I’m on an adventure this week that has always been on my bucket list. Many people wouldn’t have any desire to do what I’m doing, but many secretly would – I’m spending a week by myself at the beach.
Well, not entirely by myself. My grand dog Molly is with me while my son and his new wife are on a fantastic trip to Europe for their honeymoon. I had a few friends planning to join me but family obligations got in the way. Keith doesn’t like to go very far from Sugar Valley and has never been a fan of the beach, so I took off on my own.
I’ve always read about people in books who went away for a week or a month or a year and spent time writing, praying, being quiet. Take Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for example. The idea of being somewhere by the beach where I could do all of those things has always seemed like a dream to me.
So here I am, renting my friends’ sweet house in Cape San Blas, Florida, around the corner from the craziness of Panama City Beach. It’s heaven. The white sands of the gulf are across the road and and a little lagoon and a big bay are behind me. The beach here is practically deserted. Dogs are allowed on the beach, so many of the people walking up and down have their dogs and everyone is friendly. People are out fishing and playing with their children, but mostly it’s quiet.
The last months have been exciting and and happy and hectic and emotional and stressful. Every time I sat down to read a book or write a blog I would think of something that needed to be done for the rehearsal dinner, guest lists, food choices, flowers. I had dresses and shoes to buy which involved frequent trips to Atlanta and Chattanooga, not to mention making sure Keith looked presentable. For the rehearsal dinner, I enlisted Jess’s mother to send me pictures of Jess growing up and I also worked on getting pictures of all of their attendants, so I was keeping up with all that through email while going through boxes of pictures of Adam. We had showers and gifts coming in and phone calls back and forth to Jess getting plans straight. She had mapped out every detail more thoroughly than Eisenhower planned the invasion of France. And did I mention that both Adam and Jess graduated from Georgia Tech in the middle of all this?
The wedding was a week and a half ago and was perfect. We had a wonderful, busy, crazy time. I was too keyed up and excited to sleep and came back to work on Monday exhausted. Then I had a frantic week of finishing up end of the year inventory and all of the other headaches of the last week of school. People were in and out of the media center, bringing back books and signing out laptops, and then we had baby showers and good bye lunches and although I love my co-workers, I am peopled out.
So Molly and I are here enjoying the quiet. I haven’t turned on a radio or TV since I walked in. I feel myself slowing down, the ligaments unwinding. I may not be able to walk by the time I leave on Sunday.
My cousin Garner asked me if I was having fun. I thought about when I visit her at her home in Kure Beach, NC. We talk non-stop, laugh constantly, go to neat little bars and have a beer then come back to her house and cook dinner. We run and walk and shop and dance. Garner and her family are always doing something and I have a wonderful time. So am I having fun in that sense? No. Am I having a good time? Yes.
I’m listening. God has been there patiently waiting these last few hectic months. I’ve given him 10 or 15 minutes in the morning, tried my best to thank Him for the wonderful daughter-in-law He has given us and for the happiness Adam has. I prayed for Him to get me through these stressful months and He did, in big and small ways. But now I’m giving Him more attention, letting Him filter my to-do lists and connect back.
I am looking forward to seeing what this week will be like. I may get homesick and come back early. I may not want to come back. I know I will miss Keith and our house and my flower and vegetable garden. They are all waiting for me, along with a mess to put up from the wedding, chores and summer cleaning. For now I think I’ll join Molly in a nap.