My heart is breaking for those folks in North Carolina and South Carolina from the weather events of this past week. I have family that decided to ride out hurricane Florence in the Wilmington area, and they are, thankfully, safe. When I think about that specific locale, I have remembrance of a particular vacation that was spent there, just north of the North Carolina/South Carolina line. The week in Ocean Isle, North Carolina will always be remembered as a sweet time, spent with people who are a big chunk of my heart, my life; with one of them being someone that encouraged the vision I had as a young girl to dream and to write.
My cousin (Deb), who lives in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, had a friend with a beach house on Ocean Isle. He would allow her to borrow it from time to time. It was during one of these times that my mom and I met her, her mom (my aunt Vera) and my other aunt (my aunt Fran) there for the week. The beach house that we were staying in was surrounded by spacious decks that faced the canal connecting to the waterway on one side, with the beach about a block away on the other side. As I write this, I am hoping and praying that this beach house is still standing intact.
We had so much fun that week, we sat up and talked late into the night. We spent lazy hours on that beautiful deck sunning and reading. We played games. We went to the beach. We cooked and ate, a lot! Food was not lacking! We made our way down to North Myrtle Beach for the “required seafood restaurant” visit one day. One tradition, withstanding to this day, that came from this vacation, was the phrase, “I’m going to put drops in my eyes.” Well, after a couple of days, I believe that we learned that was the signal that my mom was going to take a nap. It was just an idyllic beach vacation with the perfect mix of everything! The best part was just the time spent together.
I did not live close to my two aunts, my dad’s sisters, so I did not get to spend a lot of time with them. I cherish them both, but it somehow worked out that I was able to spend more time with my aunt Vera. As far as I was concerned, she was as beautiful as a movie star, and definitely as graceful as one! She was one of the most treasured people in my life. She was such a genteel, classy, lady. She was sweet, fun, funny and someone you just wanted to be around. I remember one summer, as a thirteen year old, I got to spend nearly a whole month with her. It was precious, quality time spent together. Our main activities that summer were watching the western, Big Valley, every morning, the Watergate investigation coverage in the afternoon, and reading… lots of reading!
“Doesn’t sound very interesting to me.” you say? That’s OK. The most significant thing from that time spent with her was her encouragement of my interest and desire to write. She inspired me to continue to dream, and she encouraged me to always read and learn and gain knowledge and never stop growing. We spent a lot of time each day reading. She had all different types of reading materials to choose from, a great variety. She was a reader, and a writer also. She let me read a story that she had written. I believe the title of it was “A Hog Killing,” or possibly, “The Hog Killing.” It was a stark tale about the reality of life as a child in Appalachia in the 1930s and 40s.
That spark of desire I had to write was fanned into a flame during those weeks spent with her. It has continued to burn bright, sometimes hot and sometimes not so hot; but the desire has never left me. Sometimes I find it hard to get down to the writing process. Writer’s block is a frequent visitor lately; I sit and look at blank pages and nothing will come; but once I push past initial distractions, I find myself lost in the process; and I can stay lost in the process for hours, which is really not good for my vision issue. Pacing myself is something I have never really been very good at. I am an “all or nothing” kind of girl!
I am still trying to establish a writing schedule that works for me. I try to keep regular times of waking and going to bed, a plan to allow rest and promote creativity. The issue seems to be that my creativity flows at night and I find myself staying up late, but still getting up early. (Well, early by my standards people!) I am sure I am going to have to find a better balance there somehow.
I truly believe that this is the season that God has me in right now, a creative phase. I am trying to honor Him and keep going, slowly at times, but still moving in a forward direction. I have a couple of different projects that I am working on, other than my blog. There is a novel I have been working on for years, (more like tinkering with,) and an encouraging devotional book that I am trying to piece together from various devotions and other pieces that I have written.
Well, I am definitely not a young girl any longer, but what I can still clearly see is the vision of myself, pen in hand, head down and mind spinning! I am encouraged each day to wake up and know that I have been blessed to be able to live out my dream, not in a manner I would have ever chosen, but in the way that God has orchestrated.
I will take it, and make the best of it!
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ~ ESV)