I was invited to surf with the big kids today.

The day started off with Amanda singing some silly song in a jazzy/bluesy tone before I went outside to mow the lawn.  I didn’t get too far, and for the first time since we moved into the house (not including the initial fill-up of course) I had to go refill the gas can we use for the lawn mower.

While I was doing that I got a call from Barry Frazelle, who said that he and his daughter, Hannah Frazelle, were going to paddle over to Masonboro Island to surf, if I would like to join them.  The reason for this was that the waves appeared to be good but there was a lot of wind, and the way Masonboro Island is, the waves come in but the wind gets blocked.

Honestly, I felt like the kid who’s always picked toward the end in kickball getting picked towards the start.  Seriously, it was such a childish pride thing.  You see, Masonboro Island isn’t far from the south end of Wrightsville Beach, but it’s not a stone’s throw either, and you have currents, boats and sometimes sharks to deal with in crossing over to it.  So I was excited.

I got back and finished mowing, ate an almost-burnt egg and cheese bagel (Amanda forgot to turn off the stove) and got to la casa Frazelle just after 11:30.  I grabbed Betty and we headed off.  The trip over wasn’t too bad, although I pretty quickly fell behind everyone else.  Once ashore we walked through a path to get to the surfing spot and it was such an amazing sight.  The waves were head high and just rolling in like giant mounds of water.  Unfortunately it was also pretty crowded, probably because of the returning college students.

I went out, paddled around a bit and almost caught one wave.  Well, I caught it and I was just starting to stand when the board just gained some speed and shot out from under my feet.  I tried to get back out for a bit after that, but I couldn’t get out past the breakers.  I did get a little seawater though, and that taste stuck with me for most of the day. After struggling a bit I decided to give it a rest so I wouldn’t be too tired on my paddle back.

I finally did get back out and caught a pretty good wave and rode it all the way in.  I was proud, and I think I stuck my tongue out with a grin as I passed by a guy who was paddling back out (I didn’t stick it out at him, it was just out as I passed him) and made him laugh at my newbishness.  But the wave I caught was a good one.  I got it and it dropped, then as it was giving out another one came and kept me going.

I had the same problem getting back out, part of which I’ll blame on Betty- she is 7’4″ (or 7’6″?) afterall, very bouyant and hard to duck dive, and I’ll blame myself, for not being good at duck diving.  I was about to go back out to try again but I heard Barry and Hannah call over to me- it was time to go.

The paddle back- well, I lived.  Barry, Hannah, and some guy they sort of knew who paddled back over with us were all waiting on me on the shore.  When I got up off the board the first thing I said was “439.”  That’s how many strokes I counted after I realized I needed something to do to take my mind off what I was doing.  So I’d estimate it was a bit over 500 strokes, or a bit over 1,000 there and back again.  Hannah asked how I was doing and I told her I was breathing.  Because I was, kind of heavily.

I didn’t see any sharks, but I did see a jellyfish in the water about halfway through the trip.  I hate those things.  They’re literally so stupid.  They’re so stupid that they don’t even have brains and they just float along on the currents.  And no, I didn’t get stung by that one.

There was a mass expulsion from the Frazelle household.  There were a number of things leading up to it, but the main items are that there were people at Anna and Barry’s hanging out in the back (which is under their bedrooms) at 6:15 in the morning, Kirsten doesn’t feel comfortable taking a shower in the back because random people walk back there all the time and one of Kirsten’s friends felt uncomfortable when she was waiting by the door and a gang of guys she didn’t know walked out from the back of the house.

And so Anna and Barry have decided to reclaim the house for their own.  Non-family members aren’t allowed to go to the back unless they’re with family (that is, Michael and I are free to come and go as we please still).  All the surfboards are to be picked up and taken from the back, along with the towels, bathing suits and boxers hanging around.  Anna cleared off the concrete and pressure washed the whole area this evening, and I have to say it looks nice.

I’ve decided, partly because of the above (there aren’t going to be as many surfboards to choose from anymore) and partly because there’s not a great selection of boards to take to Topsail this coming weekend, that it’s time for me to get a board of my own.  Barry, Michael and I checked some out last weekend, and as Amanda and I were heading home to let the dogs out for a bit, he stopped by Surf City and looked with me and Amanda again.

I think I want to get a 7’2″ or a 7’6″ surfboard, most likely an NSP.  (That’s the brand.)  I’m leaning towards a 7’2″ because with my short arms they’re usually of a much more comfortable width to carry.  Longer ones I often end up carrying over my head, which just doesn’t look as cool.

Barry was in the mood for an Outback steak.  Back in the day I and some friends used to go there a lot and eat that and I love some Alice Springs Chicken, cheese fries and Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.  So I ordered an Alice Springs Chicken and cheese fries while Amanda made some chicken of her own.  We stopped by 17th Street Surf Shop to check out boards then picked up the food for everyone and went back over to the Frazelles’.  Barry gave me money for their part of the order, but he overpaid by about $30 which, coincidentally, just happened to cover all but $2 of the total cost.  I told him he’d overpaid and said he didn’t need to do that, but he said we had picked up the food.  I told him it wasn’t much out of the way and it certainly wasn’t $30 out of the way, but he insisted we keep it.

he even ordered two Chocolate Thunder from Down Unders for everyone to split.  They’re large ice cream brownies, in case you don’t know.

Michael was over there by then too.  He’d brought something from Atlanta Bread.  We all sat down and ate then spent some time out on the porch.  It was a nice night, but I have to get up early tomorrow to do the switching for the video at Port City Community Church.

Zach Dotsey