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Message In a Bottle, A Spice Girl, It Was a Heck of a Hurricane

Have you checked your lawn for messages?

I have always wanted to put a message in a bottle with my kids. There is something old-timey and romantic about putting your message out there into the great churning sea, to be carried to a far away land... like Coney Island.

I think that's where my sister's bottle landed when we were kids.

In my beachcombing travels I always keep an eye out for the perfect bottle. Naturally it has to have a cap and I prefer something non-alcoholic. Something about my kids wrapping their tiny little hands around a fifth of cheap vodka just seems wrong.

Well last year I found it, a pretty bottle of framboise, which I believed to be a French syrup. Because you are sophisticated you already know that is alcoholic. But since I didn't, I wrote something poetic and we hurled it into the rolling Atlantic. Only to have it wash back up. After about the third try the kids lost interest and I reprimanded myself for even trying with an onshore breeze. And that bottle sat in my junk drawer for 12 months.

And then came Irene. We waited until the wind clocked southwest. Together with her great outgoing tide, the conditions were perfect.

And it only took two hours of squabbling over who would write the note (Nyla), who would throw it (Nyla and Skye) and whether lifejackets were required (always).

Here's what Nyla penned: 

"Dear ? If you got this letter you are very lucky. We sent it in a harocane (sic). Irene was very strong. Send me a letter at ... your new friend, Nyla."

At their Dad's suggestion we sealed it with wax and the sisters gave it a good toss.

That's where I thought our message in a bottle story would end. Until my mom brought in a bottle that had washed up on our lawn. I kid you not, it had a message. And a weird one too.

Big brother Duncan did the honors of opening the bottle of Izzi sparkling blackberry soda to reveal: a note which reads, "Nicole Rogers Ireland"; a piece of black cloth and an aromatic mix of spices.

I don't know who Nicole Rogers is or if she really lives in Ireland, but I can tell you she make a mean dry rub with clove and ginger, and maybe nutmeg too.

So our apologies to whomever finds our bottle lacking in aromatic spices. Next time we'll be sure to kick it up a notch.

DorisM August 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Great story, Shannon! Go Nyla!

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