36 In Life

Relentless Lee and Fish


I’m extremely happy to report that it has stopped raining at our house. After 4 long days {& nights} of nothing but torrential rain, strong wind and thunderstorms, I believe, according to what Justin tells me, Tropical Storm Lee has finally moved on. We hunkered down, battened down the hatches Friday, and rode it out with our sofa pulled up to the sliding glass door for a front row seat at what proved to be a show like we’ve never seen before.


I took this Friday and texted it to my friend Abby, explaining that this weekend probably wasn’t going to be the best to come for a visit, and I was right. It went from bad to worse and the water was so high it completely covered our dock by Sunday morning. Thankfully, it would go up and down a little with the tide, but not much. We busied ourselves inside with books, homemade kites, PBSkids.org, drawings and coffee… all while keeping an eye on our “backyard”.







Thankfully, the lightening didn’t strike the child in the stroller, just popped the balloon. Sometimes I have to ask for a little clarification.


The water in the bay came clear up to the top of the bulkhead {seawall} and crashed over it… do you remember when I showed you how shallow the water is near the dock in this picture?


It’s amazing what 4 days of straight rain can do…



This is where Justin was standing in ankle-deep water earlier this summer…


Thankfully, we never lost power, just sleep. With little to block the wind ripping off the bay it sounded like a train was blowing through our house for the last three nights. We are thankful to be on the other side of it now and hope it just provides rain to those to who need it and nothing worse.

Last weekend was a different story, weather wise. We had so many beautiful days in a row and many sunrises that looked like this…


Rover’s Ray Bans are $5 from Target, my children aren’t to be trusted with name brand shades yet, we just call them his “Ray Bans”!



Justin had an opportunity to go deep sea fishing last week for a few days with a group of guys from his office. He had a great time and came home with the motherload of Yellow Fin Tuna, Black Fin Tuna, and Amber Jack. The kids and I met him at the marina as the boat was pulling in last Saturday, and it was an exciting and new experience for us all.

This is one of him on the boat with a BIG {70+ lb} Amber Jack. They were fishing near oil rigs off the LA shore. And he managed to keep all hooks out of his hand this go. The treble hook in his hand {in the last post} had to be “surgically” removed. All three hooks were past the barb and then one hook got accidentally “lost” when it was snipped off premature of pushing the point with the barb through… a little more “digging” with a scalpel and an x-ray and they found the missing hook. Somehow there was a miscommunication and Justin thought the stitches would dissolve. They were graciously cut out by a friend 2 weeks later than they should have been, and now we are still “retrieving” stitches from his hand. I will spare you photographs post-hook removal!


When we got to the marina the kids hopped on the boat before the guys could even get off. It was a very cool operation to watch unfold. And a very sweet, very large boat with enough room for the entire crew, plus eleven guys to stay comfortably at sea from a Thursday to a Saturday.



I stood right here by the “wheelbarrows” where the fish were being thrown and found myself wiping fish blood and juice off my arms, legs, and camera before I decided to move.




The deck hands unload the fish, stage it for photographs and then clean it all and bag it…



They would toss scraps/carcasses into the water behind the cleaning table, and the salt water catfish would go absolutely nuts. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen or heard before… they were ravenous.




The Yellow Fin Tuna are beautiful… and delicious.




We ended up with a ton of fish, my freezer is completely full!


And I rolled my first sushi roll the day after he got back. This is a poor photograph but there was no tarrying for the big camera. We were hungry!


And now it is time to catch up on lost sleep!

You Might Also Like

  • Kristee Dowling
    September 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I’m so glad y’all are a-ok! Cannot even imagine how long the last few days have been for you all being stuck inside. Glad it is over for you. Now, we are ready to come eat some fish and/or sushi! 🙂

  • Cat Moore
    September 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    That rain: CRAZY! That sunset: BREATHTAKING! Those “ray bans”: ADORABLE! That fish: CRAZY! Thanks for sharing with us. Been wondering if y’all were ok. Can’t believe you stayed there. I’m sure it was exciting! 🙂

  • Victoria
    September 5, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Maybe it’s the lack of sleep from life with a newborn but I truly laughed out loud at the drawing. I loved it and if it had been one of my littles who drew it I would had needed clarification to 🙂

  • Christine
    September 6, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Glad you are all safe. Too much crazy weather this year, especially for Alalbama. I’m still in Michigan for another week or so and the temp dropped from 90s this Saturday to 62 today 🙁 I’m looking forward to some warm weather when we return to our Southern life. Hope you get some more sunshine soon!

