Our Saturday started out with the customary Brucey Cuddle Time, but it didn’t last too long. I had to mow the front yard and Amanda, Amy and Ben ran to the store to get foodstuffs for the cookout later in the day.

Despite warnings of scattering thunderstorms, the four of us headed out to the beach, the first such trip for Amanda and me all year. Even though we only live a few minutes from the beach and have been to Wrightsville a few times, we have yet to have spent any time on the beach this year, mainly because of how much we’ve worked on the house and such.

On the way to the beach we called Kristen Barriner and Rob Peterson to see if they were coming tonight. Kristen said they were not, but it was for two reasons. The first was that they’re going out of town next weekend and Rob wanted to catch up or get ahead on some work. The second had to do with the house they’ve been trying to close on for a while now. They were told that the painter had spilled a bunch of paint on the carpet. They told the builder that it would have to be replaced, but he got someone out to clean it up and apparently they did a great job with it. So the painter still had to finish up but there was a chance they’d be able to start moving in this weekend, which is great!

We also called to see if Paul Ayars was coming out tonight. His wife, Kim, was working late tonight, but he said he’d pretty definitely be there. After that we called Ben and Jessica Lambeth, who were definitely coming. They were trying to get out to the beach too, but apparently it was raining pretty bad in Hampstead. We told them it was clear out towards our way, but as soon as we hung up it started pouring. At this point we were on Gordon Road. I called Ben back to tell him about the change in the weather, but by the time we crossed Market and turned onto Eastwood the rain had stopped again.

After we got to the Frazelle’s we talked to Anna, Hannah and Kirsten for a couple minutes. Barry was asleep on the hammock on the porch on the side of the house with their King Charles Spaniel, Scout, splayed out on top of him. I told Anna she needed to take a picture, because Scout was pretty much mirroring Barry.

Amanda and I and Amy and Ben (Farmer) went out on the beach and mostly just laid out. I got in the water some, partly because I don’t see the point in going to the beach just to sit on the sand, and partly because I think my hair looks good after it’s been rinsed in salt water. The water was pretty rough, churned up from a tropical depression way out somewhere I heard. Hannah had been out earlier and had dropped a couple feet onto some hard water and hurt her side. I figured that if the water was a little rough for an experienced, sponsored surfer, it probably wasn’t the time for an absolute novice like myself to get out there for the first time in months.

Amy and Ben went for a walk and while they were away Ben and Jessica showed up. They said they’d talked to Rob and Kristen about meeting up in Topsail, but as they were about to leave for that they got a call back saying it was then raining there. I think Amanda called them at some point and told them how nice it was at Wrightsville, and it really was. They got out and went in the water and laid out a little then Jessica flew a kite she got for her birthday back in December. I think they said it was only the second time she’d gotten to play with it.

Shortly thereafter we decided it was about time to start heading home. We packed everything up and I dropped Amanda and Amy and Ben off at the house then went to Lowes Food to pick up some charcoal, lighter fluid and drinks. I had to go back a few minutes later for some aluminum foil. Amanda and Amy started cooking things while the Bens and I tried to get the grill going. Jessica took a shower then joined the other ladies in the kitchen. Paul got there not long after that and helped us figure out exactly what we were doing with the grill and took over duties as grillmaster. Amy’s friend Tiffany, who lives here in Wilmington, came over with her boyfriend, Chris. They’re both from Richlands. I’m not sure what their last names are, although I’d recognize them if I heard them.

We had a nice time cooking out and eating a bunch of food. It was Bring Your Own Meat, which is something I either forgot to tell Paul or he forgot after I told him, but we had enough steaks to give him some. It wasn’t right for him not to have any after he grilled everyone else’s food anyway.

We all sat around for a while, just talking and such. Jessica started making some ice cream and Paul left so he could catch a UFC fight. The kitchen was cleaned then Amy wanted to play some Balderdash, which was fun as always. Chris won, followed closely by Ben Lambeth, but I think Ben Farmer wasn’t far behind. I think Amanda was after them, then me or Amy or Jessica and poor Tiffany came in last. That game is always fun though. Ben and Jessica took off after that and Tiffany asked to see the wedding pictures I took for Ashley Kester and Cory Burell. She had been my referrer for that, as it was her dad’s fiancee’s son who was getting married.

I liked hanging out with them, and told them we should get together more often than when Amy and Ben come to town. They left after a bit and we said our goodbyes to Amy and Ben as we headed off to bed as well, since they’re getting up at 6:30 or something tomorrow to head on home.

Ben’s interview went really well, by the way. He’s putting in his two-week notice at his current job, where he works for his uncle. Unfortunately there’s a chance of his getting transferred to Greensboro, which Amanda and I really don’t want to happen. I think he and Jessica would rather stay here too, but they’ll go where the job leads.

Zach Dotsey