Beauty in the Sea

Many moons ago I was in this Bible study that spoke of beauty.  While this really didn’t touch my heart all that much (I’m a tomboy at heart), they asked a question during one of the sessions that has resonated with me through the years.

“When do you feel the most beautiful?”

I struggled with this question.  I oscillate between “Why am I in the medical field when I should be modeling swimwear” and “When is it socially appropriate to put a bag over one’s head in public?”  But realistically, I’m somewhere in between.

Even when I get all dolled up, I always manage to find flaws in myself upon reviewing the pictures. It’s the perpetual let-down of, “Oh, I look fantastic, except for the fact I look bloated and my eye-make up smudged….”

Then it hit me: I know where I feel the most beautiful.

In the ocean, with hair down, bikini on, and nearly 8 feet of plastic strapped to my right ankle.  I feel even more beautiful with those big powerful waves with clean faces are headed my way – or as I like to put it – the Lord put the tokens in the wave machine.

Here there are no cameras, any make up would be washed away after taking a wave on the head.  My hair is perfect because it’s covered in salt water and my skin turns a beautiful shade of pink under the sun.  I was made for summer days.

After a bit more digging in my genealogical past, I found my ancestors on my mother’s side originated from what is now northern Poland, on the Baltic Sea – my father’s mother’s family is from the shores of Normandy, France – the sea is in my blood.

And that’s as beautiful as it gets.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

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Summertime Book Adventures

I love reading and since I got a Kindle last year, I’ve been devouring books.  Just like last year, I’m all over the board with random topics.

  • Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler – my favorite author – as my father-in-law said it was a good read (he’s a Cussler fan as well, we’re constantly trading books).  I’m switching things up with a paperback.  The book is a little choppy with the story line, but I’m interested to see how they will intersect.  And it has a very young Dirk Pitt in it!
  • One up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market by Peter Lynch.  Something I know very little about is investing.  As a conservative risk taker when it comes to money, I’m very leery about investing simply because I don’t know how it all works.  The guy is a big name on Wall Street and the reviews about this book jived with what I’m looking for in an investment book: nothing with too much jargon or something I need millions to do – some reviews said it was a “fun read.”  I’m hoping this will be a jumping off point for the future me in terms of finances.
  • The Host by Stepenie Meyer.  She wrote the Twilight series; The General and I watched the movie last night and while I was reluctant about it, I got sucked into the storyline.  I downloaded this book while the credits were rolling.
  • The Confessions of St. Augustine.  I have heard of this book, but do not know much about it or the author.  I’m looking forward to learning more about this relic wordsmith and his relationship with God.  Bonus: It was free on Kindle.
  • The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I’ve ready good reviews about this series from Facebook friends and I hope it’ll be a good beach read.  I read all 3 Hunger Games book and loved them.
  • HeavenWord Daily by David Servant.  This is also free on Kindle.  For reasons unknown, even to me, every 18 July I change my daily devotional.  This year I’m going to try this one – it leads you through the entire New Testament for a year.  I like how it’s the equivalent to spiritual steak. After reading “My Utmost for his Highest,” (Oswald Chambers), I need something heavy.  I like my coffee and devotionals strong.

This should keep me busy until the winter chill rushes in.

100,000 miles ago

100,000 miles ago

100,000 miles down…..100,000 more to go….

My absence can be explained in 1 word: adventures.  Here’s proof: a couple of days ago, my car odometer rolled to 100,000 miles. I put on every single one of those.

I started thinking about where I was 100,000 miles ago, compared to where I am now.  Back then, it was January 2004….I named her “Scarlett Zaza” — which means “red movement” — it’s a red car with a manual transmission.

There was a different boy riding shotgun.  I was shopping for my 1st gig out of school in my field of study, as I had just finished my internship and started capstone classes.  I was driving around central Illinois farm roads.  I used to cruise in an itty-bitty-dot-on-the-map town north of my college to break in my engine (the 1st 1,000 miles are critical to engine health, according to my dad).  I wasn’t making the best decisions then, but at 22, I was still trying to figure out me and where I fit in to the world.  Fast-foreward 9 years: I’m on the verge of my 32nd birthday and my car is now an orphan.  My 1st roadtrip took me to Columbus, Ohio to visit a friend.  My last roadtrip took me to a burb of Washington DC with family.  It’s driven through 10 states.  It’s the same car where I cried from all they way down Illinois 121 after a break-up, went to my 1st job, had my 1st blind *bad* date,  and I picked up my wedding dress in it.  It was the car that brought me into Wilmington with all the possessions I could fit in it.  I get bad gas milage on it now because of all the sand that’s accumulated from surfing (My husband likes to say “Kure Beach called and wants its sand back”).  It’s survived 7 moves, 4 relationships – 2 of which where actual relationships…..one was “just friends” and the other we never put a label on…., and 4 jobs.  It’s driven down the Magnificent Mile (aka Michigan Avenue downtown Chicago) and the backroads of southern Pennsylvania wine country. I live at the beach with the most amazing man I’ve ever met, who impressed me on our 1st date because he knew how to drive stick.  Most of all, I am in a better place physically, mentally, and spiritually than I was when I drove it off the showroom floor in Ottawa, Illinois.

I have come a long way in 100,000 miles.