The film crew wanted to shoot some oyster-picking footage, but the only time everyone’s schedules coincided, we had issues: Marginal tide, blazing sun (which I’ve been told is the absolute worst for shooting), etc.
But sometimes you just get lucky. The tide turned out to be low enough to expose the shellfish beds, and miraculously, as the entire state basked under glaring sun, there was a small pocket of gorgeous fog hanging over the exact spot where we were shooting. We hit the beach with four cameras, all kinds of microphones, and a pile of equipment I couldn’t even begin to identify. The kids and I learned a ton about filmmaking (it does bear some resemblance to sausage making…the finished product is–hopefully–a lot prettier than the process), and bagged three limits of oysters to boot.
We shot some cooking scenes at home and ended up with enough crispy, fresh oysters to feed the whole crew. The process was exhausting for me, but the kids held up great, and we all enjoyed the process. When Vignette is done working their magic, I think the resulting “sausage” will be awesome.
After putting it off for as long as possible, we finally had to go into town to buy Skyla a new pair of tennis shoes. An hour of The Hell That Is Shoe Shopping, and we clearly needed a breath (or 50) of fresh air. So we decided to check out a nearby beach that I’d heard had oysters. Weather was marginal, and we had to be back for a kid sleepover, so I thought we’d just squeeze in a quick walk down the beach to scout it out.
But maybe I was just telling myself–and the kids–that to manage expectations. After all, the tide just happened to be hitting full low when we arrived. And I did have a couple oyster knives, a bucket, plastic containers and knee boots in the car. You know, just in case.
Good thing, too. A hundred yards from where we parked, we found oysters on top of oysters. We shucked enough for dinner and a few leftovers, then made some quick test digs for steamer clams (plenty there) and hit the road home. Grabbed a pizza for the kids sleepover party on the way and made it home just in time. Monday night, when it was just us, we broke out the flour, eggs and panko for a serious oyster fry. And felt lucky that somewhere between shoe shopping and sleepovers, we found time to gather a meal.
Just five years ago to the date, same beach, same activity, same kids. And same fascination with the varied sea life on the oyster flats. Hard to believe the difference, though. I blink and Skyla is suddenly a 9-year old with a rapidly expanding world of her own thoughts, emotions, friends. Weston is a 6-year old “big boy” who loves basketball, legos and building anything. Where did our babies go?
I love watching them grow, but part of me already misses holding their hands and goofy chatter about birds and trees and caterpillars.
Mostly, I’m just thankful they are healthy and happy and still want to go fishing and foraging with their old man. I hope that part lasts for a long, long time.