Outer Banks Vacation, Thursday

I made coffee this morning. Actual coffee, not coffee-flavored water. So much better.

Adam rode down to Avon this morning. It was quite the ride, apparently. He learned he is faster than IndyCar driver Sage Karam.

We all drove down to the Hatteras Island Lighthouse around noon. You can’t go in the lighthouse due to Covid, but you can still walk around and look at it. And the gift shop was open, so Emma and Adam each bought books by local authors.

Lunch was at a little Mexican place in Avon called La Fogatta. I ordered a margarita that I’m pretty sure didn’t have any alcohol in it.

We took a siesta after lunch, then down to the beach. The zucchini were still there. Weird.

We ate a random assortment of leftovers for dinner, then hung out on the upper deck for a nice long time.

Around sunset, we all headed north to Nags Head. We had reservations for a moonlight kayak tour through OBX Kayak Adventures. Sofia rode with me, Emma rode with Michael, and Adam had a kayak to himself. It was a long hour and a half, but it was fun. I tried to take several pictures, but none turned out.

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We had vacation cake back home, then went to bed.

Outer Banks Vacation, Wednesday

It stormed most of Tuesday night into Wednesday, which made for cool views from the third floor windows. It was still raining when we awoke.

Michael and I had coffee for the first time since Sunday, barely. I messed up how many tablespoons needed to go in and way undershot it, so it was more like coffee flavored water. I’ll do better tomorrow. We played Dutch Blitz while waiting for everyone else to get up.

Once it eventually stopped raining, Michael and I went for a walk along the beach. The air was nice and cool, which made the water feel strangely warm.

After the walk, we all five went to Kitty Hawk Kites which is a large local store specializing in water sports and clothing. The girls and I picked out sweatshirts we liked, but the boys didn’t buy anything. There was a restaurant upstairs called Good Winds and we had lunch there. It was pretty good.

We took a short nap when we got home, then we four Florys went to the beach. Sofia hurts from her sunburn two days ago, so she stayed in her dress and just went for a walk with Michael and Emma along the shoreline. I defended our belongings from the high tide and tried to figure out why someone brought and left two large squashes on the beach.

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When their walk was finished, Sofia went back to the house, Emma read on the beach, and Michael sunbathed. He is determined to be tan when we leave. It isn’t going to happen.

Back at the house, the four of us played a game called Sushi Go. It was “Forced Family Fun Time,” as Emma called it.

We stayed in for dinner tonight and made tacos. They were okay. It was a nice family time with the five of us.

Adam and I went for a walk on the beach. Actually he left first and I left about five minutes later, but I caught him as he was on his way back.

As the sun was setting, Adam, Michael, Sofia, and I went back to the beach one more time. Sofia wanted to stand at the water’s edge and Adam wanted to swim. It was a nice way to end the day.

Outer Banks Vacation, Tuesday

Everyone got up relatively early on Tuesday.  Adam beat us all by getting up at 5:00 to watch the sunrise from the beach.  He went for a bike ride down NC-12 nearly to Avon a little later in the morning.

Michael, the girls, and I slept until 7:45, which is still pretty early for most of us.  Michael and the girls got dressed and ready and drove up to Nags Head to a ropes course called First Flight Adventure.  They climbed around on a ropes course for two hours while the heat index hovered around 100.  It was fun, they said, but very hot.

Me? I stayed in the house and did homework like a good girl.  I did a lot of homework, though, so it was worth it.  Besides, I don’t do heights, and ropes courses are all suspended at different levels.

We all met up for lunch in the town of Manteo at the Lost Colony Brewery.  Adam and I got there way before Michael and the girls, so we ordered an appetizer.  I swear, the staff wanted to make us move because the rest of our party had not arrived.  I was relieved when they finally did, despite the fact that they were a sweaty mess.

After lunch we went back to the house for some well-earned rest.  And showers.

At about 3:30 we got the girls out of bed (they weren’t sleeping anyway) and went down to the beach for about an hour.  Emma went from not wanting to go to claiming she was having a moderately good time to describing the hour as pleasurable by the end.  Teenagers.

Michael, Adam, and I made a grocery run down to Avon, which has the nearest actual grocery store.  The guys forgot their facemasks, though, so I shopped on my own.  While I was inside buying food, they decided they wanted to order takeout for dinner.  Boys.  So despite the fact that we had already eaten out once, we ordered food from Dirty Dick’s Crab House, located conveniently in the Food Lion parking lot.  It was 8:00 by the time we got home with the food, but the girls were troopers about it.

After dinner we ate vacation cake (freshly purchased!) and watched part of X-men: Apocalypse.  I mostly slept through it.

 

Outer Banks Vacation, Part 1

Normally, I blog each day of a vacation.  I can’t put my finger on why I haven’t so far this trip.  Maybe it is because it has been so laid back that I haven’t felt there was much so say?  I don’t know.

Anyway, we are in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and having a great time.  This is kind of a different trip because my brother, Adam, is with us.  This is the second time he has vacationed in OBX with us.

We left early Saturday and drove nine and a half hours to Asheboro, NC. where my cousin Amy and my Uncle Tom live.  Adam met us there shortly after we arrived.  We had pizza and a delicious mint chocolate chip dessert that Amy made.  It was so great to catch up with them and see all of the improvements that they have made together on Amy’s townhome.

