I’ve just spent one of the best weeks of my life at the beach this week. Bethany Beach, or more exactly, Middlesex Beach, Delaware. I blogged about it in the last post here.
Sally and I had the best time, doing absolutely nothing. Well, Sally did have to “work” a couple of days. She actually drove to Wilmington for a meeting one day, and worked from “home” (at the beach) one other day. Me, I just chillaxed at the beach every day.
Usually, vacations take about 5 days to get relaxed and then the last 2 you start thinking about work again, and how behind you are. This vacation, we got in late Saturday night, woke up Sunday and headed to the beach, by Sunday afternoon we couldn’t even remember what day it was. We were in that zone, the vacation zone. I had high ambitions of reading through most of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, I only made it through the first one, “The Magician’s Nephew.” Funny, in that book there is a place called the “wood between the worlds.” In that place, there is such peace in your spirit that even though you have only just arrived there, you feel as if you have been there forever. That is where we were in my last post.
We let go of everything, no talk of work, no deadlines, no honey-do lists around the house, no vacation itineraries or agendas to complete. No day trips to the world’s biggest ball of yarn, or America’s largest dirt clod, or to participate in the world’s largest simultaneous high-five (I was there, maybe I’ll tell you later.) Sally’s only agenda was to spend some time with her cousin (2nd, once removed) Bob, to compare family geneology findings; hardly a stressful endeavor.
As I blogged last time, this is a 37-year-old family tradition for the Wood family; the tradition of beach week is filled with family rituals like whacky beach games on Sunday, followed by a micro-brew beer tasting and pizza night. Wednesday night is crab night, a good, old-fashioned crab picking with blue crabs, beer, beach music and family. This is followed up by the hearts tournament with the adults and the kids go out and play on the beach at night. The final beach day is capped off with a volleyball match between the Woods and the beach lifeguards.
Ultimately, this week is about the beach, and this was a great week for the beach. While there was the chance for afternoon showers a few days, they never materialized. Only one day had a land breeze which made it hot but the rest of the days had a sea breeze which keeps you cooler. The ocean was not too cold but, it reinvigorated you when you jumped in to cool off. And best of all, and perhaps for the first time ever for me anyway, no bugs, no sand fleas, no horseflies, no no-see-ums.
Second, this week is about re-connecting with family. This week started 37 years ago with 3 families and their kids in a beach house; this week there were 38 people spread over 3 beach houses and part of the family didn’t make it. There were moments when I felt like I was intruding because I couldn’t remember everyone’s name or relationship to one another. But, those moments were fleeting. While there is freedom to march to the beat of your own drum – read a book, take a nap, go for a swim or a walk; there also was always a conversation, and you were always welcome to join in.
At the end of the week, Sally and I were sad to leave. Sally had reconnected with a side of her family that she hadn’t seen too much of. I got to make connections that I hope to grow over the years. But just as there is a desire to get to the vacation, there is comfort in being home and in your own bed. And now, we get to dream about next year; and that gives me a sense of purpose too. Work suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big deal when you know it won’t be long until it’s beach time again. Afterall, it’s just 51 weeks away.