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The Aftermath

home-sweet-homeI finally made it home, and boy am I thankful!! Going away always make me appreciate the many thing I have when I return. Although the trip was glorious, I am always happy to return to my own home. My own little niche in the world. Where all my things are, my dishes are, and my bed IS! Oh, how I missed my bed. Is it just me, or can anyone else ever get a TRULY good night’s sleep in someone else’s bed? The sheets alone spook me. Are they really clean? And  like, who put their heads on the pillows for the last year and drooled through the pillowcase. Did they ever get washed? Is it just dried junk among the stuff and fluff? Yikes.

I don’t want to come across all whiney and unappreciative about getting to go away, but going away gets everything off track. One of our larger dogs had to be kenneled, so he was a bit weird about returning to his schedule of 3 times out a day. Our toy Yorkie always seems to have amnesia when she returns to us, looking as though she doesn’t remember the routine in the house. Sidenote: We have to find another place to put her next time. We’ve run out of family and friends to take the loud-mouth. All she does is bark when she’s away from home. Major problem.

I’m spending the day washing clothes and unpacking. Again, not to complain, but it takes two days to get back to normal after a vacation. Then I get to get up and do it all again. We have an overnight orientation with my college boy this week. I’m only half-unpacking—my toiletries are remaining in the bag for the next hotel. This week will fly by after I return. I’ll continue to unpack and catch up at work. In no time, the weekend will be upon me and so will the month of July. Can we just take a breather and bring the hands of the clock to a slow crawl? Just for the rest of summer break?  🙂

 

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Once a Year

IMG_0649I am in Charleston, SC this week. Well, technically Seabrook, but I get to the city once before going back home. I love the Old Exchange and the downtown area. There is so much history here. Is it sick that I love walking and visiting the old cemeteries? The old iron gates, intricate and so worth the picture taking. I love the doors on houses, the gorgeous flower boxes, and the water with all the masts clinking back and forth. Everything.

Today was a bit hot as we traversed through the shopping area. King Street was busy with tourists, and the horse and carriages were streaming through every five minutes. The drivers belting out the history of the old city and kids hanging out at all the candy shops, sticky and happy. It was a lovely day in the city. One of my favorite days of vacation. IMG_0650

We will spend the rest of the day on the beach relaxing. The winds have been really gusty this trip. The first day we couldn’t open our mouths without gritting sand. It’s died down a bit, but there’s always a breeze to cut the sun’s severe rays. Shamefully two boys got a bit burned. It’s so hard to reapply when they’re so busy splashing and carrying on. I even managed to get a red nip on my shoulder. Murphy’s law is that there will always be that three inch spot that the lotion doesn’t manage to grace!

IMG_0651It’s half-way through the week…time to think about returning home. Why is it that vacation weeks fly by and work weeks crawl? 🙂

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Nantucket Stroll

1214-nantucket-christmas-treeI had the good fortune to slip away last week and take a trip to Nantucket. I was able to stay from Wednesday to Sunday; just in time for the Nantucket stroll. If you’re unfamiliar with this event, it’s when all the vendors decorate their stores, the whaling museum puts over 80 trees in their exhibit, and the town turns into a thing of the past. All inclusive of this special weekend are Christmas carolers in vintage clothing singing in the streets, Santa arriving by a coast guard boat and parading down Main Street, and the town crier ringing his bell. It was simply magical.

While I was there I took a few tours of the island–all within walking distance of my hotel. The houses are amazing. The Cape Cod colors, the whale weathervanes, and the crushed shell driveways. I think I’ll start my piggy bank today, in hopes of buying one of these homes for the summertime!

I was able to see a local play–The Christmas Carol, no doubt. It was wonderful. The talent was spot-on, the songs were festive, and it even snowed on stage. The theatre was located next to one of the old churches located on the island. Afterward, everyone walked to wherever they needed. Not many people use cars on the island. I simply walked the two blocks back to my hotel and stayed in for the rest of the evening.

I will certainly mark this trip as one of my favorites. From the nothing-like-it hotel to the twinkling lights on each tree, it was unforgettable. I even met and had my book signed by Nancy Thayer, a long-time resident of the island for the past 31 years.

My Christmas present came early this year. With my memory, I hope I can recall all that happened! Did I mention I left my camera at home?

Oh well, I’ll tap into how it made me feel—simply wonderful:)

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Restless Spirit

flyI don’t know whether to categorize it as a curse or a gift. I guess it’s a curse when you can’t do anything about it.

Life, in terms of years you have on earth, is short. Short as in an inch on a yard stick. Twenty five cents in relation to a hundred dollars. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to avoid cancer, getting hit by a bus, falling down an elevator shaft… the list goes on, but you get the picture. We’re all here together, living in our little compartments in this vast world, dealing daily with our little problems and yet only some get to see past the boundaries of the United States (if you live here). Heck, some don’t see past the county line in which they live. Only some even take that mandatory week’s vacation and actually go somewhere. Generally speaking, it’s to the same beach spot they go to every year. Same hotel, same restaurants, even wearing the same ol’bathing suit and beach hat.

I sometimes think about how many places I’ll never see. The beauty that I know I’d be in awe of if I did. The majesty of lavender fields, the sunsets over oceans, the quietness of mountaintops. And all the fabulous people I’ll never meet and know. Do we impose our own boundaries? Is it simply something we don’t prioritize?

