The picture I didn’t get

Tonight I get to fly down to Florida to spend 4 nights with Abby in her little pool house apartment. This should be interesting because, although we have a perfectly good little Arts and Crafts bungalow across the street she wants me to stay at her place. She’s normally a disorganized mess in her own space- probably a reaction to my obsessively more tidy nature (yes, I clean my own house. Lutherans aren’t allowed to hire housekeepers. And yes, it’s easy to keep clean now that it’s-sigh-a more empty nest.).

This morning early she was on IM- not usual for her- and there was this mixed omen:
-Mom! The worst thing ever happened!
-What???
-I was cleaning the apartment and I laundered my cell phone so now it doesn’t work!

I told her my flight arrival time and reassured her that if it didn’t dry out in the sun today we could go to the Sprint store (yippee, my favorite venue) and replace it.

She’s been calling every few days but the calls are brief; neither of us are phone chatters. So I’m eager to see how she’s been doing these past 6 weeks. But mostly I just want to look at her and touch her and smell her again.

As you know, I thrive on the life energy of Abby. I am still puzzled as to when and how, exactly, I gave birth to this very best sort of alien. I’m pretty sure her assignment is to come observe, explore and report back, maintaining a friendly alien attitude while here. She’s most always successful on the attitude part except when she blows and then her gills flare, her tongue swells and her tail whips around taking out power lines in it’s path.Costa_rica_14

I’ve had my best adventures with this child. Since it seems to be part of her assigned task she’s always eager to go anywhere and do anything. On these explorations you can actually look in her eyes and see her sifting and cataloging for her report back to the Mother Ship. Our most recent trip was to Costa Rica early in the year. I didn’t see her a whole lot on the trip because she was underwater 80% of the time and when I did see her she was recharging with a siesta or eating.Costa_rica_13

We stayed at an ecolodge in the jungle on the edge of the sea. There was a dock/launch area, a dining lodge up the mountain and then 82 more steps up the mountain, individual cabins complete with porches, hammocks, ceiling fans and bats.The wildlife was more prolific than any place I’ve ever been; this particular geographical area has one of the highest species counts for both plants and animals of any in the world.

Because of the jungle heat most everyone learned quickly to make as few trips up and down as possible, carry what you would need and use the bathroom before heading down. At dinner all 24 guests or so would gather to wine and dine and talk about the day’s adventures. We ate simply elegantly. Every day was fresh sushi, fish, fruit and vegetables, fresh baked goods and beans and rice. One night as we were at dinner rain starting coming down in absolute sheets, driving through the jungle canopy, drowning out all other sound. Lightening danced over the sea. The generator was out so we were on candle power. One guest just couldn’t wait and skipped up the steps in the dark and rain to her bathroom.
After about five minutes we heard the most ear piercing, blood curdling scream I have ever heard.

The scuba master, the waiter and the bartender quickly, but not with undue haste, gathered up flashlights and headed up. After a while they came down carrying a boa constrictor that took the three of them to lift. It was about 6 feet long and 5 inches in diameter. Apparently it had just been snoozing around the cool base of the toilet and when she sat down in the dark it moved around her feet…Where was my camera??

Between tonight and Sunday I’ll be in Florida. Abby and I will get massages, get yet another cell phone, eat nice meals, cruise the campus and bike to Saturday market. I’ll check in here and post some pictures while she’s in class. But mostly:
I will again go to the sea with my girl.Touchtort_4

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29 responses to “The picture I didn’t get

  1. Tremenjous! Please hello to Abby for me. Stay dry behind the ears. And are you going to leave us lonely for four days, or will you post about various snakes in Florida?

  2. Have a wonderful time!!!

  3. Yikes! I’d have run across the water to the next country over that boa! Enjoy your trip 😉

  4. I hope you have the most wonderful time with your daughter. 🙂

  5. When Abby resurfaces is it from ocean to land or from land to ocean? She looks simultaneously exhilerated and calm! Enjoy your latest sea adventure with your wonderful daughter!

