"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


"Let it be a moving sea, between the shore of your souls................."

                                                     Seaside, Florida

Believe it or not, I have one week before I have to be back at school.  For a sun-aholic like myself that is very hard to deal with!  I will be just like the students looking out the window at 'ole Sol and wondering why I can't be out there enjoying myself. I will have to rely on my time at the beach this summer to get me through the long days of school.
Pictures and memories.........It won't be the Real Deal, but hopefully it will suffice until I can return to the beach.

 When I was uploading this photo, it occurred to me (uhmmmm, probably because I have put my school-is-near-thinking-cap-back-on), that these words could apply to SO much more than just jumping into the ocean.  Wouldn't you agree?  Is that philosophical or what?  We are always 'swimming' at our own risk without a lifeguard to watch us when we try something new.  Do you think my students (high school English) would understand that?  (I doubt it.)

 Another sign that caught my eye while on vacation.  Nothing philosophical about this....it's just the name of one of my daughters.  I told her the ice cream was named after her, when I sent the pic to her. She'll take claim!

It really does seem like July went by extremely quickly.  I always have the philosophy that once the Fourth of July is over, summer is pretty much over (for teachers anyway). We can countdown the days till our return date, and in that time we must be thinking about what we will do different for the new school year, what we need to do for school, still get done from our 'to do' list at home, and get ourselves in gear.
Honestly, I seem to get more done during the school year than I do during the summer.  I know that I only have X amount of time during the school year and I use it more wisely.  During the summer I enjoy the lazy days and act as such!!
So without further ado, and before July completely leaves us, this is where I spent ten (glorious!!) days of July.
                                      Seaside, Florida
"All loose things seem to drift down to the sea, and so      did I."      ---Louis L'Amour


"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."   ----Jacques Yves Cousteau

"When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing - just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park? ".... Ralph Marston

"A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea. " ....Honore de Balzac

"The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. " ... Thomas Jefferson  (one of my very favorite quotes)

"For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. " ...Kahlil Gibran    ( This is a pic of the BP people that walked the beach thousands of times per day. I thought this was a good quote to go with that thought! We never did see any signs of tarballs.)

"There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul. " ....Victor Hugo


"A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us. " ....Franz Kafka (While we were in Seaside, there were red flag warnings for all but two days.  I loved it. The waves were wonderful, magical, and so much fun in which to swim.)

"Countless as the sands of the sea are human passions. " .....Nikolai Gogol

"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came. "    John F. Kennedy

(I did not want to go inside on that last night. I just sat outside and enjoyed the sound of the sea.)
The exact same time we were in Seaside, so was Paige.
I never did see her (probably because I spent my entire days at the beach!). But check out her pictures. She takes wonderful pics of her beautiful family. 


Reality Check.................

Usually I get my way about things. My Hubby is good like that. He doesn't always agree with me, but he usually caves.
Such was the case when we moved from this big, old house (above) to this
 much bigger, much older house. See, my Hubby is not fond of old houses. He prefers new (as in 30 years old or younger) houses with central air and central heat and working-everything, where repairs are minimal.
But I got my way for a long time. First in Oklahoma, then in Kansas. We lived in big, old houses. And I loved it.

So, when I wrote two days ago about missing my huge, old Victorian house in Kansas, Hubby decided to do a reality check.
He reminded me about The Move.
And what it was like boxing up 4 floors of (his words) crap, from seven people living in a house for 17 years.
And how the huge basement held toys the kids had when they were VERY little. And the attic was full too...of more than memories!

And every time Hubby thought for sure the house had to be completely cleaned out (by his view of what the U-Hauls and yard looked like), we just kept bringing out more and more.

And how expensive The Move was because of having so many U-Hauls and a tow on the back of each one.

Then I reminded him of that morning when we were just starting to load and he drove the first U-Haul in the yard.
It had been raining a LOT.

Hubby was not amused. At all. He even thought it was going to be a bad omen. Especially after we had to call a tow truck to get us out.
It took the old guy about 5 minutes to get the U-Haul unstuck. AND my boys had to do most of the work. Then the guy charged us $100.  Not good. Not good at all.

So then he reminds me:
You know how I said I missed our big huge front porch?
Hubby reminded me how the entire porch needed redone. From the roof, to the ceiling, to the floor. The. entire. thing. In fact, he reminded me how the entire house (the entire HUGE house, needed a new roof).

Those big huge windows I waxed and waned about. He reminded me how expensive it was to put blinds on them. And curtains. And how I always had to get double the amount of curtains and "they still didn't look right" (mocking my words!!). Sometimes I made the curtains. Still expensive at 64 X 72. Or 72 X 84.
Plus he reminded me how they were so huge, that Ike could sit on the little stool (that I just HAPPENED to leave by a window) ...
.....and bark incessantly at every single squirrel in our big yard of big trees. 

Then speaking of that huge yard I reminisced so nostalgically about...
He reminded me how it was MY decision to NOT buy a riding mower to use, because (again mocking me) "We have five kids. They need to learn about hard work. It's up to us to instill that in them." And then between ballgames and the children's jobs, I had to grovel, beg, threaten, and get mad to get it mowed all the time. 
With the push mower.

