Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Everyone's Got A Story; And Where I Was When I Wasn't Here

I've been gone for a while. Apologies on that! Maybe I should have posted that I was taking a blog break, but I really did think I'd get around to writing!  Instead of writing, though, last week I was here:

Yeah, hate me all you want. Six days of blissfully warm, breezy Florida air, the sound of waves crashing at my feet, my toes dug in the velvet-soft sand, three great books.

The family got up every morning and swam laps in the pool, ate a leisurely lunch at a great hamburger place, then headed out to the beach where we surfed, swam, and read great books. I managed to polish off three novels while looking at this scene; not a bad way to both relax AND do school work! After showers, we sat on a wide deck watching the sunset, listening to live music, and eating dinner.

Did I say BLISS??

After a summer of trying to balance cramming in my school work with enjoying time with the kiddos, it was great to be a part of this:

My oldest and youngest got attacked by sharks...

 My daughter ran into trouble with a swordfish...

We saw lots of pelicans hunting for food...

And my awesome husband wrote me messages in the sand...

I didn't realize how stressed I was until I was there, no laundry to do, no dishes to clean, no decisions to make other than what to order off the menu. I could stay up late, sleep in late, have no agenda. 

It's not the way I could live forever - I like a scheduled life - but for a week, it was exactly what I needed. I came back eager to dive back into writing.

Before we barely got settled in at home, though...


I know, this is old news by now, and most of you have heard about this and a lot of you felt it too. We live not very far from the epicenter, though, and as it was my kids' first memory of an earthquake, it made the day quite exciting.

We felt the initial 5.9 quake as well as all the aftershocks (which so far total four), none of which were dramatic beyond "Hey, the house is shaking!" I do admit I laughed a bit at all the people running OUT of the buildings (you aren't supposed to run outside in an earthquake, people) and screaming (What is this, war of the worlds??). When you've lived in California long enough, you realize this kind of earthquake is not a panic-inducing moment.

But most people here have never been in an earthquake, and everyone wants to talk about it. Where they were. What they were doing. What they thought it was. Everyone. The news is full of them. Twitter and facebook are full of them. The store clerks, the doctors, the people in the parking lots.

Everyone has a story, and everyone wants to tell it.

Which I love. Aren't we all, to some extent, born storytellers? How cool is it, then, to be able to make your living doing just that!  I think we writers are the luckiest people on earth!


  1. I agree. I feel lucky to write! Your pictures look so bright and beautiful! Sounds like such a great time.

  2. We had a 5.5 here a few weeks ago and it didn't even make the news . . . so yeah, I had to laugh a little at that one.

    Wow. Florida looks AMAZING. Never been, just the airport on my way further south.

    I really need some bright sun and sand. Sounds awesome :D

  3. Your daughter's face on the surfer is priceless! I'm happy to hear you had a well-deserved, refreshing holiday. Yes, we are all story-tellers. I recently was reminded it is important to know there is a story behind the story behind the story behind the story. Stories at face value are just the tip, and may even be masking the truth, like the earth shaking. What is really going on under the ground?

  4. Hi, Heidi. I found you on Lynn's blog. I, too, am a writer from CA, transplanted to IL twelve years ago.

    Loved the photos of your vacation and your take on the earthquake.


  5. Good for you! Glad you got to relax. My favorite line was that the only decision was what to order off the menu....for a mom that is a big one!! LOL Food is so yummy when someone else makes it and brings it to you!

    I wish I could have felt the earthquake! Never experienced that! :)

  6. Ha, ha! You only missed a week of blogging without telling your lovely readers. I missed, like EIGHT! I'm a horrible blogger! But like you, I really didn't anticipate my life would get so busy and that I wouldn't find the time to write posts.

    And yes, I hate you. (JK!!!) That view is AMAZING!!! Ahhhh, the joys of summer.

  7. I love Heidi the Hick's comment! Todd really is Da Man with that heart. How about he gives John and Randy a call? He could give a tutorial :)