Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Taking time

We spent last week in Bandon, Ore., in a charming beach house with windows that looked like picture frames because of the beach and ocean views from every one of them. We had no agendas, nothing that had to get done or places we had to go. It was marvelous.

The weather was cool -- a few days we actually got slightly above 70 -- and mostly sunny: one morning of fog that lifted by afternoon; another morning with rain showers (loved it) that also lifted later in the day. We walked on the beach, picking up agates, taking pictures of waves and gulls and starfish. We visited a couple of lighthouses. I spent an afternoon poking around the stores in historic old town and came home with several tops that I adore, plus gifties for various people. We read, we watched mindless television and movies. We slept with the roar of the waves echoing through our place. It was wonderful.

The only complaint about the whole week was that the house is 57 steps below street level, and they are steep steps, the kind you want to hang onto the railing to go down. But going up -- wow. What a workout for the legs! Cardio workout for sure. I never made it up there without stopping at least twice. The beach was only about 15 or so steps down, not nearly as steep.

We needed the time away. It has been a hard year in so many ways: emotionally, physically, spiritually, probably mostly emotionally. And it did what we'd hoped it would -- gave us a welcome respite from day-to-day life and stresses.

I think the trick is to create more of those moments within day-to-day life -- to declare a phone-free day, or sit and read a book, or watch mindless television, or cook from the freezer case instead of from scratch. Because there was no cell service in the house, our phone contact was limited to either when we'd go out on an excursion, ending up usually at the grocery store to buy that evening's dinner, or to the cumbersome phone card which we had purchased in anticipation of no service. It was lovely, actually.

We had internet -- and had brought the laptop, mainly so Tony could upload pictures as we took them -- and did check e-mails, but did little corresponding. We did keep up with an unfolding drama that infested the local art community here via e-mail, but did not respond to it, having taken a vow some time ago to stay out of that particular crock of manure. Well, okay, we did correspond briefly with a few of our friends who got spattered, just to offer our support and concern....

It was good to have that much time together, though -- with Tony working and out of the house so long five days a week, we really treasure what little time we do have. When we first came here and were in real estate, we were together pretty much all the time -- actually, that was one of our primary goals when we moved here -- and we have missed that. We know the current situation will end eventually, but right now it works...

When it is so hot outside, which it is here pretty much at least four months of the year, you don't really want to go out and about much, so we tend to cocoon indoors in the summer where it is cool. But that is not necessarily healthy either -- it's good to get out and do something interesting, even just taking a drive, or going to the mountains where it is at least cooler. Heat tires one out, too, and there is never a lack of things that need doing around here, although in the summer most of them are indoors. In the winter, my favorite time actually, it can be too cold or rainy to do stuff outside, and then we cocoon inside with the wood stove and pots of soup!

I guess my lesson in our little vacation by the sea is that we need to find some mini-breaks at least a couple of times a month, and get away from the house and the to-do lists, and just be with each other. Life goes by so quickly, and the most important part of it is our relationship with each other, not all the things that need doing. It's that balance lesson again, hm.

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