"Mommy, I think I might know why this is such a rain storm," Lucy tweedles from the very back seat of the suburban.
Like a burst bag of M & M's on hardwood floor, rain droplets pummel the windshield, wipers feeble antennae in the deluge.
"The clouds maybe are exploding," she trills.
The squeak-squeak of wipers and the willowy curve of the road ahead, the children giddy, on we drive straightway to the ocean.
"What if God dressed up like you, and played tag," Jack grins to Jane, the corner of his mouth a toing-ing spring. "And then," Jack says, "He disappeared when you tried to touch Him?" He shakes his head as if a tree full of apples. They titter and guffaw.
"Mom, do you know what number infinium is?" Lucy chortles, grown-up knowledge all big inside of her. "Means it goes on forever," she lilts.
Forever. Infinium. I gather the moments like agates in the sand and tuck them in next to infinium.
3802. Voilent bluster of a storm, trees down, power out, we sleep a night in the crisp sheets of a fancy hotel, then to the beach house, to family.
3802. We walk the long salty beach.
3803. Rain and hail pelt our faces. We slosh our boots through puddles.
3804. Myra capsizes in the waves. Grandad carries her home.
3805. We line our pockets with agates.
3806. Air hockey, Banana Grams, Canasta, Gobblet, radio theatre, The Silver Chair, The Horse And His Boy, tall and fat mugs of coffee, pots of soup, late night pecan pie.
3807. Bowls of chocolates.
3808. The children gambol and hurrah with cousins, every staircase another winding adventure from which to leap.
3809. We visit the Newport Aquarium and the gaggle of us on field trip together.
3809. We slip into the hot tub, the children in bed. We chat and laugh and weave the bonds of friendship.
3810. Next day, we bring the ship-ful of children, all cheer and clamor, in the hot tub too.
3810. Thanksgiving dinner. 21 of us and a table long, long enough to seat this ocean of family, we eat together, high tide of loyalty and love thick at our elbows.
3811. A gull devours a crab out on the front drive. The children blink their amazement. "I wonder if gulls just don't have a way of cooking their food," Jack wonders.
3812. "Your spirit," Lucy announces, "how you feed your spirit is read your Bible. How you feed your tummy is eat regular food."
3813. "I'm thankful for Uncle James and Aunt Janey's hospitality," Jane says as we circle up for nightly prayer. Me too, and for the whole promenade of family gathered together.
3814. Craig drives the whole long trip to the ocean and back.
3815. "I love Joe's fit," Myra narrates on the way home.
3815. "Should I sit in the backseat for a little while," I offer later. Jane grins. "Then you can do damage control," she chirps, "'cause the kids don't necessarily always obey me, but they always obey you."
3816. Obey. Lord help me always obey You.