While I Breathe, I Hope

boy on beach

I made good on my promise to my son last week, and we vacationed in Myrtle Beach. Getting back into the normal life and work routine here, it’s almost surreal to think that I was even there, and yet still so close in my memories that all I have to do is close my eyes and I can taste the salty ocean water and feel the hot sand under my feet.

Most of all, I feel accomplished. I am not the world’s most frequent traveler, so when I successfully go some place and return relatively unscathed, it’s an accomplishment. And, generally speaking, we were relatively unscathed. A little sunburned, certainly fatigued from sleeping in unfamiliar places, but we went, we saw, and we conquered. My car made it, nobody got majorly hurt or sick, the rental unit was as described, and my credit card worked everywhere – win.

My son has always loved the beach but those visits have been limited to creeks, ponds, and both sides of Lake Erie’s shores, both here in Ohio and in Canada. The ocean is just a completely different ballgame and to say he loved it would be an understatement. He would have been happy if all we did was eat and go to the beach, and then go to the pool at the condo complex at night. For as much as he hates swimming lessons, which he has been in literally for years and still cannot swim, this boy loves the water. But we did do other things. There was miniature golf, there were touristy shops, some overpriced but fun tourist attractions, and a shitload of candy, way more than I ever let him consume at home.

Yes, he ate his Froot Loops every day. He demanded them as soon as he opened his eyes.

It’s raining here in Cleveland, and unseasonably cold today, in the mid-50s. It’s a rough re-entry. The kid is at his dad’s and reportedly has a cold, no big surprise.

I was so glad to get home, though. Dorothy’s lesson is always learned whenever I travel. I cozied up to my pizza and Game of Thrones last night and enjoyed the silence.

It’s back to the grind. There are bills to pay, trash to take out, doctor’s appointments to schedule. I went back to physical therapy today and am considering mainlining my coffee as it doesn’t seem to be working.

But I miss the ocean, and the chunky feel of my extremely wavy hair when it’s beach-dried and sandy and not flat-ironed smooth. I even wore a bikini top, my first time ever because I’ve always been so self-conscious about my body’s scars that I’ve never owned one. It didn’t look that bad, even though my middle aged fatness is not ideal. I may go for the bottoms later this summer if I can find anything that doesn’t look atrocious.

The beach is a great equalizer. There were people of all sizes, shapes and colors there, every perceived socio-economic class. You can have expensive, fancy beach chairs and pricey sunglasses, or come with nothing but a dog-eared towel and flip flops.

Everyone looks for sea shells.

 

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