Good afternoon, you all!
I don’t know whether it was the shards of desire in my eyes leftover from this morning searching for more beautiful things or whether it was the getting up at four a.m. drowsiness altering my brain, but today is the most perfect day I’ve seen in a while. A few minutes ago, I was enjoying the sun and breeze outside with the sun just warming the bricks in my backyard and the breeze drying my hair and bringing the faint scent of barbeques and Gatorade. I have been rather busy as I know I still have to explain, but I have also been making time to read
my thousands of books because I make more time than I should. I am currently reading two stories, but the one I want to mention, Little Beach Street Bakery, is a dream. Side note: I finished it today and it is an adult book, I skipped a few scenes and words. (So I cannot actually recommend it.) It’s essentially about a girl who moves to this tiny little island that depending on the tide, is completely cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a beautiful book, the girl, Polly, starts up her own bakery by the end and fixes up an old home. It completely flows with my mind right now.
This entire week, possibly even month, has felt like it was all going wrong. I was depressed to begin with at the start of the month because, as some of you might know, I should have been in France from the start of July to a beautiful close-to-the-end-of-July. I was crabby and frustrated this whole month, but this week was bad in particular. I had extra hours requested of me at work, but I wasn’t able to fill them and felt awful even though it’s allowed for me to not be available. I had an overload of work that I pretty much gave myself, from applications to Calculus homework (for fun). I was stressed about Thursday because I had to work, then rush to Sport Chalet and rent gear so that I could leap into a suit and attend a three hour pool session for diving. I skipped workouts and felt like I slacked off to my main sport, swimming. I had a run-into with an old… something. I don’t even know what. We were friends a long time ago, but he quit talking to me and left, so I held a grudge for at least three or four years. And he wanted a hug when he recognized me…. (I reluctantly did.) So I had to face the feelings resurfacing and through it all, I was angry with myself for being angry, for caring about it all, for making everything such a big deal when he probably doesn’t even remember us being friends all that well, let alone how he left. And through realizing all this, I kind of just cracked this morning.
I am in the process of becoming diver certified. Most people want their driver’s license, but this summer I decided to go for diver instead. We had a ton of homework over a three week period so far, although it extends into next week. We have had classroom days with quizzes and pool sessions that last for three hours ending at nine p.m. with everything practiced over and over. Today, practically yesterday with how early I had to wake up, we attempted our first dive outside a pool. We had to cancel, the surf was too strong and the ocean was too murky at the bottom with sand. I suppose most people would be annoyed or feel like they wasted a day, but it was one of the best things that’s happened to me. Getting up at 4:30, we sneaked around the house and stole away to the beach, arriving an hour and a half later. Seeing the empty street and the tiny shops brought such an odd sense of peace. The air and smell of sea urchins and seaweed relaxed me even more. The sky gained more and more light as the morning went on and we practiced breaking out past the surf zone and coming back in. God gave me such peace this morning, diving under waves and bracing myself against the surge. I realize He always has a way for us to get past the wave, whether over or under – He has a way. Sometimes, I have to be shoved off my feet to learn, but fortunately, there’s always God or, in today’s case, a divemaster to right me again.
Reflecting on the success today was for me, I came to a calm with some of the things I have been frustrated by. Although I didn’t get to dive today, I got to practice entry through the surf and I got to enjoy the beach with my brother and group today – we were a fun gang, my head instructor especially. The beauty of the waves, air, and empty cove made me rethink some of the problems that I struggled with this week in particular. For work, it’s a main priority, but I was not, despite my feelings, letting anyone down. I already had plans and I worked extra hours already this week. Sometimes I need to just let it go, I can’t always be the willing, able, and available girl I’d like to be. For work and stress, I just finished reading a book about doing things that God has told me to do. That really means, as the book said, not saying yes to everything. I know I managed my schedule and workouts to the best I could. Thursday worked out just fine. Everything ran smoothly and I had fun joking around with my friends at work and with my family and brother at diving. Dealing with my grudge was the most difficult; I had the hardest time letting it go, but I did. Because in all honesty, I need to practice forgiving, I don’t think he remembers, I most likely will never see him again because it took years to run into him and in a year we will be in college, and also, it was just stupid – a grudge leftover from when I was 12-13. It ran deep, it was hard to stop, but I think I’m pretty much okay. God hasn’t given me many chances to practice letting grudges go, simply because I don’t have many (thankfully), but I’m now grateful for the chance.
So like the book, I know what it’s like to have your life personally changed by the sea and, unlike the book, by God. He never stops blessing me with moments like today that leave me with peace and understanding, but today was just so wonderful that I had to share. So as a note, when things are really seeming to go wrong, just wait it out and rely on Him. Visit the ocean or what gives you peace. When the huge wave is being created, right in front of your face, turn to your buddy, brace each other, and let it crash over you. Because I promise, that when it passes, you’re stronger and happier than you’ve ever been before.
To finish out today’s post, here’s a recipe for cookies that I altered from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook ( I highly recommend the New Cook Book). The batter will seem all wrong, too soupy and slightly lumpy, but it will turn out fine. I made these for the first time this week and looking at the batter before cooking them, I was thinking I was going to have to add them to the list of failures for the week, but they were beautiful once cooked.
Use what chocolate types you like, but I used:
2 squares semisweet baker’s chocolate
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
2 large pats of butter (about 2 Tablespoons)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla (I love vanilla; I add more)
about 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the chocolate squares, half chocolate chips, and butter. I prefer to use a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water, but a microwave works too. Stir chocolate-butter often.
3. Add sugar, flour, vanilla and baking powder to chocolate mixture, stir until it’s mixed fairly well. Whenever the chocolate cools enough it won’t cook the eggs (warm/slightly hot), add the eggs and mix everything as smooth as you can.
4. Add nuts and remaining chocolate chips to batter, stirring in. Now, it’s soupy, I know, but dribble it into cookie shapes onto a prepared cookie sheet. For the cookie sheets, I like the double layer trays with a sheet of spray-buttered parchment paper on top. (I’m all for having clean cookie sheets and cookies that don’t stick.)
5. Bake the cookies for about 8-12 minutes, depending on what size you make them. Cookies will have dull shell-like top with cracks.
Hope you enjoy those if you make them! Have a wonderful week! I know I will enjoy mine. 🙂
I quite understand now why some people are in love with the ocean and the beach. I think I’m a beach bum in the making, definitely already a sea freak.
Your Ocean Girl