  • Melissab74
    September 6, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Glad y’all weathered Lee without any damage, and without losing your minds after being cooped up so long! Wow! What huge fish!

  • Melanie
    September 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Glad to hear ou stayed safe in the storm!

  • Anne
    September 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

    John hasn’t caught much yellow fin tuna this year…but when he does it sure is good. We sear it up or make sushi…it’s the best. If you don’t have a vacuum packer…you should get one…it will keep your fish fresh and tasty for a lot longer than any other method of freezing it will. It took me a whilt to convince John to get one…but when I finally just went and bought one…he now tells me it’s the best thing I’ve ever given him (besides the fish cleaning table…haha). Glad you’re safe up there.

  • The Mom
    September 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Thankful that you all are safe and sound. I prayed that the water would not breach the sea wall and inundate you! We here in Nashvegas are on our third day of rain and temperatures here are a chilly high of sixty! We went from sweltering to almost cold in 48 hours. Lee is expected to move out of here today but we are thankful overall for the much needed rain. What a great experience for your children to see the fish boat “come in” and unload. I could see the delight in all of their eyes. You may definitely get some deep sea fishermen out of this life experience you are giving them living in a coastal town! Blessings!

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate
    September 6, 2011 at 8:43 am

    The rolling of your own sushi, with your own tuna is extremely impressive 😉

  • Sue
    September 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Love your blog – and hearing about your family’s adventures. Glad to hear you all were safe from the storm. We in TX desperately wished for that storm to head our way…we need the rain. All we got were the winds which fueled many wildfires across the state.

  • Kate @ Daffodils
    September 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I love your pictures so much. You are such a talented photographer! Glad the rain has stopped and definitely laughed outloud at the drawing- too funny!

  • Brittaney
    September 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

    We headed to the beach this weekend and got a good brush with Lee too. Glad y’all didn’t float away!

  • Amber Murphy
    September 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    WOW!! Glad you are all okay! That is a TON of fish, talk about fresh sushi : ) YUM!

  • becky
    September 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

    glad you are ok! wish we could get a tiny bit of that rain here in central texas. we have wildfires all around us and i personally know several people who have lost their homes. over 600 homes have burned and they do not have the fires contained yet. so sad 🙁 thankfully my home is in the clear for now.

  • Amanda Wells
    September 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Loving that drawing! Cracks me up.

  • Cherish @ Southern Soul Mates
    September 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Incredible pictures!!! Thank goodness y’all are safe and sound, but what an experience! I am sure the kids will never forget it. Those fish are amazing-my husband would be so jealous, and I am jealous of your freezer!! The sushi looks fantastic, too 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  • kathleen
    September 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Trying to reason with Hurricane season LOL—-No wonder Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba and then Key West and Spent his days fishing or big game hunting in Africa on travels. Darby, your blog is your resume!!!! and I don’t see why you can’t paid for this stuff. March on down to the local radio tv station and pitch a package of You filing human interest stories of life on the Gulf Coast — Jimmy Buffett move over— you make us a want to move there –if not visit and eat at the Shrimp Basket

  • Misha
    September 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Storms give me a few different feelings: scared, worried, adventurous and snuggly.
    Weird. But that’s how I feel when a big storm is overhead. I’m glad to see you all escaped unscathed! Oh, and equally glad to see there were no more “hook” incidents. sheeesh.

  • kathy
    September 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I am grateful you and your family are safe. Your husband’s adventure looked like they had fun. It would be wonderful to have that beautiful fish in your freezer. Your sushi looks delicious.

  • kat
    September 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Yikes! That storm looks horrendous, glad the water didn’t come up any further… A freezer full of fish, that sounds heavenly!!!

