Thursday, June 5, 2008



The first full day of our vacation was totally invested in Disneyland. The second full day of our vacation was invested in recovery. It’s startling how much energy is expended having a good time…almost as much as having a bad time. And the old axiom that time flies when you’re having fun is a concept I’d practically lost contact with (although I’ve also known time to fly even when we weren’t having that much fun.) Time has its own tyranny.

So it was decided by wise consensus (and long-suffering exhaustion) that we would all spend the day at the beach. I never realized how vast and essential the Pacific Ocean is. And it has such a commanding personality. As Dennis and I reclined on a deck that faced the water without any interference, we studied the tides, the ebb and flow, and at times, the tempest. The ocean doesn’t just roar; sometimes it hums. It is always morphing into one of its multiple personalities, and as much as I tried to concentrate on reading my book, it sucked my eyeballs out to the horizon and kept them hostage there. How pleasant! And then, of course, I had to discuss it all in great length with Dennis. He listened patiently, as he always does, but he was unable to get any reading done either. So we hauled massive tomes home, which, in spite of great intentions, remained unread. This was all very good.

The kids absolutely loved the beach, the water, and the sand. Oh, how they loved the sand. They dug for hours like miniature archaeologists huddled together building castles and trying to run away from crabs. This is not an easy task, because, as you know, crabs travel sideways in an effort to escape perceived danger. So as the kids tried to avoid the archaic mindless beasts, the archaic mindless beasts were trying to avoid the same…and they just kept running into each other. As an observer, this was very funny. There were, however, code red moments when I had to rush to assist one of the grandkids escape. But then I became embroiled in avoidance maneuvers…as a participant, it was not nearly so funny.

Kids can run in every direction simultaneously and with such speed, it is kind of like the images of the rats in the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. At the end of the day, when the wee folk had sand in places that compromised their dignity, we removed bathing suits, hosed them down, and corralled the dirty half dozen into the hot tub on the deck. It took a massive effort by the six adults to herd the six children into one place at one time. So once this was accomplished, we were reluctant to remove them. (And by doing this, we were able to successfully avoid having to pay a nuisance tax levied by the state of California.) But that is what I love about California. Morning begins an hour later than it does in Utah by popular mandate, and the evenings are also prolonged for the benefit of surfers whose addiction extends till past sundown. All the children stayed in the hot tub until they were squishy and pruney, and there was still plenty of daylight left.

I wonder when the time will come when five boys and one girl sharing a hot tub after a day of play on the beach by the Pacific Ocean will notice that one of these is not like the others. It wasn’t this time. I was glad.


One of our favorite parts of this whole experience was listening to the children pray. Necie’s prayer consisted of several songs and some sort of dance step with accompanying contortions. Carter, our story-teller, prayed for peanuts, and then asked that his Daddy will be blessed if he ever buys a boat and crashes in the water. We all agreed that this was important…and tried to avoid eye contact. Adult prayers are boring in comparison. I’m sure whoever was listening to such supplication welcomed the comic relief.

Our long-awaited celebration was a joy to all of us. Sometimes it takes life to help us identify the miraculous in the commonplace…and to understand how profoundly dear family and friends are. Paths cross, realign themselves, interact and interconnect, and become parallel. And somehow we are no longer acquaintances, but comrades, fellow travelers on a shared journey. This is all good.

We love you,

The Clot


kateo said...

I would love to take my next vacation with you - looks great. It's about time that normal life wore you out instead of hospital routines. Welcome home. Love, Kate O

Anonymous said...

Those are wonderful scenes. I'm so happy you made that trip happen. What are those remote-control-looking necklaces? I look forward to your visiting our beach someday. Did anyone get my 4th of July email? Thanks for the blog! Love, Megan, Jesse, and boys