Posts Tagged ‘family’

Captain Dick

As I was writing the post about our trip to Holden Beach, I felt like I should explain a little more about my sweet uncle, Dick.  He is not a blood relative of mine, as he is married to my mother’s sister, but he certainly has always treated me as if we were.

He and my aunt met at Virginia Beach when he was in the Navy.  He later worked as an elementary school principal, and when I was younger, I remember thinking he must have been the nicest principal ever to exist.  I don’t know when it started, but at least all my life I’ve known this man to absolutely LOVE fishing.  I don’t know that I know of anyone who loves something so much as he loves to fish.

When I was growing up, our family would often rent a house at the beach for a week, and he’d go fishing all the time.  I have a very distinct memory, and it has to be one of my earliest ones because I had to be soooo young, of being at the beach and he and my dad and my brother and maybe another cousin and uncle or two were getting in the boat, and they were asking if I wanted to come.  I remember definitely NOT wanting to go, as I was scared of being in the boat in the water.  So, I stayed behind with my mom, and off they went fishing.  Each night, he’d cook the most delicious fish, crab, clams, whatever the day’s catch had been.  And french fries and hush puppies and oh my goodness, was it so yummy!

I don’t remember how old I was when my aunt and uncle bought their house at the lake, but I remember thinking how happy he must have been to be able to just walk through the backyard, jump in the boat, and go fishing whenever he wanted.

Sometimes, when we were younger, my brother and I’d stay at the lake with my aunt and uncle, and at night, he’d take us catfishing.  Well, sometimes both of us, but sometimes just me.  For a night owl like me, it was absolutely exhilarating.  Just the most fun.  After dinner, we’d go out in the boat, and he’d do all the work baiting the hooks and setting up our lines, and then we’d wait for the fish to bite.  There was lots of waiting.  We’d wait and sing.  “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”  Wait and talk.  He’d teach me things like which side of the boat was starboard and which side was port.  He’d ask me what I thought about different things.  We’d wait on the peaceful, quiet lake in the light of the moon and watch for those rods to dip enough to know we had a big one.  Jump up and grab the rod and set the hook and reel that fish in!  He’d do all the work, but he’d always let me reel.  That was the most fun and exciting part, after all.  Then, we’d wait for the next one.  Wait and just sit.  Wait and fall asleep on the front of the boat.  Ok, maybe that was just me.  But, he’d just let me sleep.  Some of my fondest memories though, fishing with my Uncle Dick.  There’s just something about watching someone else do something they love so much.  For them to share it with you is truly priceless.  He was just doing what he loved to do, but the fact that he chose to bring me along is something I will probably never forget.

After he retired, he could have been content to fish all day, but he wasn’t.  He got his Captain’s license.  This is a man who had once almost completed a PhD program, and he said the captain’s test was the hardest test he’s ever taken.

So, a few weeks ago when we were at Holden Beach, I was so excited for Jake to be able to come fishing with us so I could show off my sweet uncle in action.  It was only about the third time Jake’d ever been fishing, and his first time going in the ocean on a boat.  First time driving a boat, too.  Dick still did all the work baiting the hooks and setting up our lines, and I was just so proud as we waited for some fish to bite.  And then I caught the first fish.  And then we all took turns reeling them in.  I may have even fallen asleep on the boat on the way back home.  And Jake had a blast.

As much as Dick loves fishing, you’d think that’s all there was to him.  But, it isn’t.  He’s also an artist.  He paints beautiful watercolors, and can carve anything out of a piece of wood.  He absolutely loves animals.  He’s one of the funniest people I know.  He is one of those people that can say something funny with the straightest face.  I cannot imagine him angry or upset, though I’m told it has happened before.  He is just one of the sweetest, most patient people I know.


And Dick, if you’re reading this, I love ya!


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Holden Beach, NC

My aunt and uncle have had a beach house at Holden Beach, NC for years.  I can’t believe it, but I had never been to it until a month or so ago when my brother flew in from Phoenix to go spend a week with my mom, Jake, and me at a house we rented right down the street from theirs.

