Our past week was hours and hours of blissful nothing-ness, followed by 24 hours of exhausting excitement. We headed up to Ocean Park, WA (just north of Long Beach, WA) when Carson was done with school last Friday. Elaine’s parents have a timeshare there and had invited us to join them for the week. With absolutely no agenda in mind we did almost nothing all week outside of playing, swimming and watching a bit too much Aloha Scooby-Doo. Although the weather was actually much better than we expected, and the hotel is only a couple blocks from the sand, we only found our way to the beach a couple times for some sand castle construction and kite flying. Mainly we made multiple trips to the pool each day, although we also explored the army battery at Fort Columbia and flew gliders off the top of the Astoria column one day as well.
Probably the best part of that time (no offense to Scott) was when Scott had to come back home to work Monday-Wednesday and I got some good one-on-one time with the boys. It seems I always walk away from these times with the same take-aways (so one might think I would learn), but I’m always amazed at how grown up they’ve become since the last time I interacted with them sans Scott. Carson desperately wants more responsibility than I’ve been giving him. When I forgot something in our room and already had the kids buckled in before I remembered I asked him if they would be OK while I ran back inside. “Can I be in charge?” he asked. “Sure”, I replied, “you’re in charge.” He BEAMED. When I returned he was standing next to Nolan caressing his head. “Mom, I took off my buckles, but only because Nolan was crying for you and I thought it would help if I gave him his blanket and held his hand.” Seriously? Is this my kid? From then on whether it was going from our room down the hall to Poppy & Nonna’s room, getting himself dressed or clearing the dishes, Carson was “in charge”. By the end of the week he was getting around the entire complex by himself, and doing exactly what I asked when he arrived, whether it was calling to say he made it or waving from the balcony.
So let’s call that part “Phase 1”.
“Phase 2” began at 3:37 Friday morning when the phone rang in our room. It was a reverse-911 call notifying us that a tsunami advisory had been issued for the coast of Washington and we were being advised to evacuate. We had watched some of the first footage from the Japanese earthquake before heading for bed Thursday night, so we basically knew what was going on, but flipped on the news to see what they were thinking might hit our coast. It soon became clear they were predicting a 1-2’ surge in area where we were, but were saying 2-3’ at Astoria and Seaside, which were on our way home. Scott & I talked and decided we would be fine if we stayed at the hotel, but acknowledged that we might have trouble getting home if something larger did hit in the other towns. Soon more calls were coming from my parents asking what our plans were, and the hotel management making sure we had received the tsunami advisory information and asking if we were planning to leave. It soon became clear we would not be getting any more sleep as everyone waited for 7:12 – the time the first surge was supposed to hit Long Beach. Although our hotel was only two blocks from the beach, it sits on a hill and we soon learned it was the local evacuation site, which meant the parking lot filled up with cars, trucks and RVs as people moved up from the shore. Fire personnel and a county sheriff walked around to answer any questions. The gas was turned off which meant no fireplaces, laundry or swimming while we waited. We found out later this was standard practice as all the restaurants we drove past on the way out were also closed. As it turned out, nothing visible really ever came of the tsunami in our area. Incredibly interesting experience though.
The beginning of “Phase 3” popped into Scott’s email around 6am while we awaited the outcome of the tsunami advisory. Scott’s brother, Chris was headed to the hospital with his wife, Tia. Our new nephew was about to be born!! Since we were already in Washington, and already packed, we decided to head north instead of south on the way out. Once we established that nothing was going to be splashing in from the ocean, we took off for Kirkland, where we arrived just a little over an hour before little Casey Patrick came into the world at 4:24pm. The boys were thrilled to meet their new cousin, and Carson was VERY interested in everything. He watched Casey’s first bath, first diaper, talked about the umbilical cord and even held him at just over an hour-old. We went back over to Chris and Tia’s to let the kids play for a while and then (finally!) headed home.
We arrived at the farm just past 1AM
where we found (Phase 4) two new baby lambs! Our second ewe had finally had her lambs sometime between Wednesday night when Scott left and the wee hours of Saturday morning when we returned home. (From the activity level, we’re guessing Wednesday night or Thursday.)
So that’s about all the excitement we can take for a while. Part of me wishes all the excitement had come at the beginning of the vacation so we had the rest of the week to recover, but life never seems to work that way! It was a great week though – huge THANKS to mom and dad for the room, PRAYERS for everyone who was affected by the earthquake & tsunamis and huge CONGRATULATIONS to Chris & Tia on their new baby. More pictures of the week are posted here.