Day Twelve: We spotted the ocean

19 Jun

Ever since hearing that Toad the Wet Sprocket is going to be the free 4th of July concert at LLBean this summer (we saw Matt Nathanson last year), I’ve had this song in my head. And while the rest of the song doesn’t quite say how I feel about this place, excising the first stanza does quite nicely:

We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything’s better, everything’s safe

Despite my interrupted sleep last night (details on this at the end), today was one of those perfect summer, beach vacation days. Not much happened. Sunscreen was necessary. Bathing suits were wet. Everyone got sandy. Discovery followed exploration. Friends were involved. We didn’t watch the clock. Bedtime was ignored. And this cottage on Turbat’s Creek in Kennebunkport felt exactly like the place where everything’s better, everything’s safe.

Avery and I hunted lobstah on Vaughan’s Island, and eventually Beau came over to join us. We found quite a few of varying sizes. I waded out into the ocean. The deepest I could get was about thigh deep before I could no longer feel my feet and decided to turn back. The kids scampered all over the rocks. We had a picnic lunch in the yard because I refused to clean everyone up only to turn around and go back out again. The weather was, once again, perfect. Highs in the high 70s-low 80s, mostly clear blue sky (a little overcast from time to time kept the temps down). And then we more than doubled the number of kids when my friend Mandy came back to the beach with her two and two of their friends. We just kept moving our chairs as the tide came in, eventually forcing us onto the seaweed-covered beach. The kids played well, and evenly divided their time playing on the rocks, and in the water (especially after we broke out the masks and snorkels!) After the extra two kids were picked up by their mom, we broke out the kayaks. Beau went into town with his dad, so it was just the girls. We sent them out tandem and they had a great time. Only one snafu where Harper & Birdie, collectively weighing approximately 80-90 pounds, got pushed by the wind in the wrong direction (like the out to sea direction!), and unable to keep their wits about them and resolve the situation, they fell into tears and panic. But Super Mandy rescued them, and ended up getting into the kayak with them and paddling them back to shore. Maggie and Avery managed to make their paddling partnership work and just tooled around close to the rocks. Once Mandy brought back the errant girls I hopped in the kayak and paddled out with Maggie for a minute. I’d forgotten how good it feels to be out on the water, gliding easily. How connected to the water a kayak makes you feel. It was nice. But the wind was still kicking up, and we decided to end the day on land. I think we one time gave the girls a 10 minute countdown that lasted 45 minutes. It was just that hard to leave the beach. They were playing so nicely together, the sun was warm on our skin, it was pleasant having a friend to talk to. But eventually, it was time for the Nelsons to leave, so we rounded up our stuff and headed back up to the house. Dinner off the grill was consumed, a movie was turned on, and bedtime was forgotten.

I went out onto the mostly unused screened porch on the back of the house to read. I always forget about that space, and I wish I didn’t. It is right next to the woods behind the house, and it is especially pleasant at night. They have a couch and a lamp, and you can hear every bit of wildlife, as well as the lapping of the water. It is incredibly peaceful out there. Especially since a particularly loquacious owl was keeping me company last night. But after awhile the mercury dropped and I was chased inside by my inefficient clothing.

All in all, it was a very good day.

Now, for the story of my interrupted sleep. I put it down here because not everyone shares my belief in paranormal things, and I’m giving you the option to opt out of reading now. Because while I’ve never seen Casper, I do happen to believe in ghosts. I’ve experienced living with a particularly adept at opening deadbolt locks ghost in college. In our house set up here, I am in an upstairs bedroom, the girls have another upstairs bedroom, and Beau has the daybed in the open living area at the top of the stairs. We all share a bathroom. I keep my door closed, mostly because they wake at the crack of dawn and I’m desperate to sleep in past their waking. But I will hear them from time to time in the middle of the night. In fact, at midnight I heard talking, of the in your sleep variety. Clear, but unintelligible words. I got up, opened the door, and saw, as I suspected, Beau tossing in his sleep. I thought it sounded like him. I immediately fell back asleep. But at 2:00am on the nose I heard a child’s voice say, “Mommy.” It sounded like it was right outside my door. It was clear as a bell. I guess what captured my attention most was that it didn’t really sound like one of my children. My eyes snapped open. And I heard a child’s retreating footsteps, perhaps 10 steps in all. I bolted from my bed, convinced that one of mine had wet their bed and needed my help (a fairly common occurrence in my house), or was wandering about looking for the bathroom, about to wet themselves. Upon wrenching the door open my eye immediately fell on Beau, he was abed and sound asleep. I darted the few steps to the girls’ room, and they were both there, sound asleep. All three so deeply asleep under the covers, and in positions that they couldn’t possibly have achieved in the few brief seconds from the time I heard the child’s voice and footsteps, to the time I was gazing upon them. It was rather spooky. But, didn’t seem malicious, so I whispered a “please keep them safe” and climbed right back into my own bed. Though I admit, this time I left the door open.


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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim