We live about 5 minutes from the beach, and according to google maps our house is less than a mile from the beach. So, why did I feel any desire to set up camp so close by?
One evening a while back, we were pulling away from Francis Beach here in HMB after a nice walk along the coast at sunset and I looked towards towards the campground there to see a tent and glowing fire that danced against a bright blue evening sky . It was something out of a Outdoor Magazine full two-page spread, it was so gorgeous! I remember it so clearly, despite it being two years ago and it was at that moment that I decided camping on the beach had to be on my bucket list.
The real question is, why did it take so long to coordinate? I don’t know. It’s one of those problems that plague millions of people everywhere: When you live next to lake and never go fishing, you walk past a restaurant everyday but never go in to eat. You have a phone in your pocket but you never call.
It took our friends, Brad & Shannon, to drive over with their RV and with their own Francis Beach Reservation for us to pack up the car and meet them for the weekend. I love tent camping. I love falling asleep to the sound of drunk men around a fire pit and other people’s generators running and, of course, the crashing waves of the ocean. I love waking up with my eyes stinging from smoke inhalation, making failed attempts to clean the dirt out from between my toes and screaming at kids to be more careful when climbing the tree and collecting old bottle caps. It was a great time!
The Poeppelman family is one of many beloved families from my Children’s Center days. One of my first favorites, Jessica (then 4) stole my heart, I remember, when she came in one morning a little “off” because her family determined she was likely left-handed- something different. Being left handed myself, I immediately knew her frustration (I had no baseball glove or scissors for ME!) and was thrilled to create this special bond with her. From that point on, Jess was my sidekick the entire year she was in my class and was also my flower girl when I got married.
Not to go unmentioned, I hung out with the family numerous times baby sitting and helping out and once or twice watching older sister Samantha play in her soccer games. I adored how Timi & Rick were raising these girls- both so intelligent, confident, hard working, driven and a lot of fun. I know Timi might say there are ‘behind the scenes’ moments where she’d put them up for adoption or something, but from the outside looking in I couldn’t name two more well-rounded young women than Sam & Jess.
So, as life got busier and busier for me, I drifted apart from them, but every once in a while Timi would post something about a game or a performance and I always so badly wanted to go. But, such is life. I always had something else I had to do. Naturally, when I made this bucket list and I thought of all my “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s,” these girls came to mind. I wanted to watch Sam play one of her games! She’s so talented!
Clouds look like they are painted
Natalie & Jessica
So, finally, Timi alerted me to a game where Sam’s School (West) was playing Dixon. Easy-Peasy.I brought Natalie along, of course, because she LOVES soccer these days and LOVES playing Goalie, which is also Sam’s position. I thought Natalie would like to see it all in action with the high school girls, but actually wound up playing under and around the bleachers with Jessica the entire game.
I should sadly mention that after all this….. Sam sat out this game! Oh well…. equally important was being able to enjoy the Poeppelman’s company once again.