Somehow the end of our third week, spent with family at Ocean Isle, NC, has drawn to a close.
It happens every year - we arrive at the beach with a full seven days beaming with glorious possibility. And then, somehow, Wednesday hits with the sad reality that the week is quickly passing. We treasure the days and live them to the fullest, yet, as with every other sweet time, it ends all too soon.
Sadly, my dad's brother and his family couldn't make the week. We always have so much fun with their wild sense of humor and contagious zeal for life. They were sorely missed, along with a couple of my closest friend who also tried to come for the week and couldn't. Thankfully, however, we had quite a silver lining in a couple other newbies to the beach week, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them.
As with nearly every other summer since the movie-making bug hit, all the cousins and a few of the adults rallied together to make a short film. It turned out especially cute this year, and having the entire gather around the TV for the grand showing is a favorite memory of the week. After the many hours of tedious work that goes into organizing, filming and editing it, watching the finished product and having the rest of the family enjoy it along with you always makes it worth it.
Watching the final
Working on script-writing
A second highlight of the week was really connecting with my six-year-old cousin Carson. Several years back, we were able to go stay with Carson's sisters while his parents and two older brothers went to bring him home from Korea. Sadly, we had to leave before they got home with him and I was quite bummed that I didn't get to meet my new little cousin at that point. Well, we sure made up for that this week! Carson is simply the cutest! We've played and interacted at other times, but this week we had an extra lot of fun together. He took quite an interest in my Bulgarian studies, and often asked me how to say different words and phrases. We wrote his and other names using the Bulgarian alphabet and practiced saying many different words. Carson also had quite a comical inspiration to make a video about tacos to add to our larger movie, and in the end it became a favorite in the storyline!
A great surprise came in the week when David decided he was ready to chop off his long hair. After a great deal of contemplation, he made the choice to bite the bullet and have Aunt Kelly give him a new do. "Anyway," he reasoned, "I won't be seeing any of my friends for four months, so why not?"
Carson and Gandy watched with most of the family as David's hair fell to the ground.
On our final trip to the ocean Friday evening, the girls and Kaden came across a bird they assumed had a broken wing. Not wanting to leave it, they convinced a parent to call an animal rescue facility to come help. Within an hour, the lady from the facility was carrying the poor bird to her "ambulance". She explained to us that the bird's wing wasn't broken, like the girls had thought, and it wasn't even a seagull. It was a Shearwater bird that had, along with thousands others, come to the coast looking for food only to find that the plants they usually eat were gone. The lady said that countless others, along with that one, simply collapsed from lack of food. She is hopeful the bird will recover. The kids were really excited to be a part of rescuing the bird, and I know the experience will stick with them for a long time.
Along with my Bulgarian language study, I also made a Bulgarian dish for the family to try. It is called "shopska salad" (шопска салата) and was voted quite a success by the family.
It was certainly a fun week! Next up: Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina.