Friday, August 19, 2011

Ebb and Flow –– A Summ’a Holiday Tale

(for your listening pleasure while you read...)

Deb: We just returned from a weeklong holiday with friends. We rented a beautiful beach house and spent a glorious week with Sandy and Greg, two longtime friends whom we see fairly often but have not holidayed with in years. Isn’t it funny when you reach a certain age and “long time friends” replaces “old friends”? I chuckled to myself when I caught myself typing it. These long time friends called us out of the blue with this cottage suggestion, assuming I think that we would not be free, which is usually the case. The fact that we were was in itself a good omen. Riffing off Friday’s blog-post about walking through an open door, we walked through that open door without hesitation and were rewarded tenfold for doing so.
Four ebbin' friends
Even good friends, dear friends, fun friends, can be tough to live with. But this holiday was chilly goodness from the get-go. Easy peasy lemon squeezie into a martini.
Colin and Deb 4-ever!!!!
I marveled as, day after day, we just ebbed and flowed with the tide. Everyone did exactly what they wanted when they wanted, and we all came together as naturally as the sunrise. The same sunrise that none of us saw, by the by. At this point I might moan and shake my head at the regret of that, but it was never my intention to see a sunrise, nor do I think it was anyone else's. For any one of you who might be inclined to ask why we didn’t see a sunrise, my answer would be: “Didn’t want to. Too damn early.” If the sunrise gets its shit together for the 9am slot, I’m in. 

But we did see plenty of sunsets, which we celebrated with Cocktails. Cocktails were held strictly at 5pm, except on those occasions when they were funned over by accident. When this happened someone would invariably start to whine, reminding us to stay within the parameters of the previously established cocktail timeframe.
We did make ourselves some delicious simple summer meals and ate as the sun was sinking  (for a fab fun fact on the sinking sun click the youtube link below). We played games at night and, one by one, we disappeared from the day as easily as we had arrived. All different timing, depending on the night and the pepe.

Dishes got washed, meals got cooked, tables got set, wine got poured, and it all worked seamlessly without so much as a rumble. Relaxed, simple, and easy was the order of the day. Someone flowed in, someone flowed out. And the wine joined in with the flowing.
Loving and relaxed
As I lounged with my book, I would think “it would be great to hear some tunes” and before I finished the thought, on came tunes. Or I would bring out chips in a bowl, just as someone else was opening dip. Oh, and in case this affects your holiday plans, there are no chips and dip left in the whole of Huron county.

Any time of the day you could find us sitting together in silence or sitting together laughing our asses off. Isn’t it heaven on a stick when you are so comfortable with people that you can sit in silence?
Morning walk after a storm
Halfway through the week––during kite day, I believe––we employed the notion of the beach cocktail or “pre”-cocktail cocktail. This came in the form of a cold dry rose or a cold beer. Come on! Holiday!!!
Let's go fly a kite
I'm doing it I'm doing it!!!
It was one glorious week that we are hell-bent on repeating. Nothing to do, nothing to distract. The howling thunderstorm replaced the solicitor, and the seagull screech, the hammering of a street reno.

The waves lulled us to sleep and woke us up.

Summ’atime. Go with the flow baby, go with the flow.

Summ'a girl with wine
Barbara: Sigh. I know I’ve had my own holidays, and will continue to do so obviously, but there is something so viscerally lovely about hearing someone else’s holiday experience (well, maybe it requires a Deb-level description, sigh, oh sigh, so good). But still. I love it. 

It’s like watching movies with gorgeous homes and wishing you could live there. (The beach house in Something’s Gotta Give? Oh yeah, baby.) They call it “real estate porn” and I get it. Makes me hot. So, in that vein, I think this kind of post should be called “holiday porn”. Give it to me and give it to me good.

Thanks, Deb, for sharing your most intimate experience ;) 
(and, btw, thanks Deb for this fascinating––and funny––video!)


