Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Almost there...

On the morning after next, Bern and I will drive Bela to the kennel and then go to New Haven where we'll meet John Anderson and Sherry Ellis and start driving toward Oak Island, North Carolina. We take two days down and two days back. On Saturday afternoon, Mimi and Tim will arrive in the car they rented in Raleigh after flying from NYC. Then will come, arguably, my favorite 7 days of the year. With those folks in a beach front house on an island off the coast of Southport, NC. Some of my favorite people in the whole world, together for a whole week, on a beach, with nothing we 'need' to do or 'have' to do. Just being together with salt and sea and sand and pelicans and lots of good food.

I think I've told you Bern and I went to Oak Island for the first time in either 1975 or 76. And we went every year for about 20 years after that until our children rebelled that it was 'too boring'. But we've gone back, thanks to Mimi and Tim, who re-discovered it 5 years ago. Mimi, Tim, John, Bern and I are constant. This is Sherry's third year. We're staying in a house named The Andromeda Strain--for some reason.

It will be wondrous and good. It will be hot during the day--and if the air is 87, the ocean will be 85--the Gulf Stream runs around Oak Island. And it will be cooler at night and the sky will be amazing, even with the ambient light from Southport off to the left. you can see the Milky Way, which you can't see in Cheshire.

And these wondrous people will read and be quiet most of the time, and cook incredible meals and we will drink wine and sleep deeply and wake each morning to be present to 'family', though John and Sherry and Tim aren't really blood.

The only thing missing will be the other 6 people who are my family: Josh and Cathy and the three granddaughters--Emma, Morgan and Tegan--and Jack Ellis, Sherry's husband, who has to work and can't come to Oak Island.

That makes, finally 12 people, exactly the only 12 people Bela, our Puli, loves. But Bela can't come to the beach since he travels badly and barks most of the time he's in a car. For a two day trip both ways, that would get real old, real fast.

But that's where we'll be. I'll try to use someone's laptop to add to Under the Castor Oil Tree if I can. But if I'm not here for 10 days or so, know this, I am with people I love profoundly in a place I've loved for much of my life and we are eating well. And being happy just to be in the same space, whether we talk or not.

Perfect vacation is what I call that....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.