I'm on vacation as I type this.  This in fact, is day five of vacation.  I've taken a break from writing by willing myself to not write even though I need to write like I need to run.  Not being able to refrain from it any longer, I decide words are meant for expression and my energy is meant to be gotten out by running.

Technically vacation is; a time of respite from something, an intermission of sorts.  That something is usually work, the routines of life, possibly our home.  Being on vacation has meant a break from life, work, responsibilities, maybe even a lightening of some disciplines.  It has fostered a change in my thoughts, a different pace, a momentary hiatus from the pursuit of progression forward in life.

Years and years ago, as a very young mother with no money, I remember a conversation I had with my dad regarding vacations.  He told me that even if you think you can't afford a vacation, it is the one thing that if need be, you borrow money to do.  Your mind, body, soul and spirit need a break.  He was so correct.  As I have aged, I have come to see the wisdom in a hiatus now and again.

I ran on the beach early this morning.  There was no one out.  All I could hear was the gentle lapping sounds of Lake Michigan's east bay waters repetitively touching the shoreline.  I ran barefooted.  For a girl who never wears socks even in my running shoes, it was freeing.  I splashed a time or two from the unevenness of the sand or the leftover sand creation remains from the kids who filled the beach from the day before. 

My calves and ankles liked the extra work involved.  My heart and mind wandered here and there.  I thought about how life moves fast at times and then slow at other times.  I thought about the life I live now is radically different than the one I had the first half of my life.  I thought about sitting on the beach the past few nights watching the sun set and if that would ever get old if I sat there night after night.  I thought about how we had spent the past 5 days leisurely and at-will.  I giggled that Doug and I both had the best meal of our lives on this trip and had even called back to the restaurant to get the name of the cabernet wine we had.  It was the most velvetty wine that I had ever drank.  I thought about the love we had made, the laughing we had done, the talking, the just being in sync with each other without distractions.  I loved this hiatus and really didn't want it to end.

As I ran the second round up the beach, I wondered if vacations really needed to be longer than a week.  It seemed to have taken Doug and I the first four days to stop being exhausted.  Work and responsibilities seem to slam into you from behind when you stop.  We both needed another week to just be refreshed now!

I laughed that after dinner last night, needing a few bites of something sweet, we went back to Cherry Republic to "taste" again a handful of samples.  We tasted our way through the store for the second time and purchased nothing that round.  Though earlier we had bought a half a case of cherry bbq sauce the same as last year. 

I thought about how we sat on the beach at 9 p.m. with a bowl of popped buttered popcorn and watched kids play, observed a young couple on their honeymoon that appeared to be either still in college or just out, a three-some of retired women with a bottle of wine, a large extended Vietnamese family vacationing together with their chairs lined up toward the water, a white collar family with two daughters and a couple that sat smoking in the gazebo nightly.  Most of us had been there the night before as the sun made its final move to its place of light half way around the world. 

Doug and I sat there after the sun went down.  We giggled, talked a bit of smut to each other, how the day was just about perfect, how neither of us get the fascination with lighthouses, and how a year ago we sat in this same place with six month of marriage and now we are at the year and a half mark.  He stared and kissed me over and over.  We did our routine, him saying I was the most beautiful woman in the world.  Me, telling him the world is big and there are a lot of women in it.  Would he still feel that way about me when I turned 60 or 70 or 80?  Would he still feel like his heart quickened a pace when he saw me at 80 or had to help me in the bathroom?  Yes, came his reply.

As I ran up the beach back to the hotel I thought of a cup of coffee on the patio and wondered if Doug was up yet?

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