I have a restless spirit and it’s flaring up today:)

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Squandering

Squandering1I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. Nothing was more evident than the last day of our vacation, of how we squandered our time there all week. Sure, we did a little of this and a little of that. But, mostly we wasted a lot of our time trying to figure out and all vote on what to do. I’ve got that age gap of children where the fifteen year old wanted to stay inside on a device and the seven year old wanted to go the pool. My twelve year old daughter would jump from “I’m bored, let’s go do something”, to going to the beach and thirty minutes later saying, “Why can’t we just go home? Is this what we’re going to be doing every day?”

So, on the last day of our precious time in Seabrook, we woke up early, got breakfast out of the way, took a bicycle ride around the pond, spent four hours on the beach, enjoyed a picnic, walked around and shopped at the little town, watched a concert, and rode to the pool to find it was closed due to rain. Why did it take until Friday to realize our time was running out and we needed to enjoy every minute of it? Isn’t that life?

Every time my mother would gift me a pricey candle, I’d smile, inhale the fragrance until I was woozy, then stick it in my darkened closet to forget about. When she’d buy me expensive body cream, I’d take the tip of my finger and wipe the little paper under the lid and dab my wrists…once a month. (Come to think of it, my mother is the only one who indulges me with the nice stuff:)!

Why do I feel bad for burning the extravagant candles and using the expensive sheets on my bed? It isn’t as though they’re getting better with age, or I’m taking them back for a refund. Why do I save it? For what? It’s a big problem of mine. I notice it’s the little things, too. If I like a certain food, I wait and eat it last. Sometimes I’m too full to enjoy it when it’s time to eat it.

I’ve done it with opportunities, as well. I suppose we all think we’re immortal. That’s how we get through the day, I suppose. If you think about how temporary everything is, we’d question why we go through the hard work. Nevertheless, I’ve held back in the past, thinking there was time, thinking I’d have the chance at a later date. Guess what? Time passes and so does chances. They’re like rainbows. If you wait too long after the rain’s stopped to go outside and see it,  the rainbow fades.

Seize the moment, eat the food while it’s still hot and you’re hungry, sleep on the five hundred count sheets while wearing your most expensive body cream. And, light that candle while it still has that irresistible aroma. Time moves quickly and waits for no one. I only wish we’d had spent every day of our vacation like the last one. Literally.

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Seabrook Island

I am fortunate and blessed to have been able to return to Seabrook for our third year in a row. It was by chance that we first visited. My husband’s job took us to Charleston and we fell in love with the city. When we returned home, I told my mother all about it. She got on the computer and we found a few different St. John’s Islands. After seeing the pictures and reading the descriptions, she settled on Seabrook for our next family vacation. (side note: THE NOTEBOOK, by Nicholas Sparks was inspired by the island)

It is simply magical. The low oak trees bending over the roads, dangling moss, make it feel as though you are on a different planet. Walking to the beach down the long wooden pier make it feel like a coastal oasis. It’s simply a wonderful place to visit. Tomorrow we venture to the city.

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My favorite trees
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Each year we take this picture. One day they will be shoulder to shoulder:)
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Our lovely walk to the beach
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Morning roost for me!
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A day at the beach…before the slight burn!
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Countdown to Vacation

caribbean-packing-travel-tips-tropical-suitcase-fullThere’s so much hype that goes into packing for vacation. You go to the store and buy a new bathing suit, tiny bottles of shampoo, and maybe a new beach hat or shoes. But, let’s face it, when it comes down to it, you don’t need any of it. After it’s all over, you feel like you spent only a minute away from home. The new beach hat? Sure, you wore it one day, but it’ll go into the closet the second you come back. And those tiny bottles of shampoo, you could’ve saved yourself some money and a trip to the store and just taken the half bottle you have in your shower now. So, really you didn’t need one thing that you didn’t already have in your house. Let’s not forget the bathing suit…it’s depressing to try them on, they’re expensive, and unless you have a pool in your backyard, the only time it’s coming out to the sunlight is maybe five times a year. Just wear the one you got last year that was only worn four times because you swore it made you look like a beached whale. (You’ve lost a few pounds and it’s broken in. It’ll look better this summer!)

Still, it’s so exciting to pack…and exhausting. There’s so much bubbling of expectation. You’re leaving!! The kids are jumping around. It’s time to go to the beach!! Then the car ride begins and the crankiness rears its ugly head fifteen miles into the mission. (Seriously, you travel further to take them to school each day.)”How much longer?” “When is lunch?” “Are we eating inside?” You suddenly think how glad you are that this only happens once a year, in fact.

We travel to South Carolina every summer, so it’s about a day’s drive for us. Just long enough for leg cramps and a bit of hysteria. We end up at Seabrook. It’s beautiful there. There’s water on one side and marsh on the other. I could stare out at the swaying tall reeds all evening. Charleston is a forty minute car ride from there. It’s rich in history and the architecture is stunning on the old houses. It’s been a wonderful vacation for our family. This year our usual extended family members all backed out last minute. Everyone had their own sob story as to why they couldn’t go. So, we’re getting a large house all to ourselves. If I’m not mistaken, we might all get our own room.

I’m looking forward to it AND trying to contain my anxiety about leaving things behind, all at once. I know whatever I forget I can probably do without or buy there. My biggest problem is my small dog. Everyone I’ve used before doesn’t want to endure the agony of watching her again. It seems she’s a bit of a nervous barker when I’m gone. I guess I’ll try my luck and ask my darling brother in law. It’s only for seven days. That time will fly by for me, no doubt. But, it might be an eternity for him!