Sunday, August 30, 2009

vignettes from a florida sunday

setting out for the long drive there, i settle familiarly into the passenger seat with a writing book, two photography books and a pile of magazines. three miles in and i've been updated on what kourtney kardashian is craving, how long us readers predict renee and bradley will stick together and who wore armani's latest the best. i ditch the magazine and opt for the writing book.

the ride is quiet but for the sounds of the dvd in the back and the boys' random laughter at all the funny parts...cueing lainey to interject her own laughter with a precise two-second delay. she doesn't exactly know what she's laughing at, but if her brothers think it's funny...it must be.

a monster truck with scantily-clad-women mudflaps rolls along two cars ahead of us. pulled behind is a rusted twin engine boat, sloppily painted with Team Nauti Boys. i imagine they are headed out for some sunday fun for sure.

i notice for the first time all the panther traffic signs along the way. official yellow road signs with panther silhouettes as if their crossing is as ordinary as the common pedestrian. i've never seen a panther cross these streets.

the trees get lusher and thicker as stores and gas stations grow more sparse. of course there is the oddly-placed outlet mall in the middle of nowhere that suddenly appears. i always expect it to be closed, but miraculously, it goes on...a few random cars parked in its old parking lot. i wonder exactly how many outdated suitcases the samsonite store sells each month. i imagine there are many a days when not a one customer shows up at this poor place. i also imagine that hell might be waking up employed at this very outlet mall...banished to the dingy walls of the dress barn selling frumpy green paisley sack dresses here on the most god-forsaken stretch of 951.

the green sign finally appears. isles of capri and a single arrow, pointing you far away from the dress barn...past the magroves, the bait store, the impressive marina for such a tiny island.

and we arrive.
and unload.
and settle under shady umbrellas.



the tide is low.
the seagrapes droop.
the sea foam recedes, pulling with it broken shells and 'beach pencils'.






it's hot and my hair sticks to the sunscreen on the back of my neck.
but she's happy.



transporting shovels of sand from the beach to the large blue bucket ready to float away at the edge of the tide...until finally, she's piled enough sand into it to weight it steadily into the mud.

we spend most of our time partially submerged in the gulf today, its salty water stinging the shaving cuts i apparently acquired this morning. she floats and splashes as i eat cold cantelope from the chair i have half buried in the shallow water.

and later, we venture back to the hot sand to watch the boys dig deep tunnels.



soar the blue skies with daddy and austyn.





take a 'crab walk' with mama.







and smile every time one of our fish house friends comments on how we're finally 'showing.'



it's a girl. we exclaim.
another baby to tote along for sunday memories...
to sleep in the moses basket on the old wood floor under the palm-thatched roof of the tiki bar.

and then, before the sun sets, we head home...



the drive home is always cozy as we huddle under beach towels, the air seeming a little cooler against salty, damp suits. it's quiet again but for the random laughter...and two-second delayed laughter. i close my eyes and prop my sandy feet on brett's dashboard. i take them down when he frowns at me.

and when we pull into the driveway, the herd exits wildly, running toward the pool where everyone jumps in to clean off sweaty, sandy, sunscreened bodies. i hear them all from our bathroom as i always opt instead for the more refreshing waters of a real shower. a long shower with a clay mint mask and deep conditioner. and after donning a warm nightgown straight from the dryer, i join them at the edge of the pool where we watch the sun set behind the woods...



...and baby lizards emerge from their hiding spots under mossy pool rocks to entertain little eyes...





and now the house is calm. quiet...but for brett's football game in the other room and the dryer tossing a load of beach towels.
and the tea is finished.

thoreau may have wandered into the woods to live deliberately and suck the marrow out of life...
us? well, we have enough marrow right here.

sucking it, breathing it, sharing it...



~k

*note: i forgot. i hereby give credit to brett for the pregnancy shots. he was proud of his work as he scanned the camera screen after the shot.
'if this goes on the blog, you're so crediting me,' he said... ...er, um...'humbly'.

25 comments:

Poppa said...

