It's nice to be home. I wonder if it was all a dream... Four whole days of doing absolutely nothing except what we wanted to and whatever came next - naps, food, walks, food, naps, walks, more food. A full day of driving Monday the 20th and we found our little house on the beach fine, just after dark, but we could hear the surf. Fort Morgan Road and the condos and homes lining both sides are losing beach with every storm, though. It's narrower than 2005 when we were there. Amy slept and slept and slept. She said it was great not to have to listen for the phone in case of call-out for her funeral home duties! Next door, for 3 1/2 days, a worker used a front-end loader to scoop sand from beneath that house where it had blown and washed up from the fall's storms. He took load after load to build an ever-widening embankment in front of the house. By the time we left, it was a fairly wide barrier against high tides and rains. He said they couldn't put the sand back down on the beach itself because it was contaminated from the storms - probably glass, debris - and would be unsafe.
Tuesday - the sunniest, warmest day. Nice enough to get our feet in the water. Oscar loved the sand and rooted like a little pig! We didn't shop, except for groceries. We didn't eat out except twice and the same place both times! But it was good. We "toured" the Dearborn Battery just before you drive on out to the Dauphin Island Ferry and the fort (Ft. Morgan) itself. This was on Tuesday, the warmest day, and we all got prickly hot and prickly from little stickers that hurt like anything to pull off. Amazingly, our shoes got way more of these than Oscar's tail or face. Paul got one bad one from O's paw, but he was okay. We didn't make it back to the fort again without O, so we didn't tour it. We also drove down the "condo strip" in Gulf Shores itself and there are so many more that have been built back since the hurricanes four years ago which practically leveled everything on that side of the bay.
Wednesday - cloudy and windy. Good naps, raising the windows and letting the bay breezes flow through the house. We ate lunch at Lambert's in Foley. This was Paul's birthday, too! And Mama Nick's. David called to wish Paul a happy birthday, and Paul called his mother.
Thursday - cloudy, windy and lots of rain. We went back to Gulf Shores and to the movie. We saw "Secret Life of Bees," and it was good. Sher arrived around 10:00 after driving in the pouring rain from south of Columbus. Oscar and Bailey got along well until it came to putting O's food on the floor. So he didn't eat much the last couple of days - I had to "hide" the food. And he didn't eat much while riding, so he ate much less than we did! Driving down and back home, he found his sweet spot in my lap and slept!
Friday - Amy, Sher and I didn't get dressed till around 3 or 4, just napped, sat around reading or staring at the waves. Paul drove to town to walk around in Lowe's, just to get out and "make a block," as he calls it. We got ready to meet Melanie, Kevin, Nate, and Jordan at Lambert's. They all spent the night afterward. Nate has grown so much in a year! And he is still the prettiest little boy! Beautiful eyes and such a sweet smile! After Thursday's rain we could see just how fragile the coastline is - water was under one of the houses a way down from us; it was situated nearer the water anyway, but it was "sitting" in the water. It had all receded or soaked in by Friday evening and the house was at the water's edge again.
Saturday - packing and getting ready to leave. How did we take so much stuff? We always do. Sher went on to Pensacola with her family. The sun was up and the day clear and a pod of dolphins put on a great show for us! As many pictures as I made (on rapid exposure, even) I think all that is visible are tiny dots in the water, and only one dot at a time, when for several yards we could see as many as five or six surfacing and diving!
Saturday we finally got everything back in the truck and we all left about 9:00. We missed our direction to go NW on 98 and were driving SW on I-10 when Paul and I both realized we shouldn't be seeing Pascagoula signs! We got to Moss Point before getting to a highway to go north. We drove through a National Forest and preserve for miles and the smart Chevy beeped at us and let us know we had 3 gallons of gas! Thankfully, there is a little crossroads called Bendale, MS, where we filled up. We were low on gas because Paul had put in just enough to get us back to Hattiesburg for the cheap gas ($2.229!). But we didn't mind paying $2.799 in the middle of nowhere!
So much to do this afternoon and don't even want to get started. Clothes still to unpack, clothes to fold. A book to finish reading... A nap to take... But Monday looms...
At Lambert's - plenty of food and the home of "Throwed Rolls!"
Looking out to sea.