Sunday, July 11, 2010

Halfway Home

I grew up on the coast.  The salty air a constant comfort. The smell of low tide in the marshes foul,  but somehow not unpleasant. 

In the winter, the ocean was visible from our kitchen window.  In the summer, we had to venture up to the widow's walk to see it.

There weren't many days that I didn't look at the ocean; that I didn't gaze across the vast expanse, feel small, and just awe at its largeness and beauty. 

Even if I couldn't see it, I'd just have to lift my head a bit, sniff around, and know where the water was.

I wondered, when I moved to Vermont, how badly I would miss the ocean.

I didn't.  Didn't miss it at all.

Vermont's mountains made me feel small.  The were vast. And  large.  And visible from far more vantage points than the ocean.  What I learned to love about Vermont, was that there were spectacular views every two feet;  greenest mountains,  farms of rolling hills, vast expanses of peaceful waters.

Vermont was my middle of nowhere, my favorite place.  I could hop on my bike and ride for an hour without encountering another human.  I could hop in my car and take a left, a right, an unfamiliar dirt road, and be blissfully lost for hours.

Solitude, that was my favorite. 

Al and I wanted that peace and solitude for our children.  Our unborn children were our motivation for moving to that middle of nowhere.

We never had any intention of leaving our fortress of solitude.

And here we are.  In the middle, but not of nowhere.

And now that I'm back, living on the coast, I can't bring myself to brave the beaches.

There are several, less than a 15 minute drive from my doorstep, but I have little interest.

Getting kids ready, getting there before the lot fills up, paying to park, dragging the kids the 15 minute walk from the lot, across the bridge over the dunes, finding a proper spot, setting up camp for the day, hoping I'd remembered to bring everything, sunblock, drinks, snacks, toys, towels, dragging both kids back over bridge if/when someone needs to pee, engaging in battle of wills when one child insists on eating crap from concession stand and not what I'd packed, not to mention that the Deaf kid can't hear shit with the sound of the wind and waves, even with his hearing aids - which aren't going to be accompanying us to the beach anyway.

I'm all set with the fucking beach.


There is a pond, a little body of water for which the road I live on is named, that is making me feel like the middle of nowhere is right around the corner.

There is no public beach.  The dirt road is not marked.  Only a local would know what lies down that unmarked path.

Seven minutes from my driveway and we're there. 

This week we got lucky and got a spot every day  (except the day that it was 100 degrees, that day we were at the fucking mall).

Lucky because there are only a half a dozen spots to pull off the dirt road and park a vehicle.

A half dozen private little 8 foot stretches of sandy beach and water that is far warmer than the ocean.

Water that Owen has taken to like a Deaf little fishy.

It matters very little that he can't hear, it is only the three of us, on our own private beach. Without the sound of the wind and surf,  if I have to get his attention I can yell loud enough for him to hear me, to look at me, so that I can sign to him.

It matters little that Bea isn't a big fan of the water.  She can sit in her chair and talk to her friends.  'New Socks' has joined us recently.  She is a good swimmer, and she "Talks Deaf".

In this place, just minutes from my driveway, I can pretend for a moment here and there, that my world wasn't turned upside down. That my children could live the childhood that I'd dreamed for them.

And on this day, a day that I revere more than the day that Owen was born, what better place to start off the celebration?  Our new found middle of nowhere.

And what a day for Owen to take his first boat ride with his Daddy, and catch a fish - on the first cast.

And set it free.

And what a day, to join Owen and Bea's aunts and uncles and cousins in an impromptu celebration of their Mema's birthday, a day she shares with Owen's homecoming.

Owen doesn't know it yet, that the yard he ran around in today was his first home outside a hospital. 

That this is not the home we intended for him.

That though Al and I might not all the way love it here;

We way more than halfway love it.


  1. We don't have the ocean near us but we do have lakes. I love our lakes, they are some of my favorite places.

    And this looks like a beautiful place.

  2. We had a good day by the water today as well...

    Picking up what yer laying down w/ the halfway thing. Also, love the video.

  3. I just read the stories of your journey with Owen. I don't know what to say. Incredible. He could so easily not be here yet there he is. Happy Homecoming Anniversary.

    Oh, and nice accent in the video.
    "Get outta hee-yah" Hee hee.

