If anyone with a news tip had trouble contacting me recently, let me offer my apologies. News is the coin of the realm in my world, and I am always ready to listen. But I was absent my post lo nigh on to nine days for some much needed R&R.
Yes, My Lady Wife and I took some vacation leave along with my sister-in-law Kevin Ann and her husband, Tom, to seek out the sunny Gulf Coast. We enjoy going in September because the college kids are all back in school, the snow birds from Canada have not migrated south for the winter, and thus we have a reasonably uncluttered beach to enjoy all to ourselves.
We have done this for several years now. We like the time of year because it is seldom stultifyingly hot, merely warm enough to appreciate the shade of an umbrella sturdily anchored in the sand.
We are fortunate in that we always go to the gulf side of the Sunshine State and it was the part that was mercifully spared the season’s two hurricanes. Indeed, most days there was scarcely any surf at all, just a smooth glassy expanse what looked like an endless lake.
Each morning, we would trek with beach paraphernalia in hand to stake out our plot of sand – or table by the pool. We enjoy both. Each day more or less unfolds as our whims shape the geography of the day.
We do have something of a to-do list – restaurants we want to try – or revisit – Tom wants a day of fishing. I want ample time to crawl into that book I had been saving especially for this trip.
Editor’s note: I finished all of two chapters. Where does the time go?
We are a gaming crew. Many mornings are spent shuffling domino tiles or playing golf. Other than the fact that there is always a frosty beverage nearby, it is played using two decks of cards rather than clubs and we sit at a table. It has nothing to do with that game of the same name that involves chasing a small white ball.
As I said, we spend a good deal of our time choosing which restaurants we want to indulge in. We think a lot about food actually. The two sisters, neé Everest, grew up in a large family and love to cook for as much as I love to eat.
Often we were faced with the dilemma of having to choose between eating out or sampling the gourmet recipes of My Lady Wife or Kevin Ann. Like as not, Tom and I would gallantly forgo eating out to allow one of our wives to whip up some new confection in the oven to our gustatory delight.
When the third Everest sister, Kim, joined us on Day Six of our sandy stay, we abandoned eating dinner out altogether (all the Everest clan of the female persuasion love to cook) and relegated local eateries to serving us the occasional breakfast or lunch.
So the days pass, with gentle breezes coming off the salt water and I am beguiled by the siren sound of the gentle surf lapping at the shore. I am living life in three-quarter time and scarcely noting the twittering of newscasts (or presidents for that matter).
Politics is deemed a gauche subject for the beach anyway. And Washington is far away, physically and spiritually.
Somehow the car found an “oldies” radio station all by itself. And everywhere we went – if we could be so stirred – the radio filled my ears with the sounds of my youth and beach trips long past.
Alas, all such reveries must end and I again find myself at my computer answering emails and delving into local campaign races. Yes it is business – which is to say politics – as usual.
But pardon me if there is no hop in my step. If my attention may seem to wander, pay it no mind. If I have a faraway look in my eye, pay it no mind. It is only beach lag.