Sunday, August 3, 2008
Sunday and Related Musings
This morning, Hank and I decided that we'd go to church at Fair Haven United Methodist. This turned out to be a good move on a many levels -- it's a tiny church, very friendly, with a pastor who sleeps in a camper behind the church on weekends. The choir was six sopranos and a baritone who never moved his lips, but the service was wonderful. I've missed a lot of church lately, so it felt great to be there.
We couldn't help but notice, though, that everybody in the congregation, nearly, was a Midgett, a Gray, or an O'Neal. Sometimes they have names like Midgett O'Neal, or, alas, Gray Midgett. Apparently you have to be very careful who you marry around here, because all the locals are related on some level. Well, for years before the Herbert C. Bonner bridge connected Hatteras Island to the rest of the world, this was a tiny, tiny village. The nearest town of any size was Manteo, a 45 minute boat ride away on a good day. On a bad day, the boat didn't run at all. On a really terrible day, it ran one way and people got stuck in Manteo overnight.
Rodanthe is bigger now, of course, but it's maxed out at small, instead of tiny. A perched water table kind of limits how big one can get.
After church, we stopped at the coffee shop, which also sells beads (how perfect is that?) Before ten thirty we'd had church and a chai latte.
Today was a great beach day -- warm but not hot, and the waves were just the way I like them -- flat. Even I went playing in the ocean. The surfer girls were a bit disappointed, but the truth is, they love the ocean so much, it doesn't matter what they do there. They may be almost 22, but they play the same way they always have. Hank went up to Pea Island to see several of his friends who summer here, and came back to report a pod of about 20 dolphins that rollicked in the surf for everyone's amusement.
Hank and I spent the later part of the afternoon sitting in chairs just above the tide line, watching plovers hunt for coquina clams and mole crabs in the surf. Plovers are such endearing little birds -- they chase the waves down the beach, running like crazy, and then stab their heads into the sand up to their eyeballs. They never manage to get bowled over by the waves, either. Watching them is a kind of hypnosis. We came back to the house with the clamor in our brains significantly reduced.
It's been a bird-intensive day. This evening we watched herons and egrets stalking dinner in the sound. The water was so still, the birds looked like they were standing on a mirror. Hard to believe the difference between today and yesterday.
Sarah and Jeff made chicken fritters and stacked tomato salad for dinner, with asparagus on the side. It was fabulous. We had invited John, and when he came, he brought his "show and tell" piece -- a bronze sculpture of an acrobat. He also had part of the clay model for the sculpture and a wax cast of the piece he's currently working on, so we all got a hands-on lesson in lost-wax sculpture. Much laughter and a long dinner watching the sun set.
I've also been instructed to say that we had a red-letter occurrance, in that a team of Sarah, Jeff, Suzanne, and Trey beat Hank, Chip, and me at Trivial Pursuit, the Millennium Edition. It was a close-run thing, though, and I want to say in our defense that none of us were alive when the IRS changed tax day from March 15 to April 15.
Now we're hauling up on midnight, the kids are out chasing ghost crabs, and I'm seriously thinking about bed. Tomorrow I may dump the water out of the SS Diet Dew and paddle out to the barge.