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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Abi. Nebraska Pony Rider to California Wave Rider.

When we left Nebraska, we really didn't know for sure that relocation to California would be permanent.  Since I had lived the majority of my adult life in Nebraska, had given birth to 3 children in Nebraska, and had established a very fulfilling life in Nebraska with some of the most beautiful people on the planet, I was quite content to stay in Nebraska.  So were my kids.

But, we didn't.

We moved to California in the summer of 2006, to be near my amazingly supportive, and also beautiful  family in a time that would try us like we never imagined.  Tessa was 14, Adam was 12, Abi was 8, and Lee was 18 months old.

For them it was normal to live on 640 acres.  It was normal to see deer every day.  It was normal to have manure stains on the soles of their cowboy boots.  Sitting on the back of a horse was familiar.

When we came to California, we did a 180.  No more room to roam, and no more dear roaming in our front yard.  No more manure stains on our boots.  Instead, we had sand between our toes.  And other than Abi who has gone trail riding twice in California, none of the rest of us have been on a horse since we moved from Nebraska.

When Lee was a baby, long after we moved to California, he used to get his favorite yellow baby blanket my dear Life Friend Mary Lou, and her daughter Kirsten made him when he was born, and he'd put it over the back of his toy horse before he'd mount it.  The cowboy was in him.  He remembered.

But, that same baby also had a little bit of Moondoggie in him, as well.  I remember his first time at the beach when he was 8 months-old.  We were still living in Nebraska, but visiting family in California, and we camped at Carlsbad Beach for a week.  I kept having to retrieve Lee after he'd crawl to the waves.  He wanted in, and he wanted in badly.

So, fast forward to now.  Abi and Lee were so little when we left Nebraska, that they've lived more adventures in California than they had in Nebraska.  There have been many days spent at the beach.  They've become water babies, as have the rest of us.

We usually boogie board, but Hugo's sister Laura and her boyfriend Brian gave Abi a surfing lesson for her birthday in March, and Abi cashed in on it last Saturday.  Sitting in the sand watching them, I kept flashing back to Nebraska Abi on her pony, or Nebraska Lee showing great balance on Tessa's mare, even as a baby.  But, here they were, California Abi morphing into a real life Gidget, and California Lee was insatiable on his boogie board, riding the waves like a champion.

Preston Smiles is Abi's surf instructor, and we immediately liked him.  A diehard California surfer, he started teaching surfing about 4 years ago.  He is passionate about sharing the world of surfing with his students, and he glowed, every time Abi succeeded.  This is all this mama needs to like a teacher.  Seeing their enthusiasm over the success of my child.

The lesson began on the sand.

Heading out.

She got up on the first wave!  Those are Preston's arms raised up in celebration.

Preston took shots as well, from the water.  I love this one, with Adam in the background:

There was so much laughter.  So much joy.

And a few WIPEOUTS!!

Preston offered Lee a surf lesson on the house, but he declined.  He liked his tummy down, on his boogie board, over hanging ten.  He caught some great waves, cheering the whole time he rode them, in usual Lee fashion.

There were times, however, when we needed to get him back to the sand for a break.  Keeping him down took some effort.  You can easily dehydrate out on the water, so you need to bring 'em in for a drink every now and then.  Say, "pretty please," Lee.  

Preston Smiles is a darling as his name, and he would love to teach you and your whole family how to surf.  You can find him at  Check out his site.  

He has a special he is offering my readers.  $60 per person, per hour.  

But, WAIT!  There's more.  :)

If you bring a friend, your friend only pays $50.  And so do you.  That's only $50 each!  Compare those prices to the rates on his Website, and you'll see the savings.

He's a VERY good teacher, and his passion for surfing is contagious.  Abi's hooked.  She's a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll.  My heart aches for the pink cowboy boots, but I think the wetsuit suits her too.

I would like to thank Brian and Laura for the surfing lesson for our Abi.  What a great gift!!  AND for the wetsuit, and surfboard.  Wow!!!  :)

I would like to thank my sweet Mardel Manary for her photographic skill, for the way she captures the Nebraska prairie, and for letting me use her shots of Nebraska in my blog.

Finally, I would like to thank Preston Smiles for the fabulous surfing instruction for our Abi.  I would also like to thank Preston for his great camera shots, and for letting me use them in this post.  His are the ones with the cool, 70's photo color effect.