Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Easy Livin'

This isn't real life, this beach living. I realize that. Today is the mid-point of this vacation, the day when you realize that soon enough, you'll be leaving this escape from regular life and return to your normal day-to-day existence. It's not an oppressive feeling, yet, but it is an awareness that what's left of this time here, in our own nirvana, must be savored.

I haven't baked one thing yet and may not for the whole week. We're concentrating on creating simple, delicious dinners to be enjoyed around a big table -- dinners where we sit and talk and hang around for a long time after. After a few hours at the beach and a post-beach swim in the pool, late yesterday afternoon my sister Anne, brother Danny and I drove across the bridge that connects Emerald Isle to the mainland to find the makings of our dinner. Danny chose rib-eye steaks, one for each person, and we picked up white corn (on the cob). I made a sea-shell macaroni salad with tuna, chopped roma tomatoes, cucumbers, and a little onion. Anne tossed a salad. Danny grilled the steaks with a lemon-pepper rub, and my sister-in-law Suzette made me a Cosmo (wow!) but even better, a mushroom sauce for the steaks with olive oil, butter, and garlic. It was a summer night's feast. My nephews Patrick and Will made hot fudge sundaes for anyone who could manage it after dinner, and later we went for a walk on the beach. The moon was not visible but the stars were brilliant. We futily tried to identify consetllations, but most of us have forgotten our elementary school astronomy. Must brush up! After our walk, we hung out on the front porch and could hear the surf along with the cicadas and tree frogs, in what Anne called a symphony of nature. I thought to myself, as I walked with my family, how lucky I am to have this time with them.

I have just awakened to another beautiful day. The sun is streaming in through the dining room window. All is quiet in the house. Will and Patrick are already off to a nearby golf course. My brother-in-law John is sitting on the couch reading a newspaper. Anne, Danny, and Suzette have yet to make an appearance. I'm sitting here, at the granite counter of an expansive kitchen, blurry-eyed while I type this blog, more relaxed than I've been in a year. My hair looks like I've had a terrible fright, I'm in my Skidmore t-shirt and flannel p.j. bottoms, thinking about what today will bring - sure to be another day of time spent with people I love, planning a delicious dinner, and walks along the beach. If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up!

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