We spent lots of time just visiting with each other, shopping in nearby Southport, doing some knitting (well that was just me and Mom, but I finished a sweater that I’d been working on for forever!) and eating some of the best food ever.  We cooked dinner each night, but Sunday for lunch, my uncle Dick treated Jake and me to lunch at the Provision Co.  It was the perfect little waterfront beach restaurant.  I had conch fritters… yum!  And it was so good, my mom and I ate at the one in Southport later that week when we went shopping there.  We ate lots and lots of yummy seafood that week, and my brother, Max, treated us all to his specialty one night… jambalaya!  It was the first time I’d had it, and I must admit, it was pretty good.  We also got a bonus visit later in the week from my cousin and his girlfriend.

Max, Jake, and I bought fishing licenses early in the week so we could go fishing with my uncle.  The guy at the tackle shop was pretty grumpy about having to issue our licenses, and he explained that he only gets 6% of the $10 license fee.  And it took him a pretty significant amount of time to enter all of our information.  Jake was only able to stay through Tuesday, and about an hour and a half after he left the beach, Max and I realized he still had our licenses in his wallet where he’d put them for our fishing excursion.  So, I called him and asked him to mail them to us at my aunt and uncle’s house in case they’d get there quickly enough for us to use them at the end of the week.  After that, we just decided we’d go see what it cost to just have them reissued.  Turns out, the reissuance fee was $5, and the tackle shop guy must get a larger percentage of that, because he was infinitely happier to see us return.  All of that to say, we had a great time fishing with Uncle (Captain) Dick, and it was more than worth the extra expense.  Oh yeah, and I showed ’em all how it’s done and caught the first fish.  And our original fishing licenses arrived in the mail on Friday, our next to last day.

Before Jake left on Tuesday, we all had a little family photo shoot in an attempt to get a good shot for both my mom’s and our Christmas cards this year.  Some of the photos are hilarious, but could also be a you-had-to-be-there thing.  Anyway, we won’t share the Christmas card shots yet, but enjoy these other photos from our week at Holden.

From left to right is my aunt Becca, my mom, Max, me, Dick, and Jake:

A surprisingly good photo of the two of us:


Good times!  Anyone else out there ever been to Holden Beach?

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Whew.  Where did September go?

The past 8 weekends (and most of the weeks in between) have been go-go-go.  Nonstop.

Let’s see.  I’m gonna give you a rundown here, and then I’ll come back later with some picture posts about the highlights.

It all started Saturday, August 20th, with packing for a two-week work trip, which turned out to be quite eventful as mentioned here.  Then, spending all day that Sunday in the airport/on a plane just trying to get to DC.  Plane delays, plane changes, plane re-changes, etc.  Ugh.  Fun stuff.

So, then that Tuesday was the exciting earthquake you just read about if you clicked the above link.  Or if you read about it when I first wrote about it.  Then there was that weekend in DC, which was spent inside my hotel due to Hurricane Irene.  Literally.  Did not leave my hotel to see the light of day.  All weekend.  Ugh.

So, then the weekend of September 2nd, I returned home only to unpack, do laundry, and repack my stuff for the beach with Jake and the parents-in-law.  We headed down to Litchfield Beach, SC that Sunday for the week.

We returned home September 11th and spent a week at work before taking off to Lake Lure, NC for the weekend for a belated 30th birthday celebration for my BFFL, Mandy!  Really fun times!

Then, we spent one more week at work before heading back to the beach for the week with my mom and brother at Holden Beach, NC, where my aunt and uncle have a beach house.  We rented one just down the street from theirs, and we were able to visit with them and each other all week.  Expect posts soon with more about this trip and the one with the Sherberts that I mentioned above!

You’d think after that trip, we’d be settling in at home for a while… but oh, no!  The last and final weekend adventure took place this weekend… in Boone, NC where we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!  There will definitely be an upcoming post about this soon!  Check back soon for all the details.

You can see that whether the time was actually spent away, or was spent traveling back and forth for various trips, the past 8 weekends have been jam packed for me.  I currently have no plans this weekend, so look for me to stay in town, probably in my pajamas for the entire time.  Though, I may get out and enjoy some fall weather!  I LOVE this season!

What have you guys been up to lately?

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