After a few days of being generally down in the dumps and homesick, I have had a day of renewed joie de vivre (so to speak.)  It’s days like today that remind me how incredibly priviledged I am to be living on this island.  Today, instead of feeling like I want to go home, I felt like, “Man, how lucky am I to be able to call this place home?”  I still miss all my friends and my life in NC terribly, but today, for a change, my heartache did not cloud my ability to see how beautiful life here is as well.  I know that not everyday here will be so perfect, but for now, I’m going to hold on to today’s feeling for as long as possible.

Why was today so worthy of an Oprah-style gratitude journal entry?  Let me count the ways…

  • Weather:  74 degrees and sunny.  Slight ocean breeze.  Absolute perfection.
  • Kids:  at school.  ’nuff said there.
  • Husband:  at home.  Had the day off, and had him all to myself!
  • At around 9 am or so, we decided to head up to the beach for some surf fishing.  I’m not much of a fisherwoman, but I am not one to pass up the chance to sit my butt on the beach all day.  I had no other obligations, no pressing business, and the house was clean.  I could plant my rear-end in a beach chair with no guilt.  That right there is enough to make me feel all’s right in the world.
  • We planted two surf rods, two beach chairs and two butts in those chairs and got down to the business of catching lunch (and in my case, some wicked sunburn.  I’m an idiot.)  There’s something quite zen, maritally speaking, about seeing my husband so relaxed and doing something he so loves.  Watching him handle the “dirty work” of fishing–hooking the bait, for example–and then cast out to sea, well, is it weird to find that sort of sexy?  He is just so serene when he’s fishing, and well, if you know my husband, serenity is far from his natural state.  So I just love to see him so tranquil and happy.  He’s not one to sit still for any long periods of time, unless there is a fishing rod involved.  When he’s waiting for the “big one”, he’ll sit there for hours, contemplating the waves, giving the fishing line an occasional glance and just “being”.  When he sees the signs–sudden jerking of the rod (oh that sounds naughty), the reel running and the rod bending–he springs into action and the fight for a fish begins.  What had been a feeling of tranquility gives way to the rush of adreneline while he struggles against the surf to pull in the unseen victim.  We are now tense while we wait to see the catch, but it’s a good kind of tension.  We pray it isn’t just seaweed teasing us, or some other undesirable sea creature.  Booyah!  It’s a nice sized bluefish!  LUNCH!  It may sound ridiculous to some people, but there is quite a thrill in this hurry-up-and-wait sport of surf fishing.  I get double the thrill because I get to watch my husband at his joyful best.  What’s doubly cool is that unlike a lot of men who go fishing to escape their wives, my husband actually invites, and allegedly enjoys the company of his wife.  It makes me feel good to know that he truly wants me to be there and it’s fun for me take part in an activity he really loves.  (Plus, obviously I am his fishing good luck charm…)

  • I decided to park in my chair for a bit and enjoyed another blissful moment in my day as I got to have an oceanside coffee klatch with my best pal from back home (the NC one).  I contemplated the incredible fact that I get better cell phone service at ocean’s edge than I did in my own house back home.  It felt great to catch up with her–miss you Miss Colleen!
  • Watched Matt reel in a kingfish, and then in quick succession, 3 more bluefish.  Thought there should be a trophy for this.
  • Was convinced that I should try my hand at reeling in the next catch (because clearly we were on a roll.)  Now there is a big difference between getting a thrill watching someone reel in a fish and actually doing it yourself.  Watching from a distance?  Cool.  Eating the catch of the day?  No prob.  But pulling in my own food from its watery home…um…ew.  I can’t watch when Matt does all the hooking/unhooking/nitty gritty icky stuff.  Once the fish is on the beach I have to avert my eyes.  Damn things are still kicking and screaming and struggling to breathe.  But did I want to feel the thrill of pulling on that line and reeling in the poor sucker?  Hell yeah!  Got me a couple too.  Got a nice tricep and forearm workout in the process.  But like I said, once poor Nemo hit the sand, I threw it to Matt.  Idiot had to tell me that I hooked one guy in the eyeball…ewww!  I’m running home to weep and Google “Can fish feel pain?”   I got over it though.

After 5 sun-drenched hours on the beach the end result was a terrific day of fun, bonding and sport.  Oh, and this:

And better yet, this:

Somewhere in between all this, I also fit in some magazine reading, some bike-riding, some beachcombing with the girls (who also got to try their hands at reeling in a couple fish.  All told, we caught over 25 fish total today!  I swear!  We just didn’t keep ’em all. Blues don’t taste good after they’ve been frozen and we weren’t planning a fish fry for the block.  But see?  Me=good luck charm.)  We ate the heck out of that fish tonight.  Not only do I have a hunter/gatherer/fisherman husband, but he cooks too!  Believe me, I will NEVER take that for granted.

To put a perfect end to a perfect day, I am sitting here eating a bowl of pumpkin-pie flavor Rita’s water ice.  Holy goodness.  Can life get better than this?!