It's become a tradition, at the end of every July, for my husband and me to take a vacation together, just the two of us. This year, we'd planned a great trip to the West Coast, where we'd stay at places along beaches or rocky shores. But a few days before we were to leave on the trip, my mother-in-law went into the hospital with pneumonia. So our summer vacation was spent in a hospital room, sleeping on the floor, eating meals the kids brought us, and just being with my mother-in-law during her last days. By the time we held her funeral in early August, the vacation we'd planned was a distant memory.
Then my husband found out that the airline would let him reschedule our flights, as long as we did it before the end of November. Given our work schedules, that meant flying to the West Coast for just a weekend. I wondered, to be honest, if it worth it to go all that way just for a couple of days by the ocean.
This morning, I woke at dawn, my body still on East Coast time. I could hear the sound of ocean waves crashing against the cliffs below the hotel. I dressed quickly, grabbed my camera, and walked out into the misty morning to go explore. Paths led me down the cliffs to a long beach with a wooden pier. The salty ocean breeze was cool, but sun was just beginning to rise over the little oceanside town, making the wet sand glisten. Surfers were arriving, pulling on black wet suits in the parking lot, carrying their boards into the waves. I walked along the sand, listening to the waves, watching the surfers, and feeling happy we'd come.