I speak it to God: I don’t really want more time;
I just want enough time.
Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long,
time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy
and just enough time in a day
to not feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it done – yesterday…
To have the time to… go out to all air and sky and green
and time to wonder at all of them in this light,
this time reflecting prism…

“And this, this is the only way to slow time:
When I fully enter into time’s swift current,
enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention,
I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.
I can slow the torrent by being all here.
I can only live the full life when I live fully in the moment…”

[a. voskamp]

Something that every single person has been given the exact same amount of.
Some people have been given more riches than others.
Some has bigger houses, more expensive cars, things some might envy.
But time. We’ve all been given it equally.
The challenge is to live it fully.

Never before has time seemed to pass me so quickly.
Whether it’s that I’m actually much busier
or that having active children makes me feel busier
or that I overcommit myself, I’m not sure.
But this thing I know: I want to take the time to enjoy my time on earth.
Not flippantly, not selfishly, but intentionally.
Being purposeful about being a mother. Being purposeful about being a wife.
It seems the latter is harder to do these days.
Not because our relationship has grown stale – far from it! –
but because several children make it harder spend time just alone. Just the two of us.

Ben’s birthday was Saturday, and in keeping tradition,
I asked him what he’d like to do on his birthday.
That’s the main question around here:
What do you want to do?
Not, What do you want me to buy?
Of course, no one will deny a gift is lovely. Not ever!
But time together is what makes memories, not usually gifts.

He decided that a day on the ocean is what he’d want.
His mom and sisters so kindly agreed to keep the kiddos for the day, and we had us a date!
Thank you so much!! It was the best gift!

Time to slow down and enjoy the little moments with each other.
Time to live in the moment.

[google images]

August 6th fell on a Saturday. Perfect.
Taking off during a week day wouldn’t have been an option, so this was wonderful!
We could have celebrated later, but there’s something lovely about celebrating that very day.

We have a small boat that Ben purchased a few years ago.
A sheriff’s sale purchase. One his wife didn’t find out about until later. :)
Times have changed since then. :)
It was an actual sheriff’s boat to patrol the waters. ‘911’ is still faintly visible on the side.
One day we’ll paint it, but until then, it floats just fine. Nothing fancy, but it’s a boat.

Saturday morning found me packing chicken salad and salsa and chips and fruit.
It found Ben loading chairs and checking the engine and hauling an extra can of gas.
By late morning we were at the Jekyll dock, putting the boat in, and giddy with excitement. :)

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[toward evening, when a storm was rolling in]

Living close to the coast has wonderful advantages.
We’re inland far enough that we don’t have the coastal breeze, resulting in great heat for months on end.
But down by the coast, there are islands, and sandy shores, and constant breezes.
And we were going to the coast!

On the way there, I was sort of laughing at all the “salt life” stickers on everyone’s back windows.
Basically, it means you love the coast and water and all that.
One thing about the south: what one person does, many many people do.
I was laughing because I like to be more original:
if someone else does it, that’s usually reason enough to not do it!
Remember this little tidbit…

There are quite a few islands closeby.
The larger ones are more well-known from Eugenia Price’s books: St. Simons, Jekyll, Tybee…
and then there are some smaller ones, more unknown.
 Quite a few not even accessible by land/bridge/car, only by boat.
The private islands and islands only water-accessible I’d never been to.
Since Ben has had a lot of work [construction] over on two of them throughout the past year,
that’s where we headed.

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[shore line hardly visible off in the distance: first destination]

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[same short line, the sandy outline a bit more clear]

A hundred memories flooded my mind as the breeze from the speed of the boat
and the salt water hit my face. I spent four years in Belize as a young child,
and lived in a remote location that had no roads connecting.
All our transportation was river and ocean for several hours by dug-out canoe to the closest town.
I remember traveling with my dad as a little girl, and how exciting it was.

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[for a minute I thought I was on a tropical island, but the pine trees brought me back to reality :)]

As Ben crossed the sound, where the water from the rivers meet the ocean,
there were bigger waves, spraying salt water, and the boat felt like it lifted off the water.
There was just a hint of danger, a thrill of adventure.
So many places on earth man has tried to tame, but the ocean, never.
It’s wild, and untamed, and it will always be so.

