Tag Archive | vacations

Longing For Lake Tahoe

FullSizeRender-1I have been battling with discontentment this summer. Last summer I got to spend several weeks driving to and from Colorado and hanging out in the mountains. This summer, with sweltering temperatures and cloying humidity, I sit at home, not wanting to venture out past 9 in the morning.

Maybe some people like living in Florida in the summer; I would not be one of them.

And yet that’s where I’ve been for the past 24 summers, with small breaks here and there to be elsewhere.

I long for elsewhere. I long for Lake Tahoe.

When I was younger, my family and I spent many a joyous vacation at Lake Tahoe. Whenever I smell pine trees I fly back in time to that log cabin nestled in the woods that we shared for oh-too-brief vacations with my grandparents. Version 4

The beauty of the mountains, the coolness of the water, the serenity of the lake.

It was idyllic. But I was a child and didn’t have the responsibility of cooking or packing or planning. I just got to enjoy the scenery.

Why, Lord? Why Orlando?

I guess it’s not all about me.

But I long for the beauty, the outdoorsyness, the cool nights sitting on the porch. How did I get to be this person who doesn’t even want to venture outside?

Version 3Would it have felt better if I didn’t have Facebook shoving it in my face that so many other friends get to be elsewhere?

Pennsylvania. Paris. Milan. Minnesota. Washington. Wales.

I see the photos. They draw me.

But here I sit watching another afternoon thunderstorm. Remembering that God’s grace reaches Orlando, too. Maybe my city needed me this summer as it bent under a terrorist attack.

Maybe my daughter needed me as she took another step closer to maturity. As she finally got her braces off. As she struggled with the wherewithal to follow through on her desires of the spring.

Maybe my middle child needed me as he toured college campuses and tried to figure out what he wants to do after graduation. Maybe he needed me to listen to his fussing about his online class, his summer reading, his hatred of math.

Maybe my eldest needed me here as he navigated a breakup with his first girlfriend. As he applied for and started another job. As he took his first online summer class for college.

I am here for a reason. I can whine about my circumstances or I can embrace the plan Version 2God has for me. In Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

The plenty of beautiful surroundings and the days of my youth. Being brought low to where I don’t even want to step foot outdoors through the long days of summer. I know this isn’t exactly what Paul was referring to, but it’s how I feel.

IMG_5602I can do this. I can live in Orlando for another summer. Or 2. Or 30. If this is where the Lord has me, then He will strengthen me to live in it.

And at just the right angle, the retention pond could actually look like a lake.

Husband, Handlebars, Horses and Honest-to-Goodness Southern Seafood

David and I spent 2+ days in Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island for our anniversary. The days for me centered on four things: my husband, of course; handlebars (for alliteration purposes) of our tandem bicycle, on which we traveled many a mile; horses, which we rode down the beach via a stable called Kelly Seahorse Ranch; and lots of yummy, honest-to-goodness Southern seafood.

Husband: David is a really great guy. Of course, why else would I have married him? Not for his money, that’s for sure. We’re poor missionaries and don’t see that lifestyle ending anytime soon. He’s handsome, funny, caring. He’s a great dad–even by his 15-year-old’s estimation. That’s saying a lot. When his parents separated three years ago, he didn’t hesitate one bit in opening our home to his mom, even though it makes our eventual “empty nest” not so empty. He’s often putting others’ needs and desires above his own: the fact that we have any pets at all is testimony to that.

Handlebars: Many years ago, on a trip to South Africa, David and I came across a tandem bicycle for sale in a bicycle shop. Turns out, there’s a Peugeot bike factory in South Africa, so the cost was way cheaper than we could have gotten one for here in the States. Since then, we have enjoyed many hours as a tandem twosome. This trip was no different. Though we only had two full days, we spent several hours of that on our bike, enjoying a ride on the beach, through Fort Clinch State Park and along AIA in Fernandina Beach. David’s passion is cycling, and I enjoy it, too, so this was a fun activity for us both. We’ve had that bike longer than we’ve had kids!

Horses: Something I’ve always loved, for as long as I can remember, is horses I still hope to be able to get one some day, but that looks like another one of those dreams that’s going to stay just that: a dream. So when David asked me what i wanted to do and where I wanted to go for this getaway, my first response was, “I want to ride horses on the beach.” So I googled “horseback riding on the beach, Florida,” and got a hit for Kelly Seahorse Ranch.

This wasn't the actual horse I rode. My horse was named "Blaze" and was a wonderful russet color. But he wasn't out yet when we were allowed to take photos before the ride. This guy's pretty handsome himself, though.

This ranch offers the only on-beach horseback ride in the area, and possibly even the U.S. We had a great time with 3 other couples and 3 guides riding about 6 miles along the coastline on Amelia Island. David had been on a horse only once before, and that was just barely, and I only get to ride once every couple of years. Oh, how I would love to make it a regular event. Morgan, my 9-year-old, just started taking riding lessons, and I find myself envious at every lesson, wanting to join in. Ah well. Maybe someday. Thanks for the memories, Blaze.

Honest-to-goodness Southern Seafood: I didn’t take any food pictures, sorry to say, but we have so far enjoyed crab cakes, vegetables Southern style, which means squash casserole, broccoli rice casserole, cheese grits,  at a place called Barbara Jean’s, and dinner at the Marina Seafood Restaurant, where there was a live music event going on. As soon as I get this posted, we’re going to go have brunch at a place called Bright Mornings Café. I love eating out!

But soon we’re headed back to reality. School, work, cooking and cleaning await us. But so do our kids. Days away are a wonderful thing, but our reality isn’t so bad either.

Forgot to post my thankfulness list yesterday, so I’ll double up today:

72. anniversaries

73. my tandem bike

74. perfect weather

75. my texting girl who just randomly pops in to say “hey.”

76. someone else doing the cooking

77. our comfortable van