Events anticipated in my head are generally heralded with a lot of beautiful perfection, doves being released in slow motion and everyone having an amazing time. Yes, the vacation I was looking forward to would play out in this manner, come hell or high water! However, often what God has in store is completely different, and just what I need.
A short while back we had a week off together as a family and each day was to contain a grand adventure in the pursuit of building memories and exhausting the children. That grey Tuesday unfolded with the hint of a promise. We were heading to the beach! Now, let me tell you that in Oregon the beach should not be held in the same esteemed regard as, say, Waikiki Beach. No, the water is freezing, prone to ‘sneaker waves’ that sweep people out to their deaths, the wind is merciless and it’s rather cold 360 days of the year.
I refer you to the first sentence here.
We loaded up the minivan, which took an hour. Everyone peed at least twice and then there was the debate of whether or not to bring our fat corgi and giant mutt dog. I acquiesced to bring both of them, and the stress started. I don’t know who the offender was, but one of the dogs barfed in the back of the van shortly after being loaded in. It was excitement barf! So I unloaded the dogs, who were utterly dismayed, and put them back in the house. Imagine the doggy stink-eye. Stress abated.
We piled into the family van and headed down the road to the Coast. Going. Going. Going. “Are we there?” “I’m hungry”, “I need to go”, “Can we have something to drink?” “When are we gonna get there?” It was actually marvelous to get time with my husband to talk and catch up with what was going on in his life and what plans we’d like to make for our family’s future. This lasted for about 33 minutes, which is really good!
Within sight of the beautiful ocean, we took a left and headed down the Coast toward a beach we were going to invade. After passing general civilization, we all decided we needed to go potty. Of course there was the filling station that had NO public restroom. Thank God the court house was behind this place and they DID have a loo. This is when we all noticed that it was quite freezing. I told the kids that their business was now ‘official’ because they had ‘gone’ at the court house. I thought this was hysterical, but they did not.
I refer you to the first sentence of my entry.
We had a delightful meal at Burger King (good toys in the meals) and then headed toward the beach, finally. We arrived at the site after much driving around in desperate need of a place to park so we could hike to the shore. Well, we found it, and got out of the van. I immediately wanted to weep as it was about 55 degrees, and there I stood with the husband and children in short sleeve shirts and shorts. Because it was SUMMER. I wanted to weep. It was July 5th, okay? This was not acceptable. Paul prevailed upon us to go check it out but I had to run back to the car like a little girl because I was so cold and miserable. And the wind was blowing at about 25 mph. Lovely.
We all got back into the van and headed into town to Wal-Mart where they were ALL OUT of any sweatshirts and coats, because it’s summer. Yes, summer. So we went down the road to Fred Meyer. I love this store, but it’s an expensive place to buy clothes sometimes. $75 later we were back in the car with our fleece and an extra bucket & shovel for the sand. Paul informed the kids that because of all of our mishaps, that we’d have about 45 minutes to an hour to enjoy the shore before we had to get back in the van to head back home…2 + hours away. Remember, the dogs stayed home and they likely would need to pee again soon.
Bundled up like Eskimos, the Cox family disembarked and headed through the blustery wind, the flying sand and switch-back trail. We had to anchor our king-size blanket down on each end to keep it from flying away which was a big trick! Our shoes quickly filled with the blowing sand and Daddy sat on the blanket to guard our belongings. The 8 year-old quickly got to work on her sand castle, and the five year-old quickly ran toward the water. Remember, sneaker waves. Oregon parents have to be a little paranoid. My husband took some amazing pictures, and I can sure share those in my next post. We had cold, bundled, windy, happy, screaming, sandy silly time.
The 45 minutes passed VERY quickly and then it was time to get our shoes back on and hike back to the car. We were all delightfully exhausted and solidly ready to be home. This was sure not what we had anticipated AT ALL. What a funny memory to share with each other and with our friends & family. How dare we think we could have a bucolic and nice trip to the beach? My life is filled with unexpected delights.