Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shipwrecked, Part 1


One day, while the clouds were gathering, and the Sprittles, their Beautiful Mommy, and Principessa were making friends on the beach, I fell into a time portal that transported me back over the last 13 years' history of our rental cottage.

It was as if I had walked into Nicholas Sparks' family diaries. And it was addictive.

The owners of the cottage had provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere and invited visitors to write about their stay in a guest book. And write they did.

Most of the entries were repetitive--had a nice time, plan to come back next year, thanks for the use of your cottage. But some were very personable. There was one entry by an elderly lady who came upon the location by accident on a North-South road trip. I would love to meet her. She described the awareness of her own mortality in an upbeat way--"I don't buy my bananas green anymore"--and ended with "but God willin', and the creek don't rise, I'll be back next year."


I wonder if she made it.

Some added artistic flourishes to their signatures,


while others offered snippets of poetry to ponder. This is a Walt Whitman excerpt.


One story was about a "very special Marine" meeting his fiancee and family after a tour of duty in Iraq. The joy in his stepmother's words was palpable.


But all was not a bed of roses. There were entries that spoke of having a good time despite the drownings, shark sightings, and tropical storms. I'm glad I wasn't with their party!

The most memorable entry I almost missed. It spoke of a much earlier time, and was written on fragile, yellowing paper. The story of a shipwreck... (to be continued)