Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Going East Part 4: A Graduation, an Engagement, and Whales

     Our last hotel was in Bedford, New Hampshire. We were joined there by my sister and brother-in-law. The entire reason for our trip was Kimm's graduation that Saturday. We found a beautiful little park surrounding a lake, and we decided to visit. My Mom was still in the process of finishing her semester, so she stayed in the hotel to do homework, but the rest of us went and frolicked in the woods. I took lots of pictures that day, and we all decided that a return trip for Mom was a must.

Kimm, looking ethereal. 
Johan found a pine cone

I told my Dad to look to the side; this is what I got. *Snarky*

Rachael and Jared

I loved wearing this outfit in the woods; the only issue was the sandals, I didn't know that the path would be unfinished.

     Saturday was Kimm's graduation. She graduated with a 4.0 and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. I pin curled Kimm's hair the night before, and the next morning it was raining! Fortunately, the graduates were allowed to enter through the side door; but all of us family members had to stand in line outside. We were fortunate to have a nice man with an extra umbrella in front of us, else we would have been soaked. It was a very large graduating class, but the ceremony was handled well and wasn't too long. We had decided to have a picnic lunch in the before mentioned park, but the rain and crazy parking garage changed our minds. However, a certain young gentleman's plans dictated that we must return to the park that day; so we ate lunch at home and then headed over.
     Rachael loves ducks. I mean, I asked her to take a picture of me in front of a tree the day before, and she took two blurry pictures, and then took nine pictures of ducks on my phone. We all loved the park, but Rachael particularly loves the rugged outdoors (and ducks), so a certain gentleman thought the moment was quite opportune. He did not want to do anything on Saturday, since it was Kimm's day, but Kimm was almost as excited as he was, and urged him to do it.
     Rachael was blissfully unaware of anything about to come and went skipping about. She made it rather difficult for the family to separate from the couple, but it eventually came about. The rest of us continued on our way. We found a stream, and my Dad suggested that we go wading. I was wearing my sneakers, but he said that I should take them off. We had a chilly dip, and while I was standing midstream I got a call from Jared asking where we were. He said that they would come around the other way to meet us. I couldn't tell from his voice whether it had happened yet, but I relayed the news to my parents. It was then that it struck me: I had wet feet and socks and sneakers. My Dad was laughing, because of course he had thought of that. Oh well, I would just walk barefoot for a while, a plan that quickly dirtied my feet. We were met by a very excited, newly engaged couple! Hurray for well planned proposals! My Mom proceeded to take some pictures, and we then went home, with my feet confined to their sneakers once more, ready for a day of whale watching the next morning!

A re-enactment, but the excitement was still fresh!
Running to hug her (notice the returned sneakers)
A random picture my Mom took. I love this sweater, it works for so many things!

     I love the ocean, but I have sadly only been on a few occasions. Last summer we were able to go out on a family friend's sailboat for an afternoon; an event which caused me no trouble, but that resulted in a migraine for Rachael. Our Mom was in the Navy when she was fresh out of high school, and she has always gotten seasick. Because of all these components, and the 4-5 hours instead of 1 the previous year, she ordered seasickness patches (which she used when in the Navy) for the three of us (I will sometimes feel sick on mountain roads and such, though the ride on the sailboat didn't bother me at all; we were trying to play it on the safe side). You know the stuff, they're little circular band aids that are placed behind the ear and have medicine on them. Well, I didn't like the idea much. Somehow the thought of medicine seeping through the tender skin on my neck was not appealing; however, I knew that I needed to man up and put the thing on. The way the medicine works, it must be applied at least four hours before it is needed, so we put them on the night before. I managed to make myself put it on, and then was waiting for the bathroom to open up, so that I could wash my hands of any medication, as cautioned by my Mom. As I was standing in front of the coffee counter (which also contained our crockpot for decent food, an excellent way to stay healthy on vacation), I started to black out. I often black out when I stand up too quickly, something I am told is likely a result of low blood pressure which runs in the family, but this was worse. I remember saying, "I feel dizzy", and the next thing I knew, I was being awakened from a nightmare. I was dreaming of the ocean, I could hear it roaring, and since I wasn't frightened, I couldn't understand why my Dad was calling to me. Then it occurred to me that I was not in my bed; I began to wonder if I had been in an accident, then I woke up to find myself on the floor in my Dad's arms (who was thankfully nearby and caught me), surrounded by my family. They all gave me water and helped me into a chair. My Dad had immediately removed the patch, and I did not wear it. It is debated whether it was the fault of the medicine or my freaking myself out too much that I fainted. I am inclined to lean towards the medicine. I have been just as freaked out on several occasions, and never passed out before. However, that is a trivial matter. I went to bed and thanked God for my health. I suppose it takes a moment like that to appreciate it. Of course, fainting is not serious, but I completely lost control of my body, and didn't even know it had happened. It was frightening, and humbling, and I am grateful.

I wore my sailor pants and white sneakers, I comfortable go to and reasonable for a day on the water!

     The next morning, all seven of us bundled into the car and traveled to the boat. We went to the upper deck, where there was better visibility, and started in to wait. This was the first trip of the season, and it was still pretty cold out there. It started out great, and then we spotted a whale, which we couldn't find again. Then it started to get cold, because the boat was constantly moving causing the wind to be stronger. Finally, we found some more whales. Each time we saw one, we managed to get closer, until the last one we saw was only a few yards away. It was absolutely incredible, and a great way to spend Mother's Day. I didn't get sick, but that could be because of the pills that Jared offered to me, which weren't nearly as strong. I guess I'll have to try another time to find out if I get sea sick or not. I was reminded of "Moby Dick", which I read a few years ago. It's amazing to see these amazing creatures up close, and sad to imagine the way they were slaughtered yesteryear. I need to read that book again, so that I can grasp it better.
Lots of love to you all!


  1. This sounds like so much fun, and what a great proposal story!!! YAAAAY!

  2. Yes, it was fun; and Rachael was meant to be proposed to in the woods. I would say it was pretty successful :)