One of Ryan and my favorite places is the ocean. We both grew up on the Pacific coast. We basically dated on the beach, became engaged on the beach, and so on. It is something that beckons to us whenever we are near. The large expanse is peaceful, but powerful. It is away from noisy cities and the busyness of our everyday lives.
But the one thing we do not like about the ocean is how expensive it is to live near it. We also do not care to raise our family in the culture that is so pervasive along the Pacific. These were among the reasons we moved our family to the Great Lakes area a few years ago.
Little did we know that God would bring us back to the beach. See, we knew that the lakes were large and all, but never realized how much at home the edge of Lake Michigan would make us feel. There are beaches, marinas, seagulls, sand, rocks, shells (of a different sort), and sometimes waves! And we live only five minutes from this beauty. Granted we do have a serious winter season around here, but even that has its advantages.
The last few days our area has been experiencing extreme winds. Reportedly, there are gusts over 60mph. We can attest to that now.
This morning Ryan and I had the brilliant idea to all go and walk near the lake to enjoy the huge waves being created by the wind. Often we have these impulses, I think, to pretend that we are still young adventurers with no kids who can decide things on a whim...But I digress. So, we bundled the kids up heavily to protect against the wind. Feel free to calculate the wind chill of 53 degrees and 60 mph winds...We loaded the marshmallow kids, the double stroller and dogs, and headed off.
Oh, it was amazing to see. The lake had turned into a rolling ocean with spray coming off the waves and white foam everywhere. How relaxing.....
I open my car door. It closes on my foot in one quick wham. I try again, step out, and start laughing. At this point I begin to realize that this is going to be quite a challenge, but possibly hilarious. We load the stroller, insulate the baby, and set off down the nice pleasant walking path along the lakeside. I can just imagine what the passing drivers thought: "Those parents are nuts." "Are they crazy?" "Oh, those poor kids!"
Just to push the stroller into the wind took nearly every muscle in my body. The kids were stuck motionless for a good thirty seconds, probably in shock. But as Ryan and I tried not to cry from laughing we all walked about 200 looong yards in probably ten minutes.
Then we turned around and walked with the wind. Z nearly ended up in the road, a good 7 foot veer to the side. T looked like the racing sausages at Miller Park because she wouldn't hardly move her body but was somehow propelled forward. And Ryan and I were still laughing hysterically.
In the parking lot a gust actually knocked J full over and our stroller tipped suddenly on its side while we were looking at the scenery (she was fine-buckled in her car seat with a lot of blankets, and M was in Ryan's arms to see it all). Ryan said that it was the biggest gust he had felt yet. Apparently...
Have you ever seen the weather channel reporters out in a hurricane who are getting knocked over and pushed to the side uncontrollably, can't look in all directions, and are purely running on adrenaline? Ya that was us!
We made it home safe and sound and even managed to take some pictures! T is in the pink, J in the purple. Can you believe that the last picture is what I drive along at least two times a week? We feel very blessed!