Drops of Summer [weekend in pictures]

This weekend, we took full advantage of the beautiful city where we live and this fleeting time of year in which we find ourselves…

And when I say we took full advantage, I mean we squeezed out the last few drops of summer like water on the parched roots of a flower in the desert. 

Don’t get me wrong: I see you guys who are already pulling out your scarves and boots, and I’m all for scarves and boots.  And, truly, I am super excited about football this fall.  Especially three games in particular that are on our schedule: one high school, one college, and one pro.  It’s just that, it’s hard to let go of summer when you live in a coastal town… And something about the past couple weeks has had me hanging on tight.

This weather has been drop-dead gorgeous.  Warm enough to enjoy the outdoor luxuries of an Indian summer, but with low humidity and low crowds.

I’ll take it.

With no travel plans, no company, and relatively little on our calendars, Trey and I had a rare weekend of date nights and just-becauses and conversations that seem to get put to the side during the flurry of a busy week.  (Including but not limited to: plans for selling our condo and next steps after that, game plan for funding our adoption, and more.)

I just can’t get over how blessed we were to have even such a small span of time to enjoy and appreciate the season we’re in to the fullest — and not just season of year, but season of life…

On Friday, my day off, I went for a run at the beach.  This came after doing a little errand running, returning, and home cleaning.  (Trey and I have discovered that my Fridays are a lot like his Sundays: We get a lot accomplished when the other one is working!)

It was a beautiful September day.  I decided to forgo the usual “loop” and wind down through the beach houses on South Lumina before picking out a nice place to put my running shoes in the sand…

My little trail up to the beach during my run.

Little trail up to the beach.

It was a perfect Friday for a run!

The "road" ahead.

The open “road.”

That night, when Trey got home from work, we took part of our list of “things to discuss” and had a great, low-key dinner downtown at one of our favorite spots.

Front Street Brewery

Front Street Brewery

With bellies full, it felt way too pleasant outside to go straight home, so we went for a walk by the river to enjoy the water and the scenic, historic downtown that we love.

Water Street, downtown

Water Street, downtown

We heard a group nearby, singing and playing, and decided to check them out.  We enjoyed them so much, we had to stick around and listen for a while.  These guys were so good!  If you’re into the folksy-bluegrass sound, check them out at http://www.soundcloud.com/look_homeward and given them a listen.  (If you’re a fan of the Avett Brothers, you will love!)  Awesome, spontaneous concert — and free!

The band, Look Homeward

The band: Look Homeward

The next day on Saturday, Trey and I went down to help serve some meals at the weekly feeding program run by our church. This ministry typically serves around 100-125 people every Saturday.  It’s a real blessing to serve alongside others at our church, as well as to have the guests recognize you and have conversations with them.  I always think of the book “Same Kind of Different As Me” when you see so many different people coming to get a meal, with so many varying stories and situations.  There is no one stereotypical way a person ends up hungry and/or homeless.  We’re all broken in some way, and it’s a blessing to serve them, both with physical and spiritual nourishment.  Definitely a highlight of the weekend.

That afternoon, a lazy day off that’s one in a million, I made it out to the pool for the last… pool day… of… the summer…  (Can you tell I’m not ready to let go?!)  Our pool closes in October, and I could not believe the warm, sunny send-off it held.  I often invite friends to hang out with me here (when we all have a chance), but I have to admit, being the introvert that I am, being alone does not seem lonely, and those rare moments of a couple hours to myself in order to “recharge” do not feel unproductive…

Glory. Pure glory.

Glory. Pure glory.

That night, we went out to dinner again, this time on the beach side of town.  (Just a side note here:  We are not ballers, nor do we eat out twice in one weekend on a regular basis.  We decided to finally use a gift card we had to this place before the weather turns cool — good decision!)

We were seated right away (another great thing about non-peak season), outside by the waterway…

Peeking below the shade.

Peeking below the shade.

Trey had some yummy barbecue chicken that he let me taste, while I stuck with my tried-and-true: Island Style Mahi Mahi.

Blue Water Grill - a favorite.

Absorbing sweet summertime at Blue Water Grill.

As the shades were drawn, we enjoyed an incredible view with dinner…

Let the sunset begin!

Let the sunset begin!

Gorgeous watercolor by our great God.

Gorgeous watercolor by our glorious God.

Dinner with this guy... Don't mind if I do!

Dinner with this guy… Don’t mind if I do!

Not a bad view.

Not a bad view…

Great end to a great night.

Great end to a great night!

It’s funny how much living in my college town doesn’t feel like my college town.  Post college, I have enjoyed so much about where we live that I never experienced in college, simply by discovering a whole new side to what it holds.  In fact, College Road is often avoided because of the traffic, but when I do drive alongside the university, it often strikes me — almost as if a surprise — that this is the same place where I went to school.  I can’t wait to experience this town in a whole yet-again new way when we have kids.  There is so much to be offered and to experience that we still have yet to discover when it comes to opportunities for kids.  Even just last weekend, we were blown away by the “coolness” of the serpentarium we visited with our nephews in town.  I do look forward to diving in to the many different kid-focused places and activities…  But most of all, I can’t wait for walks by the river, serving together as a family, and “lazy” beach days on weekends when quality time doesn’t seem like much — yet it’s everything.

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