Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Vacation in the Past

Hello my friends.  It has been too long!!  I've missed our chats.  So much has happened in the last few weeks that I barely know where to begin.
Deal Island on the Chesapeake Bay
As many of you know, I recently went away for a family wedding.  My amazing, wonderful beyond words, husband took vacation time from work and kept ALL FIVE BOYS so that I could spend six days ,by myself, in my childhood stomping grounds, the eastern shore of Maryland.  It was wonderful to be home.  It was a very personal, deep time of introspection for me,  a time of joy and a time of mourning, a time of reunion and a time of loss.  It has taken three weeks for me to even begin to get my head around all that happened over those six days.  Forgive me if I seem to wander a bit in this post.  Consider this post the lazy river ride around my brain. Grab an inter-tube, a cool drink, lay back,  relax and enjoy the view.
My vacation began on an early Thursday morning.  I rushed through airports, caught connecting flights by the  skin of my teeth and arrived in MD exhausted, a bit frazzled and ravenous (I hadn't had time to grab breakfast in any of the airports because the flight schedule was so tight).  I grabbed lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant and headed to my hotel for some shut eye (exciting I know.  I'm the life of every party;)  As soon as I had caught a few hours of sleep I hit the beach.  I love north Texas more than I can say but I so miss the beach.  It was fabulous to sit and listen to the surf and allow myself time to destress.  I visited the old coffee house I had worked at as a young woman.  I'm not sure how to describe the experience other than it was like stepping back in time.  The man who runs the place was like a surrogate father to me.  It was amazing to stand next to him on stage once again, to share and to sing his favorite hymn.  I wish I could capture those moments like sand in a bottle, they are so precious.  I reconnected with friends whom I had ministered with 17 years ago, yet it was as if time had stood still as we picked up right where we left off.   I found myself wishing the night wouldn't end because I knew deep in my heart this was goodbye.  Bittersweet, precious moments in time.
Sand sculpture done by a friend in MD.
The next day, I headed to my old hometown.  I stopped into the jewelry store where I had my first job when I was 13 years old!  It was amazing to reconnect with my friends there I had not seen in so long.  A huge thank you to my friend Melissa, who owns the jewelry store.  I stopped in only to reminisce yet she took one look at my engagement ring and declared it needed to be reshanked (it is an antique handed down from my husband's late grandmother).  She not only reshanked my engagement ring but also did some work on my wedding band.  If your ever in Princess Anne, MD stop in to Bailey Jewelers and say hi to Melissa for me.  They have amazing, one of a kind jewelry pieces designed by both Melissa and her late husband John.
One of many original Bailey Jewelry designs
Main St of my hometown

I finished up the evening, on the veranda at another friend's coffee house, looking out at a lake and wild life while surrounded by family that I love so very much.  It is said you can never go back home but this trip showed me that sometimes you HAVE to go back home.  No one knows you better than the one's who watched you grow and helped to shape you.  So much has changed so much in the past 20 years, the storms of life have reshaped parts of my personality and character.  Yet for a brief moment, I was able to reach back through time and touch the girl I once was, to walk in her shoes and reconnect to what was important to her. The funny thing is, I discovered that much of what was important to her is still important to me.  I had just forgotten.

Dustin and Julie
The day of the wedding arrived.  It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony and reception.  We laughed, we cried, we ate, we drank, we were moved.  I am so proud of the man my cousin has become and the wife he has chosen for himself.  I have no doubt that there are many great years in store for them both.  I will admit to more than one tear as I watched them pledge their lives to each other.  I know his Momma is proud of him right now.
Nina Marie Walker

Sunday morning dawned bright and early.  I spent the morning at the grave of my aunt and good friend,  Nina.  We grew up together, even shared a bedroom for a while.  We giggled together over first crushes,  ogled posters of cute rock stars, I "helped" her do her school projects, and she taught me to paint my fingernails.  Nina lived life to the very fullest.  There isn't a week that goes by that I don't think of her.  Afterwards, I needed a few moments of peace, so I headed to one of the most peaceful places I know, Deal Island.  There I sat, my feet in the gently lapping waves of the the Chesapeake Bay.  I had one of the best Sunday services of my life, just me talking to God on the deserted beach.
I finished up my vacation with a visit from my dear friend Dee and her wonderful kids.   Dee has been my friend since our college days.  Though we haven't lived in the same state for more than a few weeks since then we have remained true and steady friends.  We talk at least weekly.  She is a true friend in every sense of the word.  When I have been at my lowest she has come along to lift me up, when I have had great joy she rejoiced with me.  She has stood by my side through the good , the bad and the ugly.  Dee is a true woman of God, who is unashamed to speak the truth in love and is quite possibly the strongest person I know.  I love you girlie!  Thanks for visiting on my vacation!!

Dee and her beautiful brood ;)
That about sums up my vacation.   I am now in the midst of trying to work out the details of school for the boys.....more about that stress next time.  For right now, if I close my eyes tight enough, I can still hear the sound of the ocean and see a young girl slowly walking along the beach, the wind blowing her hair as she picks up sea shells.  Lots of Love-Kristine

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