Monday, July 13, 2020

No Sand in my Shoes

Photo credit: Steve Hess
On Friday, I said goodbye to the screened-in porch at the beach, but I brought one more beach post 
home with me. :-)

Today is a perfect beach day but I'm spending it on the screened-in porch where everyone in Lower Delaware who's not family is way more than six feet away from me. What was a perfect porch morning is becoming a tad warm for my taste as the day wears on, but it's July. That's as it should be.

I love it out here, as long-time readers already know. And today, when I close my eyes and there are no cars on the road behind the condo, it's almost like I'm on the beach. I miss the sound of the ocean, but the rest of the elements are there -- a nice, warm breeze, the sounds of birds and a blue sky full of cottony clouds. 

I've never come to the shore in the summer and not gone onto the beach, but this summer, masking up and stressing over how far away the next closest non-blood relative was sitting didn't seem worth the effort. And, on days like today, when I sit on the porch and close my eyes, I have all of the benefits without oppressive heat or a single grain of sand. 

My husband goes to the beach early every morning, but I'm not a morning person, especially on vacation. By the time I'm ready to hit the sand, so is everyone else. This year, the beach was still pretty crowded well past 6:00 one evening, something I don't remember being the case in previous summers.

Although I know it sounds strange to say I went to the beach but never went on the beach, I have no regrets. We stayed twice as long as usual this year, and the trip was relaxing, just as a vacation ought to be.  I did a little bit of everything on my list at my own pace, doing what I wanted when I wanted, and I needed neither sun nor surf to accomplish that. 

The older I get, the more I appreciate the rhythm of days unspoiled by expectations and appointments, whether at home or away from home. (The not cooking part isn't too bad either). I care less about what other people think a vacation should be than I did when I was younger, and more about whether or not I have, by my own definition, made the most of my time away.

This trip, although colored by COVID, has been different, but we knew it would be. If anything, we felt lucky to be away, even if that meant foregoing some of our usual vacation pleasures. For my husband, a trip to the beach isn't complete unless it includes a trip to the actual beach. As for me, though I enjoy my days under the umbrella, all I really need is a screened-in porch.

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