I feel out of practice, not having written anything of substance since last week! I was going to write yesterday, but instead drove to Richmond to help Miles celebrate his "almost" seventh birthday. Miles' birthdays and milestones are a little tough for me as he was only seven weeks older than Hannah. I see him and his big ole teeth and gangly height and wonder about the Monkey. :sigh:
We had a great time with Jen, Derek and the kids and I had my first taste of Mario Kart--YIKES!! is all I've got to say to that! ;oP. We got in around 7:00 last night and the last thing on my mind was typing a blog post. I decided to add one more day to my computer vacation. I missed journaling, but the time I had as a result of my lack of internet was incredible. I've decided I need to once again do something to limit the amount of time I'm on-line. The internet is just SOOOOO seductive...
I go back to work next week and I confess I'm far from ready, nor am I quite looking forward to it. I know once I'm back in the routine of it I'll be happy to be there, but I feel as if my summer has only just started and lament it's actually almost over. :sigh:
As for the beach, well, I was a raving, nasty, grumpy witch most of the trip. The horrible thing is I knew I was being touchy and sensitive and nasty, and yet, I found I couldn't help myself. I knew I was putting everyone else on edge because of my behavior and I really was trying my best not to be like that. I've had the gift of time to assess my actions/behaviors and came to a few conclusions:
1. I always think of the beach as being "family" vacations, and yes, I was there with part of my family. However, Brien was missing and that was really hard for me.
2. I have come to rely on Brien for support more than I realized. He's my center, my grounding point, the one I go to when no one else understands. He and I shared something no one else in my family, no matter how much they love me, could understand. He is the only other person in this world who loved Hannah they way I did and her loss brought us closer together than ever before.
3. I missed Hannah. I missed having her with me to share her enthusiasm and excitement of a "real wave beach!". I longed to have her with me to show me all the wonders and be enchanted with them. I found them, but it just wasn't the same and it was hard.
4. I still LOVE the beach, but was on edge quite a bit around the water. This edginess manifested itself in nasty behavior later. I'm sorry, everyone, I really am.
I felt as if I was in a cross between PMS and the anger everyone assured me I would experience in my stages of grief. And, oh, was I pissed at the world last week. At no time was I mad at my family, I was just angry in general. I hate myself when I'm like that and have no idea how to get myself out of the situation. I'm intentionally provoking and horrible and feel out of control. It was awful, pure and simple--me, not the trip.
We stayed at the same place we have been going to since I was a kid. The thing that was brought home to me is that my life will NEVER be the same again. I remember so many fun and carefree summers and I think I may have tried to force myself to be that way and I just couldn't. I'm not the same person I was before July 19th last year, no matter how much I wish I could be. The juxtaposition of how my life was compared to how it is now was hard to experience.
Again, to Mom, Paul, Jessie, Bob, Ella, Gabriel and Lily, I'm so terribly sorry I behaved so abominably last week. At no time was any of my nastiness intended to be directed at you, it was more a self-loathing/mad at the world thing and I'm sorry I tried my damnedest to ruin our vacation. :o(
In spite of my yuckiness, I think we had a pretty good time. Sunday and Monday were spent on the beach with Lil and I slathered in SPF 50. Being the pasty, underbelly-of-a-fish pale girl that I am, I still managed to get quite a bit of pink on my back Monday morning. Monday was also Paul's birthday so I made meatloaf and Granny Tess taters and a salad. I also took Paul to Nags Head to the Harris Teeter there to pick up some cider for his birthday. We stopped by Jockey's Ridge and I was shocked to see how short it is compared to ten years ago. I'm assuming Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd and Isabel did quite a number on the dunes.
Tuesday we visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and took the ferry to Ocracoke. Paul, Bob and Ella were ready to face the climb to the top of the lighthouse when Ella was told she was too short. Poor thing! Too bad they didn't know Ella like we do for I KNEW she could manage that climb far better than I! She was so dejected at being told she couldn't climb the "tower".
I was stunned with how closely they pack the cars in on the ferry. The USCG mans the ferries, unlike the one we take here in Williamsburg. The tourists LOVE heading to Ocracoke, so these guys and gals are seasoned veterans, and man, are they GOOD! The cars were so close people could barely squeeze between them! The girls seemed to enjoy the ride--I'm fairly certain it was the first time Ella had been on a boat with cars--and we were more than ready for lunch when we reached the village. Paul and Lissie rode with Lil and me and after lunch we visited the Ocracoke light and then headed for home. We were all hot and exhausted when we finally made it back to Salvo.
Wednesday and Thursday were both beach days, with Bob, Jessie and crew heading out on Thursday. Mom and Paul had scouted other beaches and found one that had a boardwalk access to the beach which we all determined would be easier for Lil. Lily is quite the trooper when hiking through sand, but it does tire her fairly quickly, what with her legs being so short and hiking through sand being hard work. We slathered ourselves with sunscreen, loaded all our stuff into the van and hit the road with Lil screaming the entire way because we had the nerve to leave Bear behind (I think she was also just tired at this point). We arrived, parked right at the boardwalk and discovered it was closed due to nesting birds (this is a BIG bone of contention with the islanders right now...) so we trudged up an ORV (off road vehicle) ramp, made it to the beach, only to be immediately swarmed by black flies. :shudder: That was it--put a fork in me, I was DONE! Apparently, Lil was as well. :sigh:
I didn't take many photos on beach days because I didn't take the camera with me. I knew I would be coated in sand and going into the water and didn't want to destroy my beloved "baby". Tomorrow I will post what photos I did take that are decent enough to share. Lily is a brown little baby and I'm no longer quite day-glo white. ;o)
All in all, I had a wonderful time in spite of my crappy attitude, I'm grateful my family love me and put up with me, and I'm delighted to be home. I really missed my honey.
1. Time spent with my family
2. I was at the BEACH!! Yay!
3. Good seafood to eat. Yummmmmmmmmm
4. Coming home is always so wonderful after you've been away.
5. Miles' birthday party and visiting with family.
6. My own bed and NOT sharing it with Lily, LOL!
7. My little travel trooper. That kid is something else! :o)
8. My family who obviously loves me very much because they didn't boot me out on my er, ear. Thanks, guys!
Going to the beach sans Hannah. Being around the water again. Need I say more?
It's good to be back, to be able to reflect and journal. I always feel more even keeled when I can sit and contemplate my mood and disoposition and figure out why I feel the way I do.
For those who checked in, said a quick prayer, sent up a positive thought/vibe, thank you so much. I couldn't have done it without you. :o)
Oh, yes, one more thing, I can't for the life of me remember which wonderful commenter added me to their blogroll, but it is more than all right. I'm flattered you enjoy me enough to add me. :o)
On a final note, another family has experienced the horrifying loss of their sweet angel. If you could please take a moment to say a quick prayer for them, it would be very appreciated.