  1. Sounds like a lovely vacation. I love spending a vacation with friends in cabin country, the days in which you have nothing to do and all day to do it in but somehow everything just works are the best.

    I like the 4th picture down, you look absolutly adorable with your curls and little smile, aren't husbands laps comfy?

  2. Yes Erin, my husband's lap is my favourite destination.

  3. Oh, Deb--that looks like a fabulous vacation! I love relaxing and hanging with people who exist in space well together... some people are just easy like that and others are high maintenance (dare I say... Leos?) *cough* What I mean is some people need to go go go, and others are flexible... I like that casual flexible thing. BTW, your hubby was on our telly the other night and I passed by and said-"Hey! I'm friend with his wife!" and my kids were very impressed *teehee*

    Barbara-I love that clip! too funny.

  4. Isn't it great when we can impress our kids? with our son, it was the fact that we knew Dr.Dre! And yeah, great vaca.

  5. Deb, lovely that you got away with "long time friends" and it worked and everyone is still speaking and I assume continued the drinking when they returned home. Love the photos.

  6. Deb could not listen to the music copyright laws in US prevented it. So weird. The horizon video was funny.

  7. What a great summer post!!! I loved the pictures and it sounded like the most perfect week's relaxed! Water, waves, sunsets, good friend, wine and chips.....what could be better. Great Sunset video Barb. You gals are great, thank you.

  8. Thanks Madge and how did you know that the drinking continued? Actually it was back to wine with dinner. We wisely abandoned the cocktail and pre-cocktails. Weird about the copyright. Cause I got it on youtube. hmmmn.If you really want to hear it just go on youtube with "All Summer Long". Didn't it kill you in the sunset video how they were all stone faced and gobsmacked when they got the wrong answer?

  9. Mary-Jo, thanks so much. We loved it! The video was from one of my husband's favourite shows called "QI" It's on youtube. It was perfect for this post wasn't it?

  10. Oh, thank you for such a lovely and relaxing post - right before I have to make a nervewracking phone call. Precisely what I needed.

    And you're a QI fan, Deb? I should have known!

  11. I am so glad you all had a great time. Which beach was that? Which ever one it was it look beautiful, and so relaxing. Glad you all had a beautiful,great time.

  12. *sigh*
    As Liz Lemon would say, "I want to go to there..."

  13. Kelly 2 I hope the nervewracking phone call was not so nervewracking for you. QI-yeah my husband brought it to me. Lyndsie it was on gorgeous lake Huron, miles and miles of sandy beach one hour north of Stratford. Speaking of Liz Lemon Hollye, did you read bossypants? Killer great. Killer funny!

  14. Deb - well, it was nervewracking, but preliminarily good news. I'm doing the whole superstitious thing, tho. ;-)

    (And d'oh, yeah, it makes sense your husband would be familiar with QI.)

  15. I hear you Kelly 2 and being an actor I am all about the superstitious! I will keep a good thought for you though.

  16. OH. MY. GOSH. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JEALOUS!!! >.< The beach has always been a favorite vacationing place of mine, and for the last 2 years I haven't been able to go with them (Summer classes and Scotland!!). Now I'm here in my newly moved into dorm room...still unpacking. Looks like you all had a BLAST!!!!

    P.S. Tell Colin I like his hat. :D

  17. So lovely a time as anyone has ever had. :) You and Colin are awe inspiring. After so many years of being together you still look so much in love. Oh, and I'm so jealous at how wonderful you look in your swimsuit! Sports Illustrated should be calling you any day now.
    Barb, you are sooooo right about real estate porn. I look at the lovely photos of the beach and I want it badly...and a frosty Lemon Drop Martini to go with it. :)
    Hugs & envy,

  18. Those long-time friends sound pretty cool.

  19. Kelly I will tell Colin you like his hat! We did have a blast for sure but a dorm room and a new exciting start sounds just wonderful. Karen we are lucky and believe me I know it. Thanks. But it isn't always easy. Relationships are hard work.But fun!!!
    Anonymous, these long time friends are the best. Lucky to have them in our lives.

