A life-long Cameron Crazie
A life-long Cameron Crazie
Earlier this week, we received just a dusting of snow here in central Ohio. Not nearly the deluge that hit most of the East Coast, but it was enough to set the mood for the week leading up to Christmas. I must admit that our busy lives had kept us from reflecting on the specialness and significance of the season in the weeks leading up to today. However, as I sit here on the couch with a full belly and warm heart, thoroughly drinking in the love and laughter of my family as they enjoy their Christmas treasures, I am overcome with the knowledge that we are truly blessed and loved by our Heavenly Father. It's funny how things like a little snowfall, the smells of good food, and the laughter of loved ones can prepare you for that realization...
These photos were taken in the early morning, just before sunrise, from our back patio. The low light makes the scenes seem black & white. Most of the snow in the trees was gone by noon, but lasted long enough to set the mood for what has been a wonderful week.
Celebrating a goal...good times.
Anticipating the aftermath of a hard, solid slide tackle.
Going up for a header in close quarters...maybe too close.
White men CAN jump.
Michele and a new friend.
Ian found a friend in Bluebell the Mule.
My niece Jessie recently blogged about skimboarding. Ian first learned to skimboard when he was 7, and has gotten to the point where he makes it look easy (it's not, so I don't even try anymore).
This was the first beach vacation in which we were able to take the entire family. Suzanne and Mark were kind enough to invite Guinness, too! She handled the drive well, and was a real good dog. Of course, driving 1400 miles affords many opportunities for riding with your head out of the window, so she was an extremely happy pooch. Although it is not the best photo, I love how Michele and Guinness appear to have the same facial expression. Like mother like daughter, I guess...
We can't wait to do it all again, soon!
On our first day, we went down to the waterfront to see the final departures of the tall ships which were in town for the Charleston HarborFest. Mark's office is in the Maritime Building, just steps from the waterfront park pier, from which these pictures were taken:
Personally, I don't consider it a "vacation" unless a boat is somehow involved. Luckily, we were all able to take a boat from Bohicket Marina on Johns Island to the mouth of the Edisto River at the Atlantic Ocean. Michele and I have taken this trip a few times. However, the new Sea Pro boats are much nicer than the old Carolina Skiffs (floating bathtubs) we used to rent. The Sea Pros came equipped with GPS, depth finders, marine radios, live wells, etc.
Before we arrived, Suzanne had been bragging to Mark about my supposed skills as a boat captain. We'd had an outstanding boating experience in these same waters over 17 years ago, and she used this as evidence for her claim (it's a good story, which has been properly embellished over time). My own family doesn't share Suzanne's confidence in my skills. Although I did get a "nice job, captain" from the marina's harbormaster, following this most recent trip, when we docked and tied up in a very tight space.
One of these days, I hope my family appreciates the experience and knowledge they've gained on boats. Michele is an awesome first mate. After numerous trips like this one, she instinctively knows what to do (and when) without any instruction from "the captain." We make a pretty good team, I think. Michele mans the anchor and bow, and she remains the best fisherman in the family. Nathan is learning to navigate, and Ian is....well, Ian is a good passenger.
We beached on the (mostly) deserted Botany Island. The boys, Michele, Mark, and Suzanne jumped ashore while I anchored in deeper waters. The beach scenes in the movies "The Patriot" and "Cold Mountain" were filmed right here. "The Notebook" was filmed just across the river on Edisto & Wadmalaw Islands. I can see why... the natural beauty of this place seems untouched by time and modernity.
After a short stroll and some shelling, everyone hopped back into the boat for a little fishing. We tried the nearby shell mounds (prehistoric trash dumps), which were likely built by the Edisto Indians over 4000 years ago. We didn't fare too well there, so we moved the boat closer to Privateer Point, on Seabrook Island. The fishing and crabbing was much better here. Ian worked hard to hone the fine art of crabbing with a chicken neck tied to kite string. He was able to catch one Atlantic Blue crab and one hermit crab using his trademark "toe method"....when you feel a tug on your toe, just pull up the line.
Michele caught a few nice fish, but the "big ones" just weren't biting on this day. Maybe next time. When we got home I took a peek at some previous vacation photos. I'd guess that I have at least 20 photos (dating back to 1989) of Michele with a fish, and they all look just like this current one...she just doesn't age.
After some dolphin (plus one shark) watching, and swimming (just me, due to aforementioned shark), we cruised back to the marina...another awesome day in the Carolina low country!
The strings concert was awesome, and the talent of these kids was remarkable. I could also understand why Nathan decided to play in the orchestra next year. The director allowed the students to choose some popular music to play in their concerts. This year, they played Viva la Vida by Coldplay, and they nailed it! The director also allowed some modern instruments, like electric violin and electric bass. I think she is pretty savvy for trying to inject a little "cool" factor into a middle school music program.
Tonight, Nathan sang in the Spring Band/Choir concert. He sings real well, but is also very serious about it...no smiling allowed, apparently. That's him in the middle of the second row in the large group, and on the far right (near the piano) in the smaller group.
You Rock, Nathan !!
Checking out the sights in Rudesheim.
A typical Rudesheim alley.
In Holland, with the '94 Girls, on a statue of Rembrandt.
The windmill from many of Rembrandt's paintings.
'94 Girls & Boys teams outside of the stadium and training grounds in Mönchengladbach.
The tunnel leading onto the field at Borussia Park, the home of Borussia Mönchengladbach. As his team walked out onto the pitch, this song played. Ian still gets goosebumps when he hears this. Mönchengladbach has a history with American players, including Kasey Keller and Michael Bradley (current star on the US Men's National Team). Ian told his guide to remember his name, as it is now his dream to play for M'gladbach.
The pitch at Borussia (Prussia) Park.