Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Dead Sea Chronicle and the Winner of the Giveaway

The chatter that overflowed from the changing room faded as gravity drew us down the sloping wooden ramps to the water. The beach, not quite sand and not quite dirt, yielded beneath our water shoes with small crunches.

I inhaled the salty Dead Sea air deeply, pushing it down into my toes while my daughter arranged her towel near mine under the tent shelter. The sun, exquisitely restrained, still pressed ancient light under every ledge of the soul, warming from the inside out on this crisp day.

We waded in and the kinship with the countless others throughout past millennia who had done the same thing we were doing beckoned me farther. My daughter laughed with her friends as they settled onto their backs, buoyed confidently by the unfailing water.

I knelt in knee deep shallows, pulling up handfuls of the black Dead Sea mud and coating every inch of exposed skin with it. It worked gently with the sun, hardening while softening.

Still clutching the solid salt crystals I had dredged from the bottom with the mud, I sat back and let my feet be pulled upwards until I, too, floated effortlessly on my back, rocked and soothed by the gentle lapping of the water.

Perfection is anywhere you choose to find it.


And the winner of the giveaway from my last post is Amy from Funny is Family. Amy, if you’ll get me the address where you’d like me to send your book, I’ll get it on its way to you. Congratulations!


And here's the dirty aftermath, while trying to get the mud off~

66 comments:

  1. ...buoyed confidently by the unfailing...

    That's you and this trip, Shelly. :-)

    Pearl

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  2. What an incredible experience to wade and float on the ancient Dead Sea! As mentioned earlier, the light is different there. Everything is different there. You and your daughter will remember this experience always, Shelly. You won't just remember it. You will re-experience it, see it, hear it, smell it, taste it and feel it anytime you desire. Close your eyes and you're there.

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    1. Shady: I will never forget it as long as I live, it was that amazing. Thank you, my friend, and 'Im closing my eyes right now!

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  3. congrats to Amy.
    And what a share...loved the oratory! And the 'aftermath'.

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    1. HOOTIN ANNI: i took a while in the water and under the showers to get it all off!

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  4. I saw this on TV last weekend...people were floating. I didn't realize floating was part of the experience until I saw that. What an amazing thing to experience.

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    1. Stephanie: It's the closest to experiencing no gravity that I'll ever get- amazing!

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  5. Just to see the Dead Sea would be a great thing. To immerse yourself in it would be amazing. Maybe one day...
    Stellar writing Shelly (as always). What an experience for you.

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    1. Pat: Truly a place for a bucket list, and thank you!

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  6. Interesting! Glad you got pictures!

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    1. jenny_o: Very, very interesting!

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  7. It seems like just yesterday that I was there. I didn't slather the mud all over me, though. I was content just to float weightlessly and take in the stark surroundings. Great picture!

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    1. Sherry: Isn't it incredible? I already want to return~

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  8. I love that photo!! I'm so glad you are sharing more about your trip. It sounds amazing. I can't wait to read my new book! Thank you!

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    1. Amy: I wasn't going to put that picture in, but thought it might allow for some chuckles. And congrats on the book!

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  9. Oh my gosh as I was reading this I thought it was fiction and then WHOLLA I see the picture and realize that you experienced it. How awesome Shelly! :)

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    1. Optimistic: The dirty, muddy picture, but how amazing it was!

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    2. I bet it was the experience of a lifetime!

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    3. Optimistic: In every sense of the word!

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  10. I've heard that this is a wonderful experience, and one I'd not want to miss if I ever make it to Israel.

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    1. Stephen: I hope you and your sweet wife do make it there someday- SO much to see~

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  11. Oh, I'd feel like a right old pig wallowing in the mud over there. What a joyful experience that must have been.

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    1. Rum-Punch: Now that's a pretty apt description, and it did take a while to get all the mud off~

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  12. Ooh, looks amazing, I'm sure I would love it!

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    1. Jenny: I truly think you would~

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  13. I love the picture. Looks like you are having a great time.

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  14. That would be such an experience to experience!!

    betty

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    1. betty: I will remember it for the rest of my life!

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  15. Wow, I've seen the Dead Sea on TV just people enjoying floating in there p;) Oh, as always your writing is wonderful; "The sun, exquisitely restrained, ~~~on this crisp day." And beautiful other phrases.
    Love to hear that you enjoyed the sea with your sweet daughter♡♡♡ So happy for your wonderful time♪

    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to dear Shelly, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. orchid Miyako: Every place we went there was so memorable, my dear friend! It was doubly wonderful having my daughter with me, and I hope my husband will be able to take off of work to go next year (I already want to go back!)

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  16. The ladies are made-up for what movie?

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    1. vanilla: A remake of The Swamp Thing...

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  17. I guess you can check floating in the Dead Sea off your bucket list of amazing things to do in your lifetime!! :)

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    1. Rita: Yes! Except this is something I want to do again and again~

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  18. Replies
    1. Janie: It was a wow in every sense~

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    1. Jo-Anne: One I will never forget~

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  20. Shelly, this would be something I would love to experience! Weightlessness and a solid coating of mud! It sounds like the two don't go together but this is what would make it so interesting and remarkable.

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    1. Jenny: It was incredible- I've never felt like that before. There were paradoxes all over the place, and lovely ones at that!

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  21. What an experience, Shelly! I'm loving these stories of your journey!!

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  22. Great photo! What an amazing experience, it must have felt so wonderful - wallowing in the Dead Sea :) xx

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    1. jazzygal: Oh, I could wallow there time and time again!

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  23. Happy for you, but glad it wasn't me! How long did it take to wash off all the mud? Congrats to Amy!

    Have a lovely week,
    Jen

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    1. Jeanette: It was remarkably stubborn mud, and took quite a bit of scrubbing to get it off- whew!

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  24. Dear Shelly, when I read anything you write in which you name a place that you visited on your trip, I find myself wondering if it looked at all like the way I've described the flora and fauna and the topography of the area in my ms. about first-century Palestine. I'm eager to read more and to see photographs! Peace.

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    1. Dee: Your descriptions were right on. I was surprised, though, at some of the places, like the Judean wilderness. They defy even my best attempts to describe it accurately.

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  25. Replies
    1. Carol: The experience of a lifetime!

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  26. Oh Shelly! That is the one experience in Israel whereby I was simply a spectator and did not participate! Glad you got to have that enriching experience!

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    1. Nonnie: If you ever go back, I highly recommend it!

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    1. Bossy Betty: It was truly one for the ages!

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  28. Think you enjoyed well and had a good experience!

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    1. Weekend Windup: I already want to go again!

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  29. After reading this I feel I should be there to experience the black Dead Sea.

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    1. Haddock: I think you would find it amazing!

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  30. Shelly,
    What an amazing adventure! And to get to share it with your daughter - now that is a bonus! Good for the two of you.

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    1. Marsha: It was such a wonderful blessing to get to go with her- and now I'm planning on my husband and I going next year!

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  31. Looks like so much fun. I've only used Dead Sea mud from a tube.

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    1. Teresa: It's a lot cheaper at the bottom of the Dead Sea!

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