Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Happened to Summer?

  Summer just began or so I thought.  There have been so many places to   go and things to do.  It seems only yesterday my husband and I         packed our car and headed off to Ocracoke Island.  A place we love to visit.  It’s   so relaxing.We thoroughly enjoyed the Ocrafolk Music and Storytelling  Festival, where one of our favorite storytellers, Donald Davis (right photo), held  a captive audience.   
 We walked along the clean uncrowded beach, hiked Hammock Hills

 and Springer’s Point nature trails, walked down the
 little ‘back in time" dirt streets (left  photo)

 visited shops and many other fun activities.  

  After returning home, we had just begun to catch 
  up when it was time to head to the NC Mountains 
  for Storytellers Wild Week at the Wildacres 
  Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, NC  

  It was an uplifting week, crammed full of    
  storytelling and learning sessions led by Michael 
  Reno Harrell. 

                                 (Michael, above photo)
There was great fun, camaraderie, learning and  laughter with my special storytelling  friends.                       
It's one of my favorite summer get-a-ways.

Most of  us couldn’t resist staying up ‘til midnight or later, sharing our deepest thoughts, ideas and stories with one another.  Despite the fact that rain poured from the sky during the entire week.

I was beginning to think the entire mountain had developed into a gigantic waterfall!   

The Wild Group (left photo) 

Tip: click on individual photos and you can enlarge them for viewing. 

With just four days back at home to regroup, wash clothes and repack, we were off again, driving to
Minnesota.  My husband’s cousins invited us to join them for a memorial service for their parents, followed by a wonderful reunion.  He hadn’t seen his cousins in 40 years!         (above photo: family gathering)

As you might imagine, since the past 40 years the family has multiplied many times over.  It was a warm and joyous reunion for him and even for me, though it was my first time to meet them.  I felt as if I knew a few of them from stories my husband has shared over the years.   

During the family gathering many stories were shared - fond memories of old friends, relatives, neighbors, grandparents, aunts and uncles, getting into trouble, grandparents’ favorite grandchildren and the old neighborhood that had mostly disappeared.  Ah, the good ‘ole days. 

Younger cousins and siblings shared stories as well.  And there was lots of quality time with the children from ages 15 down to toddlers and the cute 9-month-old baby.  There were 30 of us in all, spread out in three lovely cottages side by side. 

Some us visited nearby Two Harbors Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls.

There was time to relax on the deck, watching the fog roll in and out over Lake Superior (left photo above), listening to the foghorns echo into the night, enjoying campfires by the lake, eating yummy smores, listening to the water lapping against the rocks, admiring the glistening moon beaming across the water and 
seeing the eerie round reflection of ghostly light off to the side of the moon’s reflection.  Oooooo!  We never determined the source of that spine-chilling reflection of light.    

(right photo: Split Rock Lighthouse)

By the way, I returned home filled with love and story ideas.

(left photo:  It's so hard to say "Goodbye")