Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jeep on the Beach

This past Memorial Day weekend my husband, son and I took a trip down to Cape Cod. We left after dinner Thursday night to beat the rush of traffic that would ensue by Friday. Glad we did! Overheard the folks at the Birdwatcher General Store on Friday in Orleans (a wonderful place to shop for all my fellow bird lovers) mention that there was a nine mile back up on the Sagamore Bridge. A typical occurrence on holiday weekends, especially those forecast to be as lovely as this last one was to be.

We drove to our hotel tired, hungry and feeling as though perhaps we had made a mistake in coming. I had just gotten back from a 5 day silent retreat and was still feeling out of sorts from the reentry process. My husband was exhausted and tense from working daily, then taking care of our 7 year old son each night including a weekend.  Our son was feeling the effects of being without mom for 5 whole days and nights, while transitioning from one parent to another. All in all we are three people who do not transition as well as some people do to changes in our daily routine. The result can be a recipe for disaster. Even before we left we hit a few snags resulting in flares of temper and jangled nerves. My husband wanted to turn the Jeep around a few times to head home, but something in me just knew that this family needed some serious reconnection, so onward we proceeded.


Friday morning came with some early morning fog and the possibility of a few afternoon showers. So we decided to head to the Heritage Museum and Gardens located in Sandwich to see the newly opened exhibit of Norman Rockwell's paintings along with their photographic counterparts. The museum sits on some of the most lovely acreage on the Cape surrounded by lush flowers and wildlife. It is a gardeners paradise. Waterfalls, maze, labyrinth, windmill, fountains, herb garden, shrubs, trees and flowers abound. I have lived on the Cape, in Centerville, and Nantucket Island, plus vacationed here since a young child and never in all those years visited this gorgeous place. Words do not even begin to do it justice.

http://heritagemuseumsandgardens.org/

After enjoying the exhibit and the grounds we took a long car ride to our favorite area on Cape Cod: Orleans and the National Seashore to purchase our off road vehicle pass. Thankfully our overly tired son who transitions the worst of the 3 of us, fell fast asleep in the back of the car and slept for close to 2 hours. A much needed improvement to his disposition and stamina that greatly improved our outlook!

The next day dawned with bright blue skies and hardly a cloud to be seen. We ate breakfast at a local IHOP, delicious, and headed off to begin our jeep adventure on the beach.

Nauset Beach in Orleans has been a beloved place of my husband and mine since we were first dating. We both were excited about the prospect of taking our passion for beach and ocean life even further by letting the air out of of our tires and driving onto the soft, silky sand! It was pure joy.

The off road entrance to the beach is completely surrounded by an abundance of beach plum, pines and tall grasses. It has to be one of the prettiest off road access entrances we had ever seen, including Great Point on Nantucket Island. Both my husband and I have done our fair share of off roading on beaches with friends and family, but this was our first time in our own and not a rented or someone else's vehicle, so that made it even more special. Plus, my son who has been off-road with us before, was now at that age when the excitement of all the bounces and bumps only heightened his enjoyment.

The beach front for off-roading is long and stretches endlessly onto the horizon. We laughed as we bounced along, found our spot, sprayed our bodies with sunscreen, marked our territory with beach chairs and heard those most adored words of any sand loving child as our own is "Hey Dad can we go dig a hole now?" And indeed they did!

It was just what this family needed. We watched many groups of seals swim by us on the shore line, gathered shells and rocks galore, dug holes to hold back the advancing high tide, played beach tennis, ate, drank and reconnected to one another in a natural setting. I am not sure about anyone else, but I know how much my spirit settles down into a calm sense of self when I am surrounded by nature, but in particular the ocean. And it is the same for both my husband and son.

Other people may travel the world looking for new places to explore and/or adventures to satisfy their hearts desire, but give us a chair on the beach with the sound of the Atlantic surf and this family has found its own form of Nirvana. It is and always be an integral part of all our lives and one that I do hope we are able to enjoy for many years to come.

We left the Cape late Sunday night feeling somewhat sad to leave but knowing inside we were all better for the time away especially not having succumbed to ennui of daily routines run astray. We shared laughter, shed some tears and spent many hours just being with each other in that special way families have that make us feel supported, loved, and glad to have each other.

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