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[the second island we came to, and spend most of our time at]

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[finding conch shells to take back for the girls]

So what did we do all day?
Well,  we took fishing poles and [tried to] fish, but there was nary a nibble or bite all day.
I think it was too hot.
But it was great fun anyway, stopping sometimes to cast and fish a spot along the marsh,
or trolling the motor and letting our lines out the back.

We rode along the IntraCoastal Waterway most of the time, rather than far out in the ocean.
Our boat was fairly small, and to go out too far is rather scary [to me]. :)
We stopped once, and watched a group [pod? school?] of dolphins played all around our boat.
They are such graceful sea creatures, and always look like they’re smiling.
Also, it’s comforting that when dolphins are near, sharks are not.

See, the Georgia coast has the largest shark breeding ground of anywhere along the east coast.
Yep. And it’s been reported that Great Whites have even been seen off the coast a ways.
Okay, a long ways. But still!!
And almost everytime we’ve gone fishing along the coast, we pull in sharks.
Small sharks, only several feel in length, but still… SHARKS!

So even though I just love the water,
and would have loved to jump overboard the boat to cool off,
I didn’t.
Call me chicken, I know, because shark attacks are very very rare.
But I’m just afraid I’ll be the one they pick for their rare percentage,
since mosquitoes pick me over everyone else all the time. :)
So, I just wade. It’s ridiculous, I know, but what can I say?
I’m not scared of much, but I AM scared of sharks. :)

So, instead of jumping overboard into the ocean, we went exploring on one of the islands.
I would have loved to go island to see the remains of this amaaaazing mansion…

[Carnegie Mansion]

[Brown’s Guide to Georgia]

All the building supplies were taken by ship to the island, and then built.
There was no road/bridge then or now.

It was burned, it’s thought by arson, and now it’s in ruins.
But even the ruins look amazing.
I think ‘photo shoot’ when I see these pictures!

[photo courtesy of holtwebb.blogspot.com]

But the mansion is inland too far, and we had no bikes or transportation to get there.
One day. :)

But instead we just explored along the coast.
Pulled our boat onto the shore, and jumped on the sand.

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There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of these little fiddler crabs racing along the shore.

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Eugenia Price made famous the Spanish moss and magical lighting of the islands.
It really is breathtaking!

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There are a few palm trees. :) Mostly pine and live oaks that must be hundreds of years old.

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It must have not rained for a long time, or else the ferns on the branches would be vibrant green.

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When we walked inland, there was a real “wild” feel to it.

I told Ben I feel like Robinson Crusoe! I love a bit of adventure, and this day was full of it!
But much more fun than Crusoe must have had, because I had my best friend with me!

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It felt as though we must have been the first people to ever be there,
even though there were traces of other human visitors before us.

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There are wild horses on the island, from when the mansion was occupied and there were working plantations.
We saw signs of them too, but sadly, nothing other than their “discard piles.”

Our trek to the interior didn’t go too far, because it’s so wild and tangled.
Plus, it’s infested with chiggers, a souvenir we did not want to come away with.

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This tree was laying completely sideways at the edge of the water,
fully alive because its roots got water! So amazing and strange!

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I think the coastline must have extended much further at some point, because there are so many trees on “stilts”.

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After several hours out, we heard thunder rumbling in the distance,
and even though we couldn’t see storm clouds, we both knew they can roll in fast.
And we did not want to cross the sound in any higher waves then we did before!

We headed back to shore around 5pm, and as we were docking, this is what was coming:

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Thankfully, we missed the storm and even the wind before it became too gusty and dangerous.

But it was a lovely day, and a thousand lovely memories to last us past the day!
We felt like two young kids, carefree and enjoying every minute
of our day together.
It was Ben’s birthday, and I told him several times I shouldn’t be having so much fun on his day!
All smiles, he said it was his best birthday ever. :)

We said we could get addicted to days out on the ocean. :)
Perhaps we’ll have to make it a yearly tradition, on his birthday…

And by the end, I was telling Ben,
You know, maybe we should buy one of those ‘salt life’ stickers….” :)

“I can only live the full life when I live fully in the moment.”
[a. voskamp]



21 thoughts on “I ♥ Salt Life

  1. rugbana

    Loved this post and what amazing pictures… so envious that you got to see dolphins…. I love sharks…they fascinate me. My bucket dream is to go down into a shark tank and watch them swim. I would rather not have them bite me even though I like them. I was so sad when I didn’t get to see dolphins on our NC trip. Glad you had a great day and thanks for sharing – it was nice to escape with you through the pictures.