  4. Are you in Plymouth? (Not that I expect you to reveal that information here...) I have family there, and I have to say, I am quite jealous. If you're gonna be stuck someplace, it's a really pretty place to be.
    Congrats on the milestones. :)

  5. so glad the kids are enjoying the water!

    when i first moved to so. cal, i drove out to malibu at least once a week. now i can't be bothered with the beach. the drive, the parking, the is just too much for me. i am going on vacation in a couple of weeks to oregon, and i'm staying at a house a block from the beach. i am excited.

    p.s. i think i need to move to vermont, as it sounds like a dream!

  6. Hi, it's the name police again. (If this is annoying to you just say so and I'll stop.) In the first pic of Bea, on the rim of the tote/basket. You may wanna fix that.

  7. Beautiful little spot you got there, btw. Makes me jealous. I wanna move, far, far away.

  8. aw, just lovely. Love Queen Bea on her throne!!!

  9. Vt is crazy great but I love Maine too. I do miss the ocean still, that broad expanse of sand and water. I love the beach we go to there (not Reid, the other one where there is no bridge or concession stand and all- darn I can't remember!). I do love that pond spot that you've found- it looks perfect! And the pics are pricelessly wonderful - thanks for sharing! Life is funny in its twists and turns isn't it?

  10. Amy, cracking me up with the name police. No worries, we stole that basket from some little prick with a pussy name... hehehehe...

  11. Not to get all serious on ya, but to get all serious on ya, this has tears in my eyes...b/c I know what you mean.

    When I'm alone somewhere with my boy, and his brothers, I feel like maybe in our world, things are normal.

    That's all.

  12. I envy your private little pond. What a wonderful place to go and relax, plus you can carry the picnic basket with that chilled bottle of wine and not worry about who is driving home!

  13. Thats a pond?!?! We would call that a lake here in PA. :) Either way... it looks like a slice of heaven.

  14. The last clip, accompanied with your words, made me teary.
    (i'm at work, bitch, don't make me teary!)

  15. OK, I love how you can do that to me. I expect Bad Words and f-bombs and then you get all schmoopy emo and make me truly appreciate the smaller things in life. You pretty much fuckin' rock.

  16. Happy Homecoming, there is much to celebrate.

    I'm hoping my kids will someday get to see the ocean--something I've only seen a handful of times. Until then we'll just go to the over-crowded, chlorine-filled paradise we call the pool. ;)

  17. I just wanted to give you grief about your New England accent, but someone upstream beat me to it.


    I miss that accent. I miss being surrounded by it from back when I lived in Maine and NH (though some Maine folk had way more of an accent than you.) "Heathahh" was my name in those days...

    Was that Owen's first caught fish? Was it a sunny? Our old house had a pond behind it, and the summer my kid was 4 we spent hours and hours and hours out there while she caught the same three sunfish over and over and over again. We also were a "catch and release" .... "and recatch" family. Guess our pond's sunnies really liked the worms from our back yard, heh.

    Enjoy your secret spot of "middle of nowhere"! We're not exactly where we once thought we'd wind up either, but where we are isn't all that bad.

  18. i'm so glad you found that lake! how wonderfully perfect.

  19. Wow. Just, you know, like wow. I need to go to bed, so my words are hard to find.

  20. I wish I had mountains or ocean or both, but we do have plenty of lakes. They can be just as beautiful and calming. :)

    Now where are the bad words in that post, eh? ha!

  21. I love the idea of that lake.

  22. Gorgeous. I grew up in a landlocked province, so I love (and miss) the ocean. But lake beaches rock, too.

  23. That was really beautiful. Like happy and teary beautiful. Sweet.

  24. I'm a Miami native, so the ocean calls to me. Although embarking on a beach trip with the kids makes me think twice, soooo much work with the parking and the packing and the slathering and the trekking. Now if I'd find my own private pond utopia...I'd totally opt for that instead.

    First fishes are always a good time.

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  26. It's funny I felt the same way about moving to Utah, how was I going to feel about being landlocked when I'd always lived on the ocean, first in Florida and then California. But feel the same way about the mountains, I look out my kitchen window and there they are, huge and ancient and magnificent.

    The only time I feel weird about not being by the water is when I think about it and think that it's weird that I'm not there but here...


Use Your Words.