  • Jill
    September 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I love the fishing pictures… we have a freezer full of tuna also! {And it’s reeeeally good off the grill with hollandaise on top fyi!} And oh my word that little picture they drew of the storm is hilarious. So glad you’re back in blog world! 🙂

  • Mandy
    September 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Glad your rain is over! Still raining here in Huntsville… but not quite the wind y’all got though I’m sure! Noticed you are reading Unbroken? Great book! My book club just finished. Definitely a favorite. Louie is amazing! Be sure & google him…. you can watch several interviews on you tube.

  • Jessica
    September 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I am so glad that the storm has passed & that you guys stayed safe! But you got some beautiful pictures! And holy moly, look at all of those fish! Amazing! BTW, when do the kiddos start school? Are you guys staying there or going back ‘home’?

  • Sarah
    September 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about and seeing the fish pictures. Back in law school some of my friends taught me to roll sushi and I used to do it occasionally but it’s been quite some time since I’ve done it. I should do it again, it’s such an appealing looking way to eat different veggies and proteins. And that drawing…a creative mind thought up that scene! Very clever and humorous!

  • kayce hughes
    September 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    So fun. My dad is a big fisherman and I spent a lot of my childhood on boats. Sweet memories.

  • Elizabeth
    September 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    do you have any recipe or “how to” for your sushi?

  • Kelli
    September 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Glad y’all remained safe and Lee is gone. We didnt get the full effect like y’all but we did get the rain and winds for a whole day. It knocked some of the Farmers rice down. The pics were amazing. It was like I was there. Have a great week!

  • Clattie
    September 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Great pictures!! Love all of the fishing pictures, your children are adorable. Great Blog…I enjoy reading it!

  • Marielle
    September 7, 2011 at 12:48 am


    Great recipe for Yellowfin Tuna Burgers at above link. I envy you the access to fresh tuna–being land-locked here in the NW suburbs of Chicago. Enjoy! Gorgeous and staggering photos.

  • Nicky Cahill
    September 7, 2011 at 4:20 am

    What a storm – my goodness, just looking at your pictures I can almost feel the wind, and hear the rain. I am glad that you are all safe. Thank you for sharing these stories with us, they are remarkable. Your photos are great, and the lady who wrote above about you sharing life on a local radio station or in a newspaper, is right, you would be brilliant, and I for one would love to read/listen to all that you might do. Wishing you guys a wonderful fall.


  • Joe Mulvihill
    September 7, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Just found your website after reading Erin’s ‘Blue Eyed Bride’.
    Fantastic pictures ! your children are beautiful !
    I love your house !
    What inspiration ! Must get going and clean my house now.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    PS The storm pictures are just what it has being like here in Ireland – ALL SUMMER !!!
    Regards from a very rainy morning in County Kerry x

  • Kim
    September 7, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I love your photos … I grew up going to LA my entire life for vacation. Now that I live in Massachusetts, I still make the trek with my kids to meet my “ya ya’s” best friends and their families every year to catch up. I told your sister I found out about y’all from a woman married to an Alabama Fan (the shame!) in Massachusetts … I have enjoyed your posts and love hearing about life with your kids … enjoy the time, it moves quickly! My oldest is in her sophomore year at Auburn and that gives me an excuse to get back more often! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anna
    September 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Please post the recipe for the sushi roll! Looks great!

  • Mari W.
    September 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Are you reading “Unbroken” on your kindle? I have to read it this week for 2 different book clubs. Really enjoying so far. Oh, and really love your blog too 🙂

  • natalie
    September 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    hey darby! we went somewhere this weekend while we were down there {in the midst of the tropical storm, yes} and i thought i would share with you since it looks like yall will be down there for awhile. the national naval aviation museum in pensacola. bennett is a little older than JM but my sisters and i went all the time on rainy beach days when we were younger and i have the best memories there {so the girls would def enjoy}. its free, open every day at 9am. there are some pics on my most recent post, but i just wanted to pass the “excursion” along! glad yall faired well during the storm

  • Syd
    September 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I was in Lee too! I even made a video about it. We were in Fort Morgan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLt3dXBhh3w

    That sushi roll looks divine…and those are some huge fish!