Beach escape, day eight – best reason ever to go home

So we went straight from our holiday to the airport to pick up our son who had been flown here just for the weekend by some beautiful friends, because it’s his birthday next week.

Of all the things I’ve seen this week, this is definitely one of my favourite sights πŸ™‚

ZanA big, big thank you to our friends for this wonderful treat. It was the best reason ever to come home after a magical weeks holiday πŸ™‚

Beach escape, day seven – the dreaded last day

Tomorrow we head home. We made the most of the day by spending the morning at Shark Bay, where we got up close to sleeping pelicans and saw a dead sea snake in the sand, and the afternoon here, at Iluka beach, where we swum (well, the ten year old did – it was freezing!), played cricket, chatted and laughed.

panorama beachYou can tell by this photo that we stayed late, just so we could squeeze every last ounce of ‘beach, sun and sand’ from the last of our week here.

We all agree we have made the most of every day. And now we have the ‘we-have-to-go-home-to-reality’ blues.

BUT! We have something special happening this weekend, thanks to wonderful friends, so that makes it a bit easier to leave.

I’ll tell you what the special happening is tomorrow πŸ™‚

 

Beach escape, day six – whales

During our last visit here, we went whale watching. And took this photo –Β Whale Fin

We had an absolutely amazing time. It truly was one of the best days of my life.

As we walked along the beach, headed to the rock pools, I remarked that the sea was so flat and glass like that we surely would see any whales or dolphins who happened to be passing the area.

Sure enough, not ten minutes later, Charli spotted a telltale splash on the horizon.

We all rushed to the furtherest rock to watch flippers, just like the one in this photo, rise and fall way out yonder. We stayed for an hour or more, pointing out to each other when we saw one, or two or three flippers, tails or great spurts of water.

And we reminisced about the time when we literally could have touched them that day four years ago. We laughed all over again about how four of them popped up at the back of the boat and eyeballed us before spraying us with their fishy breath. And how at that exact moment I had my mouth wide open with sheer joy and copped a big mouthful of salty, disgusting whale saliva. And how I immediately said it was the best thing ever.

Seeing those flippers off in the distance today made us relive the entire experience.

Isn’t it great that God made us with the ability to store memory, and that in the remembering, we can find all the joy, excitement and wonder of the first experience?

We may never get to go whale watching again, or, if we did, have the sort of experience we had that day but we will always have those memories.

What special memories do you have that will last a lifetime?

Beach escape, day five – country vs city

minnie waterToday we headed off for a day trip after reading about the above spot called Minnie Water in a tourist guide last night. It was nice but we all agreed we preferred where we were staying.

Along the way back we stopped twice, once for lunch and another time for petrol.

Both times, we were met with a decidedly unfriendly attitude from the staff. Not overtly rude, just not warm or welcoming. These are towns with less than a thousand population.

You’ll agree, I’m sure, that there is a bit of a theory that country folk are friendlier than city folk. It seems that’s not a hard and fast rule, after all, we’re city folk, but we’re pretty friendly πŸ˜‰

Just goes to show, it doesn’t really matter where you are, but it does matter who you are. And that’s the big difference.

Oh and just because it was cool and the main excitement for the day once we returned to our beloved Shark Bay rock pools, here’s a picture of the urchin we found. It was as big as my palm – I know that because I picked it up!

urchin

 

Beach escape, day four – seaweed and stones

Sometimes, my life feels like seaweed, washed up, messy, dirty and a bit smelly when the wind blows in the wrong direction.
seaweed

And other times, it feel like smooth stones, balanced, harmonious and serene; perfect in it’s imperfections.

stones

You can probably guess how I’m feeling this week, so how are you feeling? Like seaweed? Or like the stones?

 

 

Beach escape, day three – the big shell

I have a confession. Today, I wanted very badly to steal something from an eight year old girl.

You see, we met her and her sister at the rock pools, where she promptly produced two huge, shiny perfect cowrie shells, stating she had found them ‘just over there’, precisely where we had been not half an hour before, claiming that it was slim pickings today.

I nearly snatched them out of her hand, and might have if I hadn’t seen her father in my peripheral vision…that and the fact that the rocks make a fast getaway for this 41 year not only highly unlikely but highly problematic too. Oh, and the fact that it would have been wrong.

Charli and I wandered on, despondent that we hadn’t found any such sea bounty. It began a much more thorough search as we seethed that this girl had so casually produced them, as though it were not amazing at all, and we had nothing to show for the crick in our necks and ache in our backs.

I roamed further toward where the sea crashed over the rocks, Charli not far behind. I found some unusual looking anenomes and was taking Charli back to see them when we noticed the crescent of a buried shell that looked rather big. “I bet it’s broken,” I said churlishly. As I pulled it out, it became clear it most certainly was not broken. And as I wrapped my hand underneath, it also became clear that it most certainly was still occupied.

big shell 2

As Charli ran to get Graham and Lily, I watched as it slowly started moving.

big shell 3It was magnificent.

And you know what I realised anew in that moment?

