Beaner - working two jobs, taking two summer classes and still volunteering was stressed to the core. She was so tightly wound I could barely stand to be around her. She just oozed anxiety.
Peachie - working 12 hour shifts on the hospital stroke floor, and a lot of overtime, was just plain exhausted and having a tough time dealing with so much death.
Martha - now the matriarch of her extended family, dealing with more crazy stuff than should be allowed in any family.
Me - being asked to deal with way too much crap outside my department at work, working too many hours to get it done, a hip that was giving me both physical and emotional pain, and an ear infection that would not quit.
Basically we were all on edge, pushing each other’s buttons and also all grieving the loss of our beloved cat, the depth of that loss surprised us all. We needed a vacation.
Always the first to rise I would get my morning coffee and head to this bench. An hour of much needed solitude.
On my return, Peachie would get up and we would take a leisurely bike ride through cemeteries, charming neighborhoods and around salt marshes, until a flat tire grounded us and we switched to walks along the beach.
Then everyone would get up and we stroll back to the beach for a few hours of lazy sun worshiping.
Off to a different quaint village every night for dinner by the sea. Seafood every night is a very good thing for me.
Then walking through each village eating incredible homemade ice cream and browsing the unique shops.
Back home at night to lay on the beach with my daughters, watch the stars and chat about our hopes and dreams before going to bed where the sea breezes wafted through the windows.
Beaner - finally relaxed and returned to her goofy self.
Peachie - laughing for the first time in too long a time.
Martha - happy and carefree.
Me - The salt sea air was the best medicine for all my aches and pains. Not looking at my phone or email for a week did wonders for my work stress level and being near the ocean, where I grew up, brought me to a very calm and peaceful place. It will always be home to me.
By Tuesday everyone will be back to their regular routines and life will return to crazy, hectic levels. But for one amazing week, my family shared time and conversation and food and laughter in a beautiful setting. We realize that it will get harder and harder to get everyone together in the future but for one glorious week, life was just about perfect.