Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We think we'll keep them

The mysterious/wonderful strangers/new family members took us out on their boat yesterday. All 6 of us. We left the dock at about 10. Ray, who is now Papa Ray, took Storm under his wing. He patiently answered all of his questions and taught him how to read the instruments and the GPS. Storm was in heaven.

The little kids took turns sitting with Kraon at the front. Baby Ray took the longest turn. He likes her A LOT.

The ride was about an hour long. The weather and seas were PERFECT. Papa Ray brought us here, Sand Island. We dinghy-ed in. The kids thought that was really cool. Harrison set up camp while the kids discovered that the water was no deeper than their knees for about 50 yards. There were hermit crabs EVERYWHERE. That's a good thing.

Kraon should petition the Olympic Committee to make Shell Collecting an official sport. She loves it and is really good/lucky at it. Harrison was quite pleased with himself for finding her a big beautiful unbroken and he thought, uninhabited shell. She loved it. It walked away a few hours later. Ray yelled for Harrison to come and get it and rush it to the water. "Don't kill that little creature" he said. Don't you just love him?

Baby Ray got in on the shell collecting, too. I swear he showed Dawn and Kraon every hermit crab out there. He also was quite pleased with himself.

Dawn instituted a search for a Megalodon tooth. I love her. The kids took turns with the mask and snorkel in the shallows. After much sifting and lots of reapplied sunscreen, no tooth. Maybe next time.

We started packing up a little after 3. The kids were still going strong, but would surely pass out soon. I somehow got talked into swimming back to the boat with Faith and Storm. What a fiasco! Little William was so sad. He wanted to go so badly. He got over it when he realized he was going to get to ride in the dinghy with Papa Ray, Kraon and Harrison without the big kids hogging the attention.

Once we got back, we all headed over to Atlas Oyster House for half price sushi and oysters on the half shell. Faith, of course, was the star of that show. No one can believe how that baby girl can take down oysters. It IS pretty amazing.

After lots of hugs and kisses and promises to keep in touch and to come back and for us to go to their "Big ol' House" in Birmingham, we pulled away. Dawn and I talked about them the entire way home. Their generousity, their acceptance, their easy, go-with-the-flow approach to life, their love for our children. ALL of our children.

What really gets me right in the heart is that Papa Ray is so similar to my father on paper. They are only 2 years apart in age. They were both the big super-star quarterback in high school. They both grew up in and have lived their whole lives in the Deep South. They are both charismatic. But my, oh, my are they different! When Papa Ray speaks to us, well, he speaks to US, both of us. We BOTH exist. He asks about the children, not about "the boys." He doesn't give a rat's ass about mine and Dawn's relationship except that we're happy and are raising happy and healthy and well-adjusted children. Together. "Yours, Mine and Ours" he said.

So we think we'll keep them. I hope they keep us. There will be more than 4 broken hearts if they don't.



  1. Okay. Who's crying now?
    That was beautiful. Some things are just meant to be.

  2. Not only do I love your stories, I love the photos that illustrate them.

    Lucky you. Lucky them. Both parties win with this friendship.

  3. Very sweet. How happy for you and them. New friends are wonderful.

  4. I'm sitting in the direct July sun with goosebumps.
    this day sounds too good to be true.
    what perfect gems!
    so glad for your new found friendships.

  5. The photos alone had me weeping,Windy. How utterly fortunate to meet such Angels in this world.
    Of course, Ray and Kraon are lucky, too.

    It is inspiring, how you two are raising such a wonderful next generation. And I'm so happy that you have a perfect partner. You guys truly deserve the love you share.

    Thanks for such a great, awesome post.

  6. you guys are great, it is awesome to see how well you document your experiences. they grow so quick and things change so fast! i wanna live where you gals live, beach golf, woo hoo!

  7. another example of how Life is Better Than Good... beautiful!

  8. This is sooooo great!!!!!!!!!! I love this. So glad you had a wonderful day with some wonderful new people!