Sometimes, we look at others, at what they have – their relationships, their jobs, their kids, their opportunities – and we want what they’ve got.

As badly as I wanted to find a huge cowrie shell, I’m so glad to have found this amazing creature and even though we couldn’t take it home, I wouldn’t swap what we saw with that eight year old girl any day.

And as much as I thought finding a cowrie like that would be the best thing ever, God had a different treasure in mind for us.
So often, God has something special for us, right when we need it, even if we are sulking and whingeing and ungrateful.

He’s good like that, isn’t He?

Oh and if anyone knows exactly what this sea creature is, I would love to know!

Beach escape, day two – treasures

Today we went to the beach again, of course, and collected more treasures πŸ™‚

treasures

 

 

After just over 24 hours, this is my collection alone. Β Today I overheard Graham asking the youngest beachcomber what she was going to do with all these treasures she was amassing.Β I chuckled and wondered if the same was soon going to be asked of me!

As I continued to wander along, stopping to inspect anything colourful or shiny lying in the sand, I thought about how similar it is to the treasures we come across in life.

Some treasures we find, others are given. I have a dear friend who always refers to her children as her treasures, and I have always loved the picture that conjures up in my mind.

Sometimes, the treasures in life are people, sometimes experiences, and sometimes, the treasures are in us.

And just like my ten year old (and me!) we can gather treasure after treasure and not ever really ‘do’ anything with them. Β Once home, the shells we collect are often put in an old ice cream container and stuck on a shelf in a cupboard, their beauty forgotten well before the last grain of sand is vacuumed from the car.

What about the treasures in your life? Are they on a shelf? Are they forgotten? Or are they there to see but are gathering dust and rarely looked at?

What are your treasures? And what are you doing with them?

 

 

Beach escape – day one

We arrived early afternoon to the house we have rented for the week. And, as all good holiday houses should be, it’s quirky and odd but welcoming and will do just fine thank you very much πŸ™‚

After making up the beds and settling in, we soon headed to the beach, our favourite spot, Shark Bay.

beach

The hunt was immediately on for shark eggs. We’ve found some of these before on previous trips and they are always a much sought after beach treasure.

Apart from the husband (who, frankly, found more than his share last time) we all found one, with Charli and I finding two each!

shark eggs

 

Since we also found a few of the coveted cowrie shells each, we joked that we could go home now.

What I love most about this part of the world we holiday in, is it’s lack of hustle and bustle. It was fairly crowded today though, being school holidays and all – we counted six people on the beach other than us πŸ™‚

The wide open spaces mean we can be together but apart, as you can see from the first photo. And after the last few weeks of intense talking, logistics planning, end of school term stress and rush to get work sorted before coming away, we have all been a bit fractious to say the least.

Here, we can feel connected while seeing each other from a distance, and regain some of our own space.

Yes, I can certainly feel the tension seeping away as I breathe the sea air, feel the sand crunch beneath my feet and remember how good it is to simply be alive.

 

Going AWOL

Some of you may have noticed that my input on here has been…well, shall we say, minimal over the recent weeks.

Life has been crazy lately and rather than subject you all to the muddled, slightly crazed ramblings in my tired head, I have stayed away.

Things have settled down now, so much so, that we are able to go and have a week at the beach. Yay!

I’m planning on posting a photo a day for the week but don’t hold me to it πŸ˜‰ I may be too busy looking for sharks eggs and cowrie shells on the beach, or reading, or sleeping.

So while our dogs and house will be well looked after by house/dog sitters, I’ll be coming to you from the beach in a (hopefully!) less crazed and tired state than I am right now.

Talk to you tomorrow! x

 

Life is a roller coaster

This past week, my husbands side of the family have had to work through a difficult situation regarding a loved one. Out of deference to them, I won’t share the ins and outs but I can tell you that things are starting to come together with some solutions being settled on by all concerned.

What I love about family is this:

Whether related by blood or by marriage, we all matter.

In this upsetting and emotional time, and without anyone deliberately spelling it out, we all played to our strengths, each one slotting in where they fit, using their individual skills to seek resolutions to problems.

What really struck me as we haunted hospital corridors and the cafeteria, occasionally getting lost, waiting ad infinitum for medical staff to show up, was how much we were all supporting one another.

Each person wanted to relieve the burden of another. Each person sought to help and offer to do whatever needed to be done at any given time.

Working around schedules, kids, tiredness and stress, we managed to still laugh with each other, to offer a hug when needed, allow someone to vent when required and generally just be there for one another.

Whilst I would never want what has happened to happen, it has shown what we are made of – collectively and individually. And I’ve gained just that little bit more appreciation for what it means to be a part of this family and a little bit more appreciation for each individual in it.

Life is a roller coaster, and this week we felt every twist, every turn, every heart stopping drop. And instead of screaming, or throwing up!, we have hung on, grabbed the hand of the person next to us and tried to make the best of it.

So thank you, Friis family…you’re all amazing. I feel so blessed to know and love you πŸ™‚