And those trees....We had over a dozen HUGE maple trees. Yes, they were beautiful. But maple trees tend to have very soft wood. So he had to remind me of the frequent huge snow storms.....and ice storms....or strong winds....and what that did to our trees.

(Those trees pictured, incidentally, are from the day the tree crashed in on me as I was using the bathroom after I had been hit by lightning.)

Many, many times when the huge tree limbs fell (and it is a sound we will never forget), it was because of the heavy snows that we got all. too. frequently.

And just in case I forgot, he reminded me of how often I was photographing the children in the snow.

I will have to agree with him about the snow. We had SO much snow. And cold. We hate snow. We are not snow people.
We are more pool people.
So what did all that snow make him think of?

How in reality all those 35+ windows needed replaced. All those thirty-five plus windows that were 72 x 84 needed replaced. We had some hefty breezes that blew threw those windows in the cold, winter months. I was fondly remembering the south winds in the spring and fall and he was remembering the NORTH winds during the LONG winters.

Can you imagine what it would cost to replace all those windows?

And those bright, sunny rooms I missed and shed a tear over?
Well apparently I had (according to him) forgotten about how the rooms looked when we moved in.
Every single room had brown wallpaper. On every wall. On every ceiling. On every hallway. On every stair well. In all 18 rooms. Brown wallpaper. Scraped off by the seven of us.

And those floors? The ones with the wonderful patterns?
Well they didn't always look so beautiful. When we moved in they looked like this......
And I stripped them down. Twice. And in order to do that I had to have the children and Hubby move every single piece of furniture. Then we had to play Musical Rooms and Musical Furniture. And I would stay up all night working on putting the stain and poly on them so that no one would step on them when the floors were wet.  Had I forgotten about the hours put into those floors? Twice?

Then I would always put rugs over the beautiful patterned floors so that no one would damage them! 

 And what about the walls?  Had I forgotten about gutting down to the studs all the walls?  And how 100+ year old dust and dirt makes you feel when it gets in your system?

And those mantels and everything I liked to decorate?  Did I remember I had to lug those huge tubs of decorations either up from the basement or down from the third floor attic?  And that I had tubs and tubs and tubs full of crap decorations?

Those two stairways I loved....
.....He reminded me how the little boys would be running down the opposite stairs I was coming up when they knew they were in trouble....and how I could never catch them! ha!
 And that big beautiful kitchen that fed the masses?  Did I remember that it had just been a shell when we moved in? There was not even a way to get into the room from the house. We had to do everything to make it livable from wiring to putting walls, cabinets, and doors into  it. And speaking of doors, we never did get screen doors to fit the antique french doors we put in the back of the kitchen. Had I forgotten all that blood, sweat and tears?

Oh yea, and those transoms above each door?  Even the pic I used yesterday showed what happens when you put ball-playing-boys in a house with cool doors and lots of big windows...
I believe that was the only transom they got, although they did get many other windows. ...(as in HUGE windows to replace). 

Hubby reminded me why we moved. Why we picked up our wares and memories and moved back South after 17 years.

The children. We wanted to be with the children and they had all gone back to Oklahoma to go to college. They stayed and we missed them. Terribly.

And our parents. My Mother is not in the best of health. Hubby's Mom is quickly getting there too. We need to be close to help them and love on them.

In fact Hubby and I agree on two things: It has been wonderful to be back with our immediate and extended family. It was meant for us to be back. Everything worked out to get us back to Oklahoma....
As Hubs would say, "Back among our people." (!!!!)

And the other part of The Move we agree upon:

...We left behind some of the best people we will ever know. We left behind people that (to use an old phrase), left foot-prints on our hearts. If I were to put up pictures of all those people, it would take hours just to look at them. 

We ALL agree, that our 17 years in Kansas in that big old house were some of our finest hours. There is no disagreement in that.  

Hubby thinks I might just get a little too romanticized in my memories of the house.

BUT, to finish this long story....I am a big believer in "signs" from God.  And this is the sign we found the first morning we woke up after The Move....

I took it then, and still think now two years later, that we were meant to move back. It all worked out too perfectly to not have had His hands in the move.

And, even tho Hubby and I might have different 'memories of that big old house, I cannot let this post end without sharing this memory:  On the night of The Move, Hubs U-Haul was ahead of mine by about 30-45 minutes.  Also, when he had so meticulously packed the U-Haul he had put our bed at the very, very end of the things in his U-Haul.  I did not think anything about it at the time.  He was in his U-Haul alone. I had some children and animals with me.  
He gets to the new house ahead of us and all on his own...after packing for three SOLID DAYS ALL DAY LONG, he gets our bed out of the U-Haul and I walk into our new house to find this set up....
 He knew I was sad and emotionally drained from The Move, and he made sure that when I got to Oklahoma, I had our big, comfy bed to fall into. What a guy!!!!!!

And now you know both sides of the big old house in Kansas!
(just between you and me, I still miss it!)


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