Monday, July 26, 2010

Because My Brain Just Can't Come Up With More

- I haven't talked about it, but I am going to Blogher '10 in New York City next week. I was excited, and then I was kind of blah, and now I'm excited again. And starting to stress out about the usual girl things: what to wear, how many pairs of shoes will fit in my suitcase, can I lose 20 pounds in the next 9 days. I have my roommates lined up at the Hilton and I am ready to get my groove on. If you're going, let me know, let's exchange numbers and promise to meet up.

- We pulled up the carpet from the second floor. I had pulled up some corners and I was optimistic that the hard wood floors underneath would be in decent shape. I am happy to report that they are gorgeous! There are a couple of spots but nothing that gives me any anxiety. Yay for quality craftsmanship in older houses!

- Hallelujah for the premium channel TV shows coming back to kill the summer TV drought. Closer, Mad Men, Being Human, My Boys: you're saving me from eating my foot out of boredom.

- And speaking of feet. I went to the doctor and they did some x-rays. It's a heel spur. Yay. It's painful and has pretty much put a stop to my running career. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually disappointed. I didn't like running, but it has a meditative quality that I enjoyed. I'm still working out, but no running.

- Our house has three temperature zones: arctic, temperate and tropical. In our bedrooms on the second floor, we're stripped down to skivvies, laying under the ceiling fan arguing about which direction its supposed to turn. In the basement TV/family room, we're bundled up in fluffy socks underneath my leopard print Snuggie. We've had the repair men out to make sure our AC works right. It does. And we've tried every combination of closed/open vents. Always the same result. It's maddening.

- Did I mention I'm going to Blogher? Yeah. Three days. No cooking. No housework. No "mommy, mommy, mooommmmeeeee!" Ahhh.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life's a Beach and Then You Go Home

When I was a girl, I dreamed of summers spent at the beach. Crashing waves, salty air, tan skin. I am a Pisces, the fish. I don't know if I subscribe to astrology, but in this area it is spot on. I do love the water. Alas, growing up in landlocked Kansas, dreams of the ocean are all I had. And while we spent many, many summer days and nights on the lake waterskiing and swimming, always there was that call to the ocean.

It is many, many years later and now I live on the water. Or darn close anyway. You can't see it from my house, but you can be there within 15 or 20 minutes. Despite this, I have taken miserly few beach vacations. So many of my trips have involved visiting family in other parts of the country that I have neglected this desire.

But a few weeks ago, after months of anticipation and planning, I found my way to the ocean again. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

We drove through the night, a mostly sleeping toddler in the back seat while I fought hallucinations to get there alive. It seems I'm not so good at staying up 24 hours as I used to be. Also, two glasses of wine and I am DONE. But that is another story.

We arrived to find our hotel and, thanks to all that is good and holy, they let us check in hours ahead of normal time. Despite our dismay at not getting the room we reserved (Again, months and months ago. Wyndam, you let us down. Big time.), we were delighted with the view and location. We made do, because what kind of practical midwesterner would I be if I couldn't overcome a teensy bit of adversity like that?

Our first night was the Fourth of July and I would be remiss if I didn't say that if you've never seen fireworks from a 15th story balcony in North Myrtle Beach, well, you just haven't lived. First off, evidently the folks in South Carolina aren't as concerned about people blowing off fingers and catching houses on fire as we are here in Maryland, the land of "we don't trust you with more than a sparkler." Seriously, they should put that on the license plate. No my friends, in South Carolina, any Tom, Dick and Jim Bob can shoot off any kind of firework they want. Anywhere. And they did. All up and down the beach, for miles and miles. Dangerous though it might have been, it was spectacular. Watching my daughter ooh and aah, her eyes wide, made the long drive and sleepless night completely worth it.

The rest of the week went by in a lazy progression of food, pool, food, nap, beach, food, sleep. Repeat. The days ran in to one another. I ate my weight in crab legs and fried corn on the cob. I felt not sleep deprived for the first time in nearly three years. My beloved husband, without discussion, took the lion's share of Sophie watching, so I could enjoy myself. And most importantly, I rolled around in the Atlantic waves.

Our last day, we watched a lightening storm come in off of the water. It was a fitting end to a week of perfect weather. We sat on the balcony, watching the current travel between cloud and water, listening to the thunder and wishing we could stay just a little bit longer.

I know we will look back on the photos for years to come and laugh at the memory of the little girls (and their daddies) digging their way to china in the sand, the look on Sophie's face when we jumped into a wave as it crested, the homey little diner where we ate breakfast and the waitresses played peekaboo with Sophie, floating around the lazy river pool, us on the big tubes and Sophie on her little donkey floaty.

You understand how people can chuck it all and run away to live a carefree beach lifestyle. Pull a Gauguin*. Those few days spent with friends, each other and the ocean, were idyllic. It would be heaven to live like that always. But it is often rarity that bestows upon a thing its preciousness. Could we appreciate the beauty and simple pleasures if we had them everyday?

I can tell you this much, I wouldn't mind trying.

*Although not the abandoning family part.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lost and Found

I wrote a lovely long post describing our trip to Myrtle Beach last week. As I was going back through editing it, Blogger ate it. ATE. IT. Hundreds of perfectly ordered words. Gone. I clicked Control "Z", I clicked on the back button, I tried everything I could think of to recover it. To no avail. Gone, gone, gone. There were words used. Words that rhyme with duck and fit. Not that they did a lick of good, but they made me feel better.

I'll get back to it. When I'm not so angry at Blogger.

I still feel out of the loop. Still recovering from our vacation. It's funny how a few hundred miles can change so much. Having Neil there all the time was more than nice, not just for the help with Sophie, but to spend so much time with the man I married. Time away from our usual obligations.

We had wi-fi, in fact we both brought our laptops, and we had our iPhones, but we disconnected for the most part. We watched almost no tv and we spent the evenings just chilling out together; reading, talking. It wasn't exactly a second honeymoon, because there was, after all, a toddler along for the ride. A toddler who thought that 5:30am was when the day began. But we spent quality time together, cliched though that sounds. And I truly do think we rediscovered each other a little.

I don't want to let that go. How do you hold on to the vacation intimacy in the face of dirty floors and yards that need mowing and bills that need paying and meal planning and sleep deprivation? I wish I could compress that feeling into a pill and whenever we're feeling cross with each other or frustrated with Sophie, we could take the pill and find our way back to that place.

So I'll get back to my vacation recap, if for no other reason than to relive it. Soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Is there anything more symbolic? Spitting out seeds, juice dripping down your chin and arms, that deliciously sweet taste. Watermelon IS summer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Beachy

Still away, unplugged.
So many stories to tell.
They will have to wait.