it’s #FineChinaFriday. Party hard. If you’re still unsure what it is, click that little button at the top of the page that says #FineChinaFriday!

 

Oh, Twitter… You’re So Vain

Oh, Twitter… You’re So Vain

So this just happened:

Carly Simon has given a lot of non-disclosing interviews over the years about WHO the song was about. Don’t get too excited. She doesn’t tell. But as soon as @KritterD and I get her drunk, she’ll tell all!

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