DOWN HOME: Life is fabulous down at the beach

down home

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When my alarm clock went off at 5:20 on Monday morning, I immediately recalled one of my favorite parts of our recent vacation. That was the vacation that evaporated in the instant it took me to roll over and whack the snooze button.

Here’s one of the best parts of that and any vacation: On vacation, my alarm clock does not go off at 5:20 in the morning.

Not that I slept particularly late during our vacation. We spent a week on the beach in Seagrove, Fla. Seagrove is about as far east as you can travel and keep your wristwatch set to Central time. The sun rises early in Seagrove, and our place was not light-tight. But still, waking up is infinitely easier when sunlight fills a room than when a radio blares in your ear.

Joanna and I had a grand time on vacation this year. We spent the week with Brent and Jackie, who have been our dear friends since their daughters, Alayna and Andrea, and our daughters, Lindsay and Molly, were little bitty. We started meeting at the beach when all four of the girls still tagged along. Now, they’re all grown, and we’re down to just the four parents, who can stay in a much smaller—and quieter—condo.

We’ve done this so many times, we’ve got a pretty steady routine:

1. Sleep until the sun says, “Hey, get up and enjoy the day.”

2. Mosey out to the balcony and drink coffee, eat cereal and listen to the waves.

3. Slather on enough sunscreen to protect four extremely fair-skinned middle-aged people from nuclear attack, and then amble down to the beach and set up the umbrellas and chairs.

4. Alternate between playing in the waves, walking on the beach and reading books.

5. Go inside, fix a sandwich and eat it.

6. Repeat #4.

7. Haul the umbrellas and chairs back to the condo and take a shower, vainly attempting to remove sunscreen, since nuclear attacks at the beach rarely occur at night.

8. Talk about where to go for dinner.

9. Go to dinner and, most likely, eat seafood.

10. Return to the condo for a very, very nice game of Hearts.

11. Happily admit I’m a lousy Hearts player.

12. Go to bed and dream of another day just like this one.

Besides not getting up at 5:20, the other things I like best about vacation—in random order—are (a) making no decisions harder than determining where to eat dinner, (b) not wearing long pants, (c) marveling at God’s beauty, particularly the way the waves lap on the beach in the morning and how the moon rises over the ocean, (d) telling stories and laughing with friends, (e) spending all day every day with Jo and (f) remembering that, as much as I enjoy vacation, I am enormously blessed the other weeks of the year, and God has given me a wonderful life.


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