Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What came With The Rain

Well, if you read the post below you know we ended up at the beach last Saturday evening for a get-together to celebrate my upcoming 41st birthday.

It has been raining here for a couple weeks (or so it seems) and there was no chance it was letting up that night. Now, initially the plan was going to change from the beach to a friends home however it was changed again and my party was at one of my favorite places to be.

I'd envisioned actually seeing the tent/ awning set up on the beach however Scott and our friends found a nice grassy area on the bluff above and chose to set up there. When I arrived there were balloons and banners everywhere thanks to Holly's eclectic decorating techniques which I adore!

My Dad and Gigi were there with AJ, Holly and Rocky drug Barry (and his bum leg) and Wren out too. My friend Michelle was there(which I couldn't believe because she does not do wet hair in public)and of course, so were Alli and Cait. Kelly( along time soccer friend) came with his two girls and we mustn't forget Nana. I was so glad she was able to come; I am certain it was clear insight to my world and what I love.

Right after we arrived, just like always, Cori asked if she, Alli and Cait could head to the beach. For the first time ever, I went ahead and allowed her to go with out me. I tend to be a bit worried about the muck-mud that so many people get stuck in around here. My children are well aware of the dangers of venturing out too far in it but still I like to be near, so it was huge for her that I let her go alone with friends.

Only a couple of minutes went by when Cori came streaking up from the beach with her friends, screaming "Mom, there are two cubs on the beach." I couldn't believe it. I was so excited I think I forgot to worry about how they'd handled the situation. (We did have a long reminder talk the next day about the right things to do.)

I grabbed my camera and Scott and away we went. We left the kids behind so we could scout things out but quickly went back and got everyone.

It was really cool. There were two cubs and they were digging in the sand and then heading into what looked like a little den and the side of the hill.

We all watched for Momma but she never came. In the event you think there are bears in everyone's back yard here in Alaska, it just isn't true. It is a rare treat to get to see them; especially cubs. They are most often protected by the mother and you can't get very close. We intentionally stayed a good distance away as we didn't want to frighten Mom should she be lounging in the den or coming back from a jaunt. It was still closer than many of us will ever get in a lifetime.

After quite a time bear gazing, we headed up for food,drinks and fun.

Scott brought my favorite kind of birthday cake, which happens to be ice cream cake with the crunchy stuff in the middle. Nana and Holly got quite a kick out of having ice cream in the middle of a downpour but well, we were living in the moment and it was worth it! Scott told us when he called to order it he told them to put 'Happy Birthday Christie' but changed his mind and said to the gal, "uh, cross that out and put Mom". Here is what he got.

Now the truth; he told them to do that. He just wanted a great story to tell. :-)

After eating the kids started playing soccer.

I can not express my own delight at watching them all in their rain boots and knitted hats running around kicking the ball. Of course, I played too. I gave Alli my ultra cool hat at some point so I played with an umbrella. I assume this looked as ridiculous as it seemed but it was fun.

My friends and family love me very much and gave me wonderful gifts. Especially wonderful was the beautiful strawberry-rhubarb pie Kelly and his wife Bobbi made for me.

Isn't it gorgeous? Grandpa tried really hard to take it home. He didn't get away with it but he did show up at my house the next day to get some!!

In true family fashion, we goofed off a lot during the night. AJ egged me on a little too much and I couldn't resist nailing him with a massive puddle!

I think he was initially shocked beyond belief however he recovered quickly and scooped a bucket full of the same and nailed me!

Scott later said to me that it was really funny watching the two of us.

It really is such a blessing having a brother and sister 26 and 24 years younger than I. I believe they keep me young, as does my fun husband and wonderful children.

As you can see Cali joined the puddle jumping fun and was drenched from head to toe.

GiGi was rather smart and wore her snowsuit. She was able to discard it when it was time to go and was likely the driest person on the ride home. Cali was pretty dry too since I'd brought extra clothes. The advantage of being the youngest!

I did bring the hot chocolate; it was my contribution to the evening.

That and the silliness which I brought in its finest! It was a valuable contribution, I think.

As if there was need for more, I have to tell you, right before we left, as we were enjoying our hot chocolate, a baby spruce hen waddled over to the table. He scooted under neath the table and decided to join our fun. He was not afraid and was more than willing to allow the girls a little stroke of his feathers.

He was quite a joy to experience. This too, like the bear cubs was quite unusual. I adamantly believe everything that happened that night was a gentle nudge to remind me and others that we have to live our life! We have to remind each other what makes our hearts happy and go for it. Even if there is a little rain, the moment will shine if you allow it too.

I wish you all could have been here. I was certainly one of my best birthdays ever! I said as much to Cassi on the way home and she chirped that it was hers too!

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