Sunday we had another great meal with Amy and Uncle Tom, then left midmorning for a brief stop in Holly Springs, NC.  One of my best friends from college, Sara, and her family live there, and I had made a quilt for her new baby boy.  It had been nearly a decade since Sara and I were together, so that was time well spent.

Then began the long remainder of the journey to OBX.  I don’t know why that three and a half hours felt so long, but it really did.  Michael rode with Adam.  The girls and I listened to the entire “Hamilton” soundtrack and then they watched an episode of “Sherlock”.  We drove over many looooooong bridges, which made me nervous because I don’t like bridges.  One of them was in a storm, so that was extra fun.

Sunday evening was spent unpacking and organizing the house before going out to the beach for some well-earned fun.  The girls would run down to the shoreline and stop right as a wave came in.  We stayed down there until sunset.

Monday was spent on the beach.  Very much on the beach.  It was fun, but everyone but Michael managed to get rather painfully sunburned, despite several coatings of sunscreen.  The girls played on their body boards, but I could not convince them to actually go out into the water and use them properly.  They feel the safest at the shoreline.  They buried Michael in sand up to his neck, and Emma looked for seashells.

Dinner Monday night was from a local place called Top Dog.  They are only doing carry out, as are most of the local eateries.  It was good, though.

Year Three in Fort Wayne

Today marks our third year in Fort Wayne.

Things continue to go well in the Fort. Emma and Sofia had good years in school, despite the weirdness of online school for the last two months of the year. I feel like they adjusted well to it, for which I largely credit Michael. He was a solid resource for them in their daily learning. Much more than I was. We still don’t know what the upcoming school year looks like, but I know they will both cope as well as they can.

Michael has also worked from home since March. He still has regular meetings with people on a weekly basis over the phone or computer. The college still needs numbers analyzed, which he is still happy to do.

Maybe the thing that has changed the least is my job. My schedule has remained the same through it all. Things have definitely been more stressful at the hospital due to the pandemic, but we manage. People still get sick and injured, and we still take care of them. Life carries on.

I think that is one of the things I have been particularly cognizant of over the last three years: life carries on. We did not expect to live in Indiana, and we never even considered Fort Wayne. We thought we would stay in Kentucky with our friends forever, I guess.

When that plan changed, we thought we would go out and change the world in our own little way from a foreign country. We thought we would raise two little multi-cultural girls who would be world-wise and emotionally acclimated wherever we ended up.

When that plan changed too, we were at a total loss. Then Fort Wayne happened, and it happened quickly. Michael’s job, the move, my jobs…they all happened so quickly and seamlessly that we knew they had to be right. We had plenty of growing pains once we got here, but we worked together through them all.

Despite all we felt like we had lost, life carried on. We found new blessings in life in all of the usual places: schools, jobs, pets, family. Everything changed, and we changed with it. We aren’t the same people who left Frankfort. We’ve all four grown more confident and self-assured. We’ve matured, all of us.

I don’t know what year four in Fort Wayne will look like. Whatever the case, we’ll carry on together.

A Hospital Fourth of July

In retrospect, it was probably doomed from the start to be a bad night. It was a Saturday, which is generally our busiest night. It was the Fourth of July, which always sees higher rates of fun-gone-wrong ER visits than normal. It was a full moon. And there was a brief lunar eclipse, for what that’s worth.

Fireworks with Full Moon by I'll Never Grow Up |

I was resigned when I started work at 7 pm that it was going to be busy. I just didn’t realize how busy.

I had received 20 pages by 11 pm, which is unheard of. I probably ended somewhere in the 30’s.

I was called to a code blue, a spiritual visit with a teary family member, several fireworks-related accidents, multiple cardiac arrests, a victim of violence, and someone hit by a car, among the many.

I was also called to bedside for 7 deaths.

For five straight hours, I was in the ER scrambling with seemingly everyone else in the hospital. The trauma team, on-call ortho PA, and x-ray technicians went from room to room. The lab technicians who draw blood went to every room, sometimes multiple times. Security was in and out as they went to the roof to escort multiple helicopter crews to and from the ER. The nurses and doctors were literally running with every page. For five straight hours, I ran with them.

At one point I heard a frenzied lab technician on her phone requesting backup. “The pager keeps going off, and I can’t keep up. I can’t do this alone,” she said. I understood how she felt.

Taking a cue from her, I grabbed my phone and called my boss. “It’s insane here,” I told her. “Here’s what has already come in, and here is what the pager says is on the way.”

“What do you need?” she asked.

I hesitated. I knew she would come if I asked.

“Actually, what I really need is prayer,” I told her. I knew she would just as happily pray as she would come in. And at that moment, I probably needed prayer as much as I needed backup.

There are times when I feel totally incapable of praying, and this was one of them. I couldn’t have strung together coherent words for a prayer if I had tried. Not that God needs us to be coherent in order to know what we need. He knows what we need better than we do. I couldn’t even come up with what I needed prayer for. Me? The patients? My coworkers? All of us?

Asking for prayer involves trust. We have to trust that the other person will not only do it, but that they will know what to pray for. What is really cool is when God leads them to pray in ways we had not even thought of. I don’t know what Lydia prayed, but I know I felt better knowing that she was.

When my replacement chaplain arrived in the morning, I filled her in on my night. “You know you could have asked for help!” she said more than once.

I did. I asked for prayer.