So you all know that I had to cancel my Big Vacation, right? I was going to go to Hawaii, and then when that got messed up I was going to go to Portland, OR. But then Niel died, and I got psychically exhausted and was not up for a trip, and also it made no sense to me to leave Josh alone, just then, just a week after his brother's funeral. I went to work the first two days of the week I was going to be away, and the other days I stayed home but worked from about 7-2 every day, clearing out old emails that needed clearing out—responding, deleting, filing—until it all came under control. Meanwhile, I kept looking to see if there was something that Josh and I could do together on the weekend. Some getaway somewhere that made sense. A wonderful generous friend offered her place on the Jersey shore, and we were about to take her up on that when Josh mentioned that what he most wanted was weather where it was easy to be outside. Nothing extreme. My other wonderful generous friends (actually, I have more than two, but this story is about two) Karen and Andy recently bought a condo on Siesta Key near Sarasota, Florida. I called Karen up. Actually, I texted her. I asked her if it would be possible to borrow it for the weekend. Within literally minutes, she had texted back that it was rented this weekend, but that her inlaws had a place too, and that was available, if we would pay to get it cleaned when we are done, we could borrow it. Within literally a few more minutes, I had booked the flights.
Remember how I have discovered that the key to joy is gratitude? I wasn't even at Siesta Key yet, and I felt insanely grateful to Karen who (while packing her house for movers to arrive the next morning) did all it was she needed to do to make all this happen. And the minute I knew we were going away, I felt joy. Joy in knowing that Josh and I were going to get a bit of downtime together. Joy in anticipating white sand and warm sun. (The weather report predicted a "cold spell"—only in the 60s—but that actually sounded perfect to me.) Joy in packing shorts. Joy in anticipating eating fresh fish and oranges. Joy in friendship, trust, and generosity.
What I didn't know to anticipate? The moment we walked out onto the beach for the first time, just as the sun was setting
with a cold beer and some kale chips (see previous post.) I left the snacks with Josh for a few minutes and just ran down the beach into the sunset. This is how I looked when I got back.
The wind picked up and blew a few of our kale chips away. Kale chip down!
So we packed up our snacks and walked the beach until it got dark, and then went out to a fish joint that got great reviews on Chowhound. Plus, it was named after my dad. I had a special Bloody Mary with a shrimp on the rim.
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. To the sun. To the sky. To the eras of geological evolution that created fine white sand. To Karen's inlaws. To Karen.
Who clearly was not on Siesta Key when she had that cutest ever photo taken. (My
guess is Canada, where she grew up before she moved to Harvard in 9th
grade.) (Also, if you agree that she should get these glasses again, I
urge you to post comments on this blog.)