Every year for the past four years, my girlfriends and I have scheduled a week of beach time. It is very precious to us and it is never dull… As proof of that here is a recap of the first 24 hours of this year’s trip….
When we arrived in Odesmar on Friday afternoon it was a little overcast, but the sun was peeking out a bit. We explored our new home for the week – absolutely adorable with a screened porch out back overlooking a lake. After unpacking we headed out for a late lunch and some grocery shopping. It began to rain as we headed to the store but nothing too serious. It graciously stopped as we parked the car.
That was the last gracious moment of our expedition.
In the grocery store, the power briefly went out. An ominous sign, for sure, and we could hear thunder rumbling overhead. At check out Yvonne’s bill was really high. She had a few of my items in there by accident but she unwittingly had bought those Canadian cherries – you know, the ones that are $12.99 A POUND! They should cure major diseases for that price.
We go to leave and it’s a downpour. Flood rains. Torrential. Christy gets the car and this man standing next to us is hollering and complaining about the rain. Christy pulls up and he starts yelling at her to pull up on the sidewalk so we won’t get so wet. In the noise of the rain she couldn’t hear him, could only see hands waving all over the place. She gives up trying to figure it all out, pops the hatch, and we load up the car. Even with three umbrellas, we were drenched. She goes to get back in the car…she had left the door open and, her seat was also drenched. Squishy, saturated and sucky to sit on.
Made it safely home, very wet but very aware that we were just that – safe. Unlike our friends in Texas and Louisiana. Our experience lasted a few minutes – theirs will continue for months. We were grateful to walk into a beautiful, safe haven and change our wet clothes.
But it’s not over. Oh no, of course not.
As I’m changing my clothes, I look out the window at the lake and I see an alligator. Umm, yes, an alligator. I choked out the words to Yvonne. She turned and Oh My God, there’s an alligator in the lake……an alligator in our back yard. A.l.l.i.g.a.t.o.r.
Ok. Breathe. It’s out there and we’re in here and we’re fine, but seriously….how bizarre… It just went on by, bopping in the waves caused by the heavy rain. Jesus, Mary and Joseph….(Sorry. I tend to revert back to my Catholic roots in moments of terror.)
We settle down and get into a fit of laughter over our experiences in the first 4-5 hours of our vacation. Then the croaking began. Very loud croaking. Like it was really, really close by. Please don’t let it be in the house. Oh, please. I just saw an alligator – having a frog in the house….that would just not be good for my heart…
After about 20 minutes of searching, Christy found it. A tiny frog with a huge voice was stuck between the screen and the sliding glass door. Christy, bless her heart (and I mean that with sincere, absolute gratitude for her bravery), went outside to open the screen and let him out. Only he didn’t want to go. I think we scared the shit outta him and he kept going higher as if to get away from us. Another fit of laughter followed as we yelled at this poor little frog to get off the screen and go home.
Sigh…you can’t make this stuff up.
Day two – Beach! Watching the weather carefully we head to Honeymoon Island Beach in the morning. Anticipating that first long walk in the sand and the first scent of salt water….
But no, not for us. Oh no. Nope. What we got was a whiff of rotten eggs. Yeah….it was more than a whiff.
The shore was lined with seaweed and long puddles of foul smelling water. I’ve read up on this (very complicated and scientific stuff) and I am hoping it’s temporary and caused by the storms across the Gulf stirring up all the phytoplankton floating around. We found a spot that was less smelly than others, took our beach walk (it was much less stinky at the water’s edge) and relaxed for a while until the clouds rolled in.
We made it safely home and after a lovely dinner on the water, we had a peaceful, uneventful (thank you God) evening at home of football for Christy, online shopping for Yvonne (Andrew, beware…) and a jigsaw puzzle for me. Each of us in her happy place.
Yes, that was the first 24 hours…what, in heaven’s name, will today bring???
More of the same, I hope. I love these women. They are truly priceless.