Friends Glorious Friends!

Hello old buddies!
So, I’m coming off a week of way too many libations, lots of laughter & the perfect amount of sun & surf! My dear friend Wendy & her two (ever-so-comedic) boys made their annual trek to Virginia from Ohio, rescuing me from the daily clutches of my household engineering duties for some fun in the sun.
Having the boys here tends to transport Josh back to his childhood, allowing him to heartily regress to his obnoxious 12-year-old self – something every hardworking 40-year-old male needs to do from time to time! So basically we had 6 KIDS beneath one roof last week. I like to think of it as a ‘marathon play-date’ of sorts. We’ve shared these play-dates since our oldest kids were straight out of the womb – that’s 14 years! My, my, my… How things have shifted & swirled & transformed. In the blink of an eye we’ve gone from diaper changes, finger paints & cookie baking to skateboards, surfboards & raw oyster smack-downs! It’s out of this world satisfying to watch our children’s personalities blossom from one year to the next.
Wendy & I spent much of the week piddling around in the kitchen, where a couple of experimental failures were cooked up (great fun nonetheless) & we stomped around the woods, collecting treasures for my personalized lesson in dream catcher construction. (Thanks to Wendy for sharing her diy expertise on this new hobby!) We vegged out while watching funny flicks by night & we fried our flesh – compliments of a failed attempt at homemade sunscreen – by day. We contemplated the evolution of a few famous artists from around the globe & we dreamed up inspiration for Wendy’s future business ventures. We spent time reflecting on folks who have come & gone from our personal lives & we took stock of the goodness that presently exists all around us.  Laudable endeavors & insightful exchanges in my opinion! Just the way I like it.
Around mid-week we whisked the crew off on a quick trip to Ocracoke Island for a couple days. We stayed in a most comfortable, shabby-chic, 1930’s island inn called Black Beard’s Lodge where the kids continued to entertain us with their teenage antics & the number of vanilla creamers they swiped from the complimentary coffee bar was absolutely criminal. WE. LOVED. IT. We’ll definitely return for a visit in the near future.
So, witnessing our children grow up is mystifying & marvelous. We allow for a lot of freedom under this roof. We encourage generosity & independence. We place the importance of togetherness & the value of personal authenticity far above the acquisition of material “stuff” – which seems to be of such great magnitude to so many kids these days. We aren’t afraid to firmly enforce attitude adjustments whenever necessary (just ask our girls – it happens swiftly around here when need be) but we absolutely do not cling to an old fashioned approach to parenting. AT. ALL. I must say, few people could likely come into our space for a week & be comfortable with the freedom we allow & encourage at this home. Our family dynamic is probably far from average. Regardless I appreciate friends & family who embrace the crazy & compliment the chaos. I must express my gratitude to Wendy & her kiddos for doing just that while in our presence.
And finally, a story about our very first hen house egg! What a way to finish out the week around here! On Saturday, I made my way to the coop to let the girls & fellas out for some free-range fun. Low & behold, after months of patience & much anticipation, I found the most exhilarating surprise waiting for me right there in the nesting box. OUR VERY FIRST EGG! With our friends here to celebrate this simple, yet sensational pleasure of hobby farm-life, it couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. I was overjoyed. I still am. Sometimes when I love a moment so much that I hate to see it end, I find myself jotting down bits & pieces of detail just so I can hang on to it a tiny bit longer. Wendy & the boys set off on their own little adventure through Pungo that afternoon, so I took time to sit down & list several “sounds of Saturday” that I know will live on in my heart as one of my favorite memories here at the homestead.
“Echoing through this gloomy day at Wildwood Acres – our tea kettle whistles, ready to bathe round #2 of pressed ground java, girls bicker over a game of badminton in the backyard, chickens clucking, roosters crowing, Cat Stevens serenading, dachshunds barking, wind-chimes ringing, our little dude stringing together songs of Spider-man’s victories to the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ & so on & so forth… & our first, perfect little egg sits comfortably on the kitchen island.”
Aaaah, the sweet sounds of the moment sure do tell a good story of life & love. I’m so thankful I scratched down a few from that special day.
I once read a quote about life being a “collage of priceless moments & memories all pieced together to create a treasured masterpiece.” I think on that idea often. If I tried to sum up the masterpiece designed by that of my little family’s memory-making over the years, I’d say it’s like a vibrant mandala, woven by way of 100 percent cotton, tie-dyed with vino & fresh blueberries, adorned with brushstrokes of sunflower gold, electric blue & crimson red acrylic, braided with strands of frayed hemp threading through vibrant, swirly beads of fired glass & doused in patchouli, sea-spray & Cajun spice! I’m sure of it & I’m grateful for it.
Our beloved guests headed out yesterday morning, to make the trek back to their home sweet home. We shifted our focus back to the neglected gardens & yard work, laundry & grocery lists, berry picking, chicken gazing & various other chores. A little break from the ‘to do’ list sure can do wonders to help us refocus our collective efforts around here. Even a brief respite allows for new inspiration to be born into our spirits. After they hit the road, I looked around & felt so refreshed & motivated. We decided to tackle the last of the moving boxes, which have been a thorn in our side since April! We scrubbed the cabinets & floors & shelves in the garage & got rid of tons of useless junk & countless cobwebs. Each time our paths crossed while hauling bags of garbage to the trashcans out back, we literally high-fived one another. An awesome & productive day surely spawned from a week of r&r with good friends.
And that’s the latest, from Wildwood Acres!

ABOVE: A fabulous combination of photos… “Fig the dog”, chilling next to our “Fig the tree”. Compliments of


ABOVE: Our first Egg!


ABOVE: My very first dream catcher conglomeration! Still need to add some feathers.


ABOVE: On the ferry to Ocracoke!


ABOVE: A couple old friends at the Jolly Roger!

ABOVE: Sweet kids, chilling on Ocracoke Island. Picture compliments of


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