Sunday, August 23, 2009

our SC vacation: random shots part 9 (help me pick the soundtrack edition)

There were so many amazing moments during our South Carolina vacation. But there were a few events that happened while we were at the beach in particular, that I hope will forever be seared in to my mind.

Like the day that Carolyn got in to trouble for stealthily eating more than her allowance of the sandwiches I had brought to the beach. When William, who had not yet had a sandwich, checked the cooler and noticed that all the sandwiches were gone, I glanced over and noticed Carolyn nibbling her fourth half.

It frequently happens that our children will go through variable phases of defiance. And I'd happened to observe that during the time we had been in South Carolina, Carolyn had been getting increasingly difficult. So when I asked her to give the sandwich to her brother, she smirked at me before shoving the whole thing in her mouth and attempting to swallow it in one swift gulp, like a snake eating a rabbit.

Much to her dismay (and shock), with one swoop of my finger, I extracted the partially chewed sandwich from her mouth and gave it to her brother. Which he gleefully ate.

A few years ago I would have really thought that was totally gross.

It's truly amazing how motherhood has shaped my perception.

Instead of putting a nearly hysterical Carolyn in time out - or taking her home - I took her by the hand and told her we were going for a walk. Which turned out to be a long hike that took us far down the beach and out to a distant sandbar, that was completely surrounded by water.

For the next two hours, we sat on this little island, digging in the sand and finding clams that revealed themselves by the bubbles they created when they burrowed. We built castles by holding handfuls of wet sand and letting it drip, taller and taller. We adorned our castles with various shells and sticks that were caught in the tide. The waves came in and washed over our legs and we fantasized that there were pirates and mermaids swimming around our island.

We dubbed our island, "Gracie Island."

And although it didn't start out as a particularly pleasant experience, spending some time alone with my daughter, turned out to be the perfect remedy for her - and a much needed reprieve, for me.

Then there was the night, just after dinner, when we took the children to the beach and let them swim for an hour or so before bedtime. As we were walking across the sand, the sun was setting behind us, casting a beautiful glow over everything. Each sand grain sparkled like a diamond and the waves crashing on the beach were brilliant white.

The air was warm, but not hot and we were all filled with anticipation because we knew that the ocean would feel so refreshing. There were gusts of wind that puffed across us as we trekked to the water's edge, that made our hair blow wildly across our faces and the children's boogie boards soar like kites.

We determined that the best way for our children to get their boogie boards to the ocean, without having them blow away, were to hold them with two hands, on top of their heads.

As the children were walking, I took this picture:

Over the past five years, I've taken almost 26,000 pictures of our children. There are a lot of pictures that I absolutely adore, but this simple shot has made it to my top 10 favorite pictures of all time. It's only one of our children, as opposed to all four and you can't really see Carolyn's face. But I love this photo. Maybe because the memories surrounding when it was taken are so special, to me.

I've been trying to think what song I would set this photo to and I'm at a loss. "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce, perhaps. "Little Surfer Girl" by the Beach Boys, maybe.

Most appropriate would be a song about the ocean, the sky, the sand, the wind, a beautiful day spent creating memories with family - and a chorus that goes, "Within the Next Hour, Daddy Is Going To Lose My Lemon Lime Goggles and Let Me Take The Fall For It."

So please help me.

What song do you think of when you look at this picture?


  1. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw. It's kind of written from a dad's perspective, but it's an awesome song.

  2. Your pictures have been wonderful! I have no song suggestions...however I do have a question. How do you get such nice large pictures to show up on your blog?? Perhaps a short tutorial for those of us who are deprived in figuring out new things!??

    Thanks, if you have time.

  3. "Don't worry about a thing,
    'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
    Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
    'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"
    Rise up this mornin',
    Smiled with the risin' sun,
    Three little birds
    Pitch by my doorstep
    Singin' sweet songs
    Of melodies pure and true,
    Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

  4. Joan - I had been uploading photos to my blog through Photo Bucket and made the switch to Flickr, earlier this year. I don't know why it is > but for some reason - pictures uploaded through Flickr are better sized and have a much better clarity (in my opinion).

    I still need to go transfer all of my Photo Bucket photos to Flickr and move them to my blog, because now whenever I go back and look through my archives, I'm distracted by how small my pictures were. That transferring task will probably take me five years to complete since I have over 10,000 pictures on the Photo Bucket account. Ugh!

  5. Ooooo, 'little surfer girl' would be good, but that reminds me of CA not SoCarolina. Goin' to Carolina in my mind by James Taylor is really perfect!

  6. i love "these are days" by 10,000 maniacs. it is one of the songs that i know will always make me think of this time in our family's young life.

    these are days you'll remember.
    never before and never since, i promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
    and as you feel it, you'll know it's true
    that you are blessed and lucky.
    it's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

    i've enjoyed your vacation recap.

  7. 'agraciousplenty' hit it on the nose with the 10,000 Maniacs song. Made me tear up when I paired those lyrics with your photo.

  8. "Wide Open Spaces"
    by the Dixie Chicks

  9. Thanks for the help with your nice big pictures--I started noticing how big and clear they are since you started all your pics of your vacation. They are so nice being bigger. I will have to try something like that. I just have all of my pictures on my iphoto on my Mac. I never thought about moving them. I will have to give it a try! Thanks again.

  10. What about the classic "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack... I've always thought of that versus when I've been on the beach in South Carolina...

    "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean..."

  11. Hit The Road Jack and don't you look back, no more, no more, no more, no more..........

    Cuz I'm itching to get out of this hell hole and your whole post made me that much more ready!!!!!! What a heavenly experience you had.

  12. I thought of "These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs. Looks like I'm not the first. :)

    Another more obscure song I love is "Can't Take It In" by Imogen Heap. Chorus: It couldn't be anymore beautiful; I can't take it in.

  13. Haleiwa Farewell ((Haleiwa Blues)) - Arlo Guthrie
    Live in Sydney album.
    All music I can just see Caroline walking across the beach with this beautiful music playing for her in the backround.

  14. Great photos and storytelling, always enjoy seeing what you write and your stunning kids.

    Thought of you this weekend -- the 3Day Race ran through our neighborhood and had a pit stop at our park/beach. A group of Dads/men that apparently like a cold frosty one wore tshirts that said 'Mugs for Jugs' -- it was funny : )

  15. Sarah McLachlan-Ordinary Miracle. I think it would be perfect.

    Link to the song

  17. JEN! JEN! JEN! I have the perfect song for you (or at the very least, just a great song ;)....Small Wonders by Rob Thomas! Beautiful!-Karen

  18. Small Wonders by Rob Thomas always makes me teary eyed and think of how these precious moments are. ~jm

  19. "Little Surfer Girl" by the Beach Boys sounds good tooh mee! :D
    Of course, there's always: "Three Little Birds" by Connie Talbot.

    ~Cindy! :)

  20. Remember the classic. "Turn Around"?

    Where are you goin' my little one, little one?
    Where are you goin' my baby my own?
    Turn around and you're two
    Turn around and you're four
    Turn around and you're a young girl
    Going out the door

    Turn around
    Turn around
    Turn around and you're a young girl
    Going out of the door
    (Turn around and you're a young wife
    With babes of your own)

    Where are you goin' my little one, little one?
    Little dirndles and petticoats, where have you gone?
    Turn around and you're tiny
    Turn around and you're grown
    Turn around and you're a young wife
    With babes of your own


    Where are you goin' my little one, little one?
    Where are you goin' my baby my own?