  6. When Abby resurfaces is it from ocean to land or from land to ocean? She looks simultaneously exhilerated and calm! Enjoy your latest sea adventure with your wonderful daughter!

  7. Vicki, you and I are both blessed to have wonderful daughters with whom we can recharge our momma batteries and learn all over again how terrific it is to have a child who is perfect in almost every way.(At least mine is..hehe). I hope you have a most wonderful time with Abby and a safe trip back home. Don’t take any nighttime bathroom trips wtihout a flashlight. You may not encounter a boa, but some of the roaches in FL are almost that big!

  8. I just love when you write about your daughter. I read it wistfully, as I have boys and I’ll never know what it’s like to have a daughter teetering on the edge of adulthood. People can say what they wish, but boys are just different – equally wonderful, but different nonetheless. You write about her with such love and pride – it never fails to make me tear up.

    Hope you have a wonderful visit.

  9. Have a wonderful, wonderful time.
    Blogger seems to be down right now. Or else I have done something to my computer to block all signals from them. Arrrrgh!

  10. have a wonderful time with your girl. And look out for snakes!

  11. Hi Vicki – Have fun. Josh and I will be visiting Emma this weekend. Full report next week.

  12. Hi Vicki – Have fun. Josh and I will be visiting Emma this weekend. Full report next week.

  13. Hi Vicki – Have fun. Josh and I will be visiting Emma this weekend. Full report next week.

  14. Hi Vicki – Have fun. Josh and I will be visiting Emma this weekend. Full report next week.

  15. OOOh, enjoy, enjoy, baby! (if i hadn’t had a four-day megan-fix last weekend, i would be sooo totally jealous!) drink deeply of life, life around you, and your togetherness! blessings!

  16. my god those pics are wonderful! YOu sound like you had such a good time 🙂

  17. Have a wonderful time. I know EXACTLY what you mean about just wanting to see and smell them. I am having a hankering for Ashley too. It’s an odd, kind of primeval longing.

  18. Nyssa and I had the family weekend a couple of weeks ago. Last night (Thurs) she came down on her fall break, left the car (and laundry), saw her grandma, finished revising one last paper and e-mailing it in and spent the night. She was here for about 12 hours, then it was up at 4AM, to airport at 5AM and a flight to Atlanta and then Jackson, MS at 6:20AM. She will be back Tuesday night to pick up the clean clothes and head back to Williamsburg. I don’t know if this counts as quality mother/daughter time or not.

  19. ARe you serious? You can’t hire house keepers??? ;0) Have a blissful time under the sea…I hope my kids grow up as cool as yours!!!

  20. ARe you serious? You can’t hire house keepers??? ;0) Have a blissful time under the sea…I hope my kids grow up as cool as yours!!!

  21. You are right, Vicki. Oct. 30th I hit the big 65. ICK!

  22. She is so kidding about the housekeeper (ahem, Ping?) and I agree with E.– these posts always make me wistful.

  23. I was reading on thinking aw, what a great kiddo, what a great mom, Costa Rica sounds sweet, ahhhh…

    …then, this business about the boa round the bowl. AY YI YI YI YI YI YI!!!!!!

    Vickie, now I’m going to need telephone counseling from you. Your blog gave me PTSD.

  24. Ok I’m a bit late with the well-wishes, but ya know that I’m always thinking of ya! May the time go splendidly well and not too quickly.

  25. Wow! That jungle sounds AWESOME!! I should live there. I know I should. With a hammock. And a boa around my toilet.

    Not to change the subject – but what has your son been up to? Just curious.

  26. Missing you!! The new pastel colors here are quite inviting and soothing. You might want to experiment with a more powerful shade of green though.

    Lutherans aren’t allowed to have housekeepers?! Is that in the Augsburg Confession or from the Diet of Worms?

  27. Here’s hoping your trip is all you hoped for and more…!

  28. YES. Nice banner.

  29. Are you back yet? LOL I miss you.

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