Resting Place

Got back a couple days ago from Laura's family's yearly beach vacation in North Litchfield South Carolina. I haven't participated in this Nelson Family tradition for a few years, it was so very nice going back and seeing everyone again.

And, as always, whenever I leave my comfortable little corner of the Pacific Northwest, I start having firsts. For instance, I got to see my first firefly (or lightening bug...). We went for an evening bike ride to see if we could peep those flashing bastards, and we totally did! Granted, it was pretty much just the one bug, but it was still quite amazing! It was different then I thought. I was under the impression that they fly in a state of low illumination that turns on and off periodically. Instead, they emit a white flash almost like a camera, but not so intense. It was much more white and "electric" looking then I was expecting. Very beautiful creatures!

I also got to see alligators in their natural habitats. We visited a state park known to have alligators taking up residence, and sure enough, not long after entering the park we saw one swimming through the shallow waters of a saltwater tidal marsh. Then another sunning itself, mouth wide open, on a small exposed piece of land, like a tiny island in the marsh. Then another hanging out in shallower mud. Then as we were riding bikes down a concrete path with marsh on both sides, we came across a gentlemen who saw one just moments before crossing the path. The wet footprints from the beast still clearly visible on the path. The man was able to snap a picture of it just as it was crossing and looked to be about 8 feet long (maybe closer to 9) judging by the known width of the path. We looked into the reeds of the marsh it walked into, and there it was, sitting there with its back to us. It was quite enormous, and quite close. Breath taking, really.

Another thing I didn't necessarily see (and it wasn't necessarily a first for me) was the trees full of singing cicadas. It's crazy how a constant droning buzz filling the air isn't irritating, but rather soothing. Being back home to relatively silent skies makes me a little homesick for a coast (and a family) I'm growing to love more and more.

Another first I had the honor and privilege of experiencing was in the role of officiant of Sarah and Derek's wedding! What a wonderful evening watching two people I love so much committing their love to one another, and all while the planets Venus and Jupiter join together in the sky to form one single point of light. The evening was beautiful and magical in every possible way. And it's always nice to have an excuse to say "by the power vested in me"...

Thank you, Nelsons (and Vowells!) for y'alls warm southern hospitality. Relaxing in your familial embrace is a very nice thing :)