Breathing a sigh of relief.
Or something quite like it. Just a settin' here two stories up from the Atlantic Ocean.
Listening to it. Looking at it. Marvelling. At peace.
Old Orchard Beach, baby. Our 203rd annual trip.
Just me & Carol this year. Population is dwindling. Things change.
We first started coming up here to celebrate Paula's birthday, and to get away and get into. Paula was a young chick back then. Fresh out of diapers, full of wonder. Now she is the Grand Dame of Billerica, MA. Living with her old man, Crazy Ass Bill.
Used to be a party back then. Sarges Tailgate Grille was open for business and so were we. Ready to rock.
We would spend one night at the grille, dining in splendor, partying and laughing. With Sarge and Cori and John and Kevin and the many Maine friends we made over the years.
One day over the weekend they would come and visit us at the hotel. Partying. Laughing.
Magnificent times. Magnificent memories. The musical score of each trip was the sound of the ocean. Reminding us of what is important, delivering unto us peace.
Sarge and Kevin are both gone now. Cori sold the house and lives in New York with John and her mom. The grille is long since closed and Paula & Bill are entrenched in Billerica, MA.
Things change, man - life rolls right over you and there is not a fucking thing you can do about it.
2016. Carol and I are here alone. I am OK with it except for the worry that she may kill me in my sleep.
We will be dining out with Robin and Kathy tomorrow night - long time Maine friends that we met through Cori and Sarge. Saturday there is a slim possibility we will be visited by Jason& Karen & ??? but I will not hold my breath - Karen and Jason are derelict losers and alcohol abusers - when they wake up Saturday morning they may not even know what planet they are on.
That's it. No partying, no mass get togethers, a lot of peace, a lot of quiet.
And I am sitting here with a 4" incision in my back. Ugly fucking thing. Won't let me ignore it because it still hurts one week after the surgery.
The Doc hacked some cancer out of my back and changed my perspective instantaneously.
I am sitting here thinking. A lot. About the history of this vacation and how it has changed; how life has changed it against our will. How life works.
You really do need to stay alert. Pay attention. Dig the things that make you happy, consciously and with deep respect and awe. Pursue them vigorously.
Life is paper thin. Fucking fragile, man. It is this thing that we all take for granted that sometimes delivers a knock out punch just to get you back in the game.
Or to take you out.
This vacation is not what it used to be; not even close. But then again neither is life. Our life has changed dramatically in two years.
Sarge, Jonathan, Kevin.
It will be two years in December and March. Two fucking years. That is a lot to deal with in a very short time.
Three weeks ago cancer was a concept. Now it is a reality for me evidenced by a 4" scar on my back.
Three fucking weeks.
I am happy to be here. Happy that Carol is sitting peacefully next to me on this porch. Happy for the memories.
Aware with razor sharp intensity just how unpredictable life is.
The ocean is gorgeous. Waves are rolling in relentlessly and with intensity. Wrestling my fears and anxieties to the ground and making way for peaceful thoughts and calm emotions.
All in all, not a bad day.