Oh how I love the slices of your family life...succulent, juicy and ripe with joy. And the last photo of my little sea sprite...I want to grab her up when I come down there this weekend. And I think she wants to be grabbed up by her Poppa. Thanks for ending my weekend with fresh images! And I am rushing to be the first post!

Kelle said...

mmm...'sea sprite'...i love it.
absolutely love it.

Poppa said...

"...and after searching for shells all through the day, the two, in the dim of dusk, almost stumbled on the beautiful shell sealed and washing up on the sandy shore. Open it, the young girl said. Carefully, he pried open the cup-like shells and there, curled snugly in that pearled cove lay a sweet little sea sprite who, opening her dark eyes from her dreams, sat up with hair askew like sea grass in the breeze and smiled. With a soft voice she asked, "Will you love me forever" and they answered, "Forever" and she said, "I am home now" and curled up again...within their hearts...forever."

jen said...

i feel as if i'm interrupting such a genuine conversation between daddy and daughter. but am anyways.
because your words are so beautiful. touching. you must have read the writing book from cover to cover on the way there. and read it (possibly?) even before today ... because your words never cease to amaze me ... and your pictures. complete the package.
beautiful darling.

Kelle said...

dad, you totally toppered.
and...aw, thanks jen.
smiling.
leaving comment chat room now...even though i like it in here.

April said...

wrapping up a wonderfully beautiful weekend here, too! love the teeny-tiny lizard, your baby bump & the last picture of lainey. happy week to you...

ps - while i was checking the weather for the week on kris's iphone, i switched over to marco island's weather (she still has it saved in her phone from our vacay) and thought of you :)

abbey bernardi said...

you look amazing kelle!! love lainey's red dress : ) oh, if u watch TLC (the learning channel) Bayley is in a hallmark ornament commercial that will be on through christmas. take care, -Abbey

Amy said...

So bummed I wasn't there. I actually thought on Saturday, "I should write this article today because maybe I could so something fun tomorrow." But, instead, I read UsWeekly (what else is new?). Love the second picture of Lainey and Austyn.

April said...

i forgot to comment on the shakedown! so love that term! it really is the perfect name for the hustle and bustle so many of us do in a frenzy at the end of the day!

Barb said...

You look GORGEOUS....work it. BIG HUG to you and your sea sprite..or sea diet coke or whatever. LOL Love you!

Jeff said...

BELLY BUMP PICS...my faves!!!!

your words...your pics...miss ioc...can't wait for a slushy-lemonade-that-takes-cute-beach-server-guy-25 minutes-and-100 lemons to make...a simple concoction of ice, lemons, and sugar, so worth the $4.95.

xo
...shoot, forgot i'm off sugar for awhile. well, you can have one for me:):)!!!!

Jeff said...

LOOK brett...i commented!!!!!!

Jeff said...

LOLOLOLOL...cracking myself up!
it's me, heidi!

Nicole said...

My oh my, what a lovely little sun-hat Miss Lainey Love donning, lol. I am now officially a bit salty with my uncle for not taking me to Isle of Capri when I used to visit him in Naples..sadly moved back to PA :( Oh, and by the way, I am absolutely positive you couldn't look any flippin' cuter in a bikini, work it mama!!

Anna Ruth said...

Family days on Sunday are the best. Everyone looks so happy.

Anonymous said...

happy sand crumbles between the toes and salt lingers on the skin to remind us of a day well spent. sea sprites tip toe on the edge of imagination and reality to show us that miracles do happen and dreams do come true. belly's pop and show off the amazing work that a mama can do while doing nothing at all . . . rejoice in the love your family pours into the ordinary . . . as a happy reader of your blog I am thankful to see such beauty and escape if just for the time it takes to read your beautiful words . . .

mrc-w said...

Aw, the little lizard is so cute! And I'm so jealous that you can still go to the beach! It's chilly here already, if you can believe it!
Lainey looks a lot like you in the last pic :)

dig this chick said...

hot damn you are a sexy pregnant lady. So sweet your little island. Love it.

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