  20. So glad you got to go on vacation! I'm a little jealous as I spent this last week moving to a new city to start grad school. School hasn't even started and I am SO in need of a break :)

    Love the photos! And so happy you got your much needed time off.

  21. Oh my goodness, you and Colin need to stop being so adorable!!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time at the beach (seriously one of my favorite places in the entire world!). :)

  22. Thanks Holly, we did have a wonderful time and yes it is now one of my favourite places in the world.

  23. It sounds absolutely glorious, Deb! Also, your pictures are awesome! I especially adore the one of you flying your kite on the beach, and you and Colin chilling out together! I love seeing vacation photos, anyway, no matter to whom they belong! :)

  24. Beth it's so funny you would say that as I love seeing people's shots too. I love to see photos that define events and families. Love it. The differences and the vast similarities. People are people,and no more so than in holiday photos.

  25. I read this post a minute after it posted because I was at the computer emailing my son's homework assignment to his English teacher, but I haven't gotten to comment until now. I will say that a 7am dose of Stephen Fry, Brit geek demigod, was quite a nice way to start the day.

    After a completely shit last night (getting kick in the gut bad news from my son's school and then my ex-husband being thoroughly hateful and mean to me about it), scrolling through your vacation post, Deb, was a nice, soothing aaahhh. I'm still not completely sold on the idea of a beach that doesn't involve the ocean, though. No scent of salt water? No seagulls? No dolphins? No seashells? No hermit crabs? How is that a beach? ;)

    First, after your declaration in your earlier cellulite post, you rock in 10,000 different ways for going all the way and posting pics of yourself in a swimsuit! *hugs* You are a total bombshell! So gorgeous!

    Secondly, the picture of you in your husband's lap has got to be one of the sweetest, cutest, nicest, most precious snapshots of adults ever (because snapshots of babies, kittins, bunnies, etc. are an entire class of sweet and cute unto themselves - it's harder for adults to be adorable). Some pics, I look at and think with a satisfied smile, "That is just so right. At the instant the camera snapped that picture, that little piece of the universe was exactly how it was supposed to be." This is one of those pictures.

    Bossypants! Loved it! GAH, I wish I could write that like! I consumed that book in one sitting on a Sunday evening, just gobbled it up it was so good.

    Can't watch the music video in the US, but I'll look up the song late tonight when I get home from work. It happens. Barbara and my friend Katie once couldn't watch a couple of YouTube videos I sent them because they were blocked in Canada. *shrug*

    Your Imagine hoodie is so cute! Vacation fashion win!

    Isn't watching a storm over a big body of water so spooky cool? (Of course, as long as you are safe and not a lightning rod or being crushed by falling trees.) Did you get to see bolts of lightning hit the water? Did the wind froth white caps up on the lake?

    Sunrise. Blech! I HATE the dawn. It is my absolute least favorite time of day. Dawn makes me cranky. I'm a night owl, and a big ball of fusion fueled light appearing in the sky annoys me greatly. And, if I'm seeing it, it's probably because I couldn't sleep the night before. so, sunrise means, "Oh crap. Here we go again. Shit."

    Besides, if I just left my body alone and went on my own innate schedule, I'd fall asleep around 1am and wake up at 9am. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't function by my body clock. Maybe that's another reason I should start wasting $1 occasionally on a lottery ticket. If I were freakishly rich, I'd have more control over my sleep schedule! LOL (Oh, I have a very detailed list of what all I'd do if I were filthy stinking rich!)

    Deb, your gorgeous vacation photos and story of relaxation have been a pallet cleanser for my cranky brain. I'm SO happy for you that you got to reboot like that! Your lovely story and pics are like a daydream made real.

