We have been enjoying our summer in our favorite tourist town, Port Aransas, TX. This year, the paper reported that there would be 150,000 people (a whole lot more than the 3300+ that already live here) on the island for the Independence Day fireworks. They shoot them from Roberts Point Park every year and they are really spectacular–forty-five minutes of wow right on top of your head. The kids have experienced them in the past, but this was my first time. I was sufficiently filled with wonder once they started, but I had to work to achieve that piece of nirvana. First, I had to brave traffic, get yelled at from a local woman, park at the library and walk to the point, endure the whines of the little one about needing a drink or playing at the park while the older ones argued about unimportant things. Once the explosions started, however, everything was worth it.
What is it about explosions of different colors that really bring home the awesomeness of America? I felt really glad to be American and to be free. Free to gesture wildly back at that local woman to quit yelling. Free to choose where I celebrate Independence Day. Free to drive from city to city without a passport (in dire need of an oil change). Free to be happy. Free to have four children. Free to raise them and school them according to what I deem to be important. Free to sacrifice. Free to remember the sacrifices of others, past and present. At the sound of the first boom, I felt my heart swell and I thought to the universe, “Happy Birthday, America!”
Only two nights later, the International Space Station passed directly overhead while we were outside fishing, and I felt a kinship with the whole world. We are truly blessed to live here. Maybe it’s the sky that makes me feel these big feelings. Whenever I look up, especially to see the night sky, my spirit lifts. Maybe it’s because I’m on vacation and I’m taking the time to notice these things in the absence of work and everyday stress. That must be it.
Everyone except Daddy has been playing in the surf, building dribble castles, and playing with the wildlife. The beach is awash with coquinas and the kids like trying to catch the little baby minnows swimming in the shallow surf. Zoe has been making leaps and bounds in her ability to navigate the water. She went from a tight-cling-to-the-mommy to floating on her back with her life jacket on, bobbing up and down as the waves dictate. Poor niece Karmen has been stung by jelly fish three times this summer. I’m not sure what attracts them to her, but she is becoming a pro at how to handle the trauma. We are prepared with the meat tenderizer so that no one has to pee on her–much to everyone’s relief.
Daddy has been at home, working and playing with the new Google+. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the beta website, too, and tested the “hangout” feature for the first time last night. Hanging out is a great name for the live webcam session with more than one person. It’s like Skype, but better. At one point, we had five people on stopping in to say hello. One provided the awesome jazz guitar background music, one helped me install the scripts he wrote for Google+ to add convenience (he just does this stuff for fun to benefit others and he’s a really great guy), and one was funny (that would be my spousal unit), and we all just hung out. Well, I was mostly listening to them talk geek, but it was fun to be included. It’s always fun to be included in just about any situation. I’ve added friends and family that are in my contacts to my circles, and it will be interesting to see who comes to hang out and if the masses leave the Facebook realm. The people I interact with most (and I have not done much but lurk) now on Google+ are Friendfeeders.
Back to vacation… we haven’t been eating out much because Grandma is a good cook, but today we made up for it by hitting two places… Juan’s for lunch and Moby Dick’s for dinner. I am so stuffed. I hope the Mexican and seafood play nice in my tummy. I even took the kids to the Candy Store again. You know, the one with the huge rattlesnake? Yeah, only in South Texas. Winton’s expanded and renovated their space and it’s a very happy place. I always get the gummy grapefruit slices since I can’t seem to get them anywhere else. I also added some Swedish fish to my little white paper bag (they sell their stuff by the pound and provide little paper sacks to collect sweets in).
Now it’s time for feeding the seagulls and sunset. I’ll have to add pictures later. Hope y’all are enjoying the summer. We wish you were here!