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Food for thought

Seeking refuge in castles made of sand

Determined to hang on to every second of our final few days of freedom, Basil and I high-tailed it to Tod’s Point today, trying to outrun the predicted afternoon storms that so far haven’t come.

It’s no Jersey Shore, but the sun, sand and Long Island Sound still soothe and delight. Being a weekday, the beach was sparsely populated — mostly mothers and children firmly sticking to their summertime routine, and the occasional vacationing couple. I tucked into Gillian Flynn‘s “Gone Girl” (quite good in case you’re interested). Basil flipped to Bon Appetit’s recent article on making ribs.

I’m keenly aware of how quickly the hours are flying by, along with the emails piling up and the work tasks that await. But I’m also determined to start fresh on Monday — work hard, but compartmentalize, too. Too many things are whizzing by and I’m missing a ton of simple pleasures while my nose is buried in work-work or housework or chores or errands.

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be back to the grind — school and extra-curriculars, band practice (me), the church volleyball league and youth group (Catherine). There will be SATs and college discussions, more driving lessons and heaven knows what. I can feel them all tugging at me already, setting my fight-or-flight instinct to idle.

Unfortunately, of all the skills I possess (some of which I’ve even mastered), the ability to relax is not among them. Now that we’re back from Seaside Heights, I’m antsy — a few licks with the vacuum, the week’s grocery shopping, a quick check of the BlackBerry, a run-through of the two new songs for next week’s set. … All day I’ve talked myself out of working “just a few minutes.”

I should have gone to Jazzercise instead of ShopRite this morning.

My mind unwilling to quiet, my only defense was to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. So, before Basil took Catherine for today’s driving lesson, we trekked to our local seaside getaway. (In case you’re keeping track, Catherine got up to 25 mph, practiced making U-turns and only nicked the chain-link fence while parking one time today. Basil declared improvement over yesterday in both skill and confidence.)

There, I watched three young boys intently filling and emptying a large plastic paint bucket from Home Depot. There was a method to their work, but I couldn’t sort it out. Start with a 3-to-1 water-to-sand mix. Add sand by the shovel-full. Mix. Repeat. Dump water. Add sand. Remove sand with shovel. Add water. Dump water. Start again.

I couldn’t help wonder if girls would do it differently — would they make proper sand castles or turn the concoction into a “meal” for a game of house like Traci and I used to do with the clover leaves, mud and blades of grass in the front yard?

The boys amused themselves in this vein for quite some time.

Me, too, apparently.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


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