Damn. Damn. Damn. I’m nearly a half of a century old..when will I get use to this? Depression is setting in, and there isn’t enough chocolate in the universe to reverse thrusters. I am a simmering stew of dread. Vacation is over. We’re home.
A couple of blogs ago I wrote about our seashore tradition, a multi-generational , century-plus old trek to the Jersey shore, Sea Isle to be exact. As it is written, we pulled into town singing, “Sea Isle City Here We Come”, windows down, everyone taking in big gulps of the marshy air. Excitement vibrating our old minivan, the van we did not plan to take, did not service or gas up, because, once again we weren’t going to take it. We are never taking the van on trips , until we start loading the Jeep, and realize our boys will never last sitting in each others laps all the way to the shore, resulting in a miserable journey of complaining and bloodshed. I would prefer sharing my seat with a fire extinguisher in my lap for the engine fire that I am sure we are headed for, then listen to them bitch and moan. Every vacation in recent years starts with this packing, unpacking and repacking ritual, until we pull away in Ol’ Bessie, fingers crossed she’ll get us there one more time. She did, there and back, God Bless the old silver girl.
We had the usual wonderful week. The weather was grand, long days on the beach surrounded by family, the kind you enjoy being around. Lots of laughter and silliness. A shared lifetime of memories. A new baby to squeeze. Cheeks Chura, you send me, World’s Most Kissable Baby. I promised myself I would not miss a sunrise, and I didn’t. No small feat, due to the fact I was introduced to a fabulous invention, a Margarita in a bag! Simply freeze, take to beach, squeeze into a plastic cup and suck with straw! The shore is the only place you can get away with drinking before noon, without raised eyebrows and someone suggesting counseling to you. I stumbled to the sunrise each morning and watched in awe, clearly a rookie , as the morning soldiers were jogging by me, ears plugged with music, focused straight ahead. I sat, mouth agape watching the sky turn gorgeous shades of orange as God woke up the shore. A daily diet of whatever we felt like eating, whenever we felt like eating it. Lots of delicious shore tomatoes and melons along with way to much pizza, hoagies and fries. Burp. Gatherings at the various homes of family, more drinks and laughter, and a night on the town with a great live band and *gasp* dancing. I haven’t danced with Joe in years, I love music, but these two left feet dance best at home, alone. Home is where I am a most fabulous dancer, in the kitchen, while chopping vegetables. Not in public, surrounded by young hipsters. Nonetheless, the spirit was moved, and we danced like it was 1984, two crazy college kids in love again. Sigh. I told myself it was one of the best years ever and I would be grateful for it, not sad. I’m sad.
My post vacation mental state is nothing new. When I was a child I would cry leaving Sea Isle, turned completely around in my seat in the back of the Chevy Impala, watching the morning sun bounce off the ocean one last time. It looked exactly as it did the week before when we entered, except now it was the saddest sight ever. Fast forward several decades, and I’m still crying, only on the inside. I still watch the ocean disappear, stealing glances in the side mirror. I chat up the kids , feigning cheeriness. “Such a great week!” “See you next year!” Yeah right, come Monday I will be returning to work, fully shell shocked, ticking off the “I can’t believes” and the “this time last weeks” in my mind. ” I can’t believe I am at this traffic light when this time last week I was on the beach, sucking a delicious cocktail from a bag”. “I can’t believe I am listening to this surgeon complain when this time last week, I was twinkle-toes Tessie with a live horn section blasting in my ears”