Here's the deal: If a whole week or more goes by and nothing happens on this blog, I'm probably not so much sucking my thumb in the back of my closet as in Boston with los padres. As indeed we were last week. And as a trip within a trip, we spent a couple days in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Aside: Someone needs to invent a website that caters specifically to travel with handicapped persons. Do you know how hard it is to locate a place that both offers the right degree of accessibility AND provides sufficient activity for the more limber members of the family?)
We ended up staying here, at the Seaside Inn, and it was lovely. Here is the view from our first-floor balcony. Blue line in background = Atlantic Ocean.
Here we are having crossed that lawn:
And here we are a few yards ahead, right where the sea meets the shore:
Excuse me! I have an announcement to make! For the remainder of my Texan life, I will be spending the months of June, July, and August -- oh, whattheheck, let's throw in September and live dangerously -- in Kennebunkport. Let's just put it this way. When my friend Caroline drove down to sit on the beach with us, cute baby in tow, she made the following remark: "I couldn't believe it! I got into my car to come down here [from Portland] and the thermometer read EIGHTY-SIX DEGREES!"
And I think she mopped her brow. Not that I'm bitter.
Like I said. Only came home to pack up the bare essentials.
We've taken our kids to beaches in the Carolinas, in Texas, in California, in Mexico, and now in Maine, and it never ceases to amaze me how they can spend HOURS making something out of nothing. At one point a gaggle of teenaged guys and girls paraded by, acting the way mixed company does at that age and generally off-gassing testosterone, and I looked over the other shoulder at my three kids as they industriously assembled a collection of sand bombs, conspiring like some tableau of storybook siblings. The urge to freeze time has rarely been more compelling.
Look! Even Dad made it down to the sand! I'm telling you, the seashore is a great equalizer.
He felt there weren't quite enough lobsters on the Maine coast, so he decided to try a little camouflage by neglecting to wear sunscreen.
Peter came from San Diego to join us. Paul and Betty hung out after work hours (while we were in Massachusetts). Renée brought baby Sofia over to soak up some lovin's.
It's not just the trip that's keeping me quieter, but life's been busy since we returned. Also, I'm feeling a bit shell-shocked, not just by events in our own family, but even more so by having to watch some dear friends walk through some deep valleys. One lost her husband in Iraq a couple weeks ago. Another has had to take refuge in a battered women's shelter, and our door and guest bed are a thousand miles away. Etcetera etcetera.
I need to remember that I can render more help by praying than by doing.
I also need to remember the good times. Writing, photos, humor -- they all help to beat back the blues, to remind me that amidst the stream of bad news, there are still beauty and joy to be found for the searching.