  26. Rigel so glad you liked the post and that it gave you an aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh moment. Thanks for all the lovely things you said but I must defend our beach. Lots of seashells, lots of crashing waves, fresh water (not too shabby)lots of seagulls and I am not sure about crabs but I don't want them anyway. I have done ocean and great lakes. Love them both. A beach is a beach is a beach. And yeah the storm and the waves it churned up were amazing. Nature is amazing. Awesome,humbling and soulful.

  27. The above ^ is the comment I tried to post this afternoon right before I left for work, but it wouldn't go through. So, here it is several hours later (sadly, complete with the typos that came with composing it super quickly right before leaving home --- kittin? Why on Earth did I type kittin?!? Geez).

    Real estate listings! AAAHHH!!! Online real estate listings are my internet porn of choice! When I can't sleep in the darkest, quietest hours of the night, I sometimes drift off into fantasy land by perusing online real estate listings. I am currently drooling over these:

    Perfect for me, a big dog, 3 alpacas, and 12 chickens.

    And, maybe 2 or 3 pygmy goats. Probably.

    And, a HUGE garden, and a pumpkin and watermelon patch, and trellises for growing gourds, and a well with a windmill and hand pump, and a huge firewood stack, and solar panels and a battery system, and a fishing pond, and...

    Of course, down there you have to deal with nuisance gators if you have a pond on your property.

    Both listings are just over the state line into Alabama and are about 1 1/2 hour from the beach. By crossing from Florida to just inside Alabama, both taxes and insurance rates go waaaay down. Also, it's easier to garden in the red clay soil in southeast Alabama than it is in the sandier soil closer to the beach. (I've lived both places.)

    The first listing has the fancier house, really more than I'd need or want just by myself. But, it's still a fun daydream.

    The second listing would require that I immediately put in an in ground tornado shelter. I spent the first part of my childhood on the beach dealing with hurricanes and the 2nd about 15 miles from these listings dealing with the tornadoes spun off as the hurricanes came ashore. So, since it's a mobile home on the property currently, I'd pop an underground concrete shelter in right off the bat. Then, I'd live in the trailer until I could slowly assemble a small house with a big front porch.

    And, a wood burning stove.

    Then, of course, there are the nights I peruse the multimillion dollar listings for single family homes and penthouse condos in Lincoln Park, the Near Northside, and The Loop on Chicago's Gold Coast. lololol But, for all the fun of that escapism, I know that I need to stay in the South and be close to the Gulf of Mexico. That's where my soul is at peace. I need my fishies, my dolphins, and my hermit crabs.

    The only other possible acceptable option is the Atlantic coast over by Charleston, SC, (I used to live there) and Savannah, GA, because I love all the historical and cultural stuff over that way and because the IOP beaches are great (but NOT as good as the Florida Panhandle!! Nope, nowhere near as good! lol)

  28. Ah, QI- a wonderful way to end a long night. Just pop one in my DVD player, and the world seems a little bit better (and more interesting, of course!).

    Deb, I loved both the story of your vacation and the wonderful pictures. It sounds like a marvelous time was had by all. And I especially like the picture of you flying the kite- you look as though you might burst from sheer joy. :)

    And it reminds me of the last time my mom and dad went on vacation. It was the Friday afternoon before spring break (they both work at schools, and get spring break off like the kids do), and Daddy just decided that they needed to go somewhere. He came home, told Momma to pack, and an hour later, they were on their way to Florida! No plans, no schedule, no anything. Not even a hotel room- he called me after I got off work so I could go online and find a room for them. I could never go anywhere without thoroughly planning ahead, but that's the way Daddy rolls. And they did have a ton of fun!

  29. *giggle* Impressing our kids. lolol The one time in recent years that I know I straight up impressed my son was the afternoon he saw me kick a door in. It was a cheap, old door and an old lock - old enough to be torn up old broken crap, but not so old to be cool enough to salvage for niftiness. There was no hope of