    I just got my book today – one thousand gifts and I can’t wait to dig in I have been waiting for months to purchase it.

  2. appalolly

    That part of Ann’s book is one of my favorite passages.  One I think about quite often!

    Sounds like you had such a wonderful day together. That woods does look kind of spooky. And those trees on “stilts”, so cool!

  3. SherriMonCheri

    The parting quote…so beautiful and so true.  You’ve quoted several times from her book and I’m thinking that I need to go out and buy it for myself so I can soak it in. 

    What a great way to spend a birthday!  I think those islands are just begging to be explored! :)

  4. lwstutz

    Unbelievable! We were just at Jekyll and Cumberland 2 weeks ago when we were visiting Leon’s sis and fam in SC. We saw the mansion, the horses, trees, crabs,  and Cumberland has the MOST amazing beach ever- if you’re willing to walk a ways in 95 degrees. (w/ 8 kids age 9 and under!)

    Looks like a very special birthday!

  5. writersblock02

    I really love how you make a priority to do special things and make memories on your birthdays.  That’s one idea I think I’m going to steal from you.  Sounds wonderful!

  6. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    sounds like the greatest of times and time spent together alone!! dreamy indeed.
    never heard of ‘salt life’ addiction, but everyone else having the bumper stickers would be reason enough for me to NOT get one. teehee. i’m a leetle like that. ;O)
    what you said in the opening paragraphs? right there with you…i think i could sit and chat with you about this subject for quite a while…it seems to be something that God is impressing upon my heart in just about every aspect of my life right now.

    have a lovely day friend!

  7. lifeisadance

    @rugbana – I just got my copy too! I read from a copy at Barnes & Noble one day, but didn’t buy it because I thought I could buy it cheaper elsewhere. ;) And you sure are a brave one to wish to swim with sharks! That would be my worst nightmare. ;)

  8. lifeisadance

    @appalolly – Isn’t Ann an amazing writer?? So poetic, and yet I understand what she’s saying (unlike some poetry I’ve read).

    @lwstutz – Are you serious!? You were just there? Is the old mansion as amazing as it looks?? And the beaches look amazing! We didn’t spend anytime on them, but just went on by because of lack of time…

  9. ABAHM

    what a wonderful day you had! So beautiful and different there. You are funny…”You know, maybe we should buy one of those ‘salt life’ stickers….” :)
    I have loved reading Ann Voskamps book, and her blog. She is so poetical, lovely and deep all at the same time.

  10. justcallmeM

    What fun! I love being on the water, too! And Cumberland is a neat place to visit. Just takes a while to see it since there is no transportation!

  11. grace_to_be

    love your thoughts at the beginning about time~ such a good reminder. i’ve been feeling convicted lately about this very thing.. of guarding my time and spending it more wisely – i feel so aware of this like never before when i see my oldest two and i just can’t believe how fast the time has went/ and is going with them! i know everyone says it, but you never really “get it” until it’s YOUR life! so true what you were saying about being PURPOSEFUL in our roles as wives/ moms.. to be fully in the moment. we could talk this one for a long time, i think, if we got together! :)

    and what a sweet day you had w/your birthday boy! one he’ll always remember, for sure. there’s just something about one on one time w/ your kids like that~ the ocean is one of my favorite places. and how cool you got to see dolphins AND sharks!! wow. and i LOVE the spanish moss. the shot of it w/ the sun shining through is so pretty~

    always enjoy visiting your blog, girl. i have a feeling it’s alot like you are… warm. inviting. gracious. and sweet. :)

  12. scuppernog

    Cumberland Island looks dreamy! I love the idea of scooting around for a day to different islands, cept I’d be more worried about snakes than sharks I think.  We always head to the gulf, but on Wed. my mom flew out of JAX so the kids and I headed to Amelia Island for the day – we were very unprepared for a beach day – bob the builder blankets for towels and back into pjs for the trip home. It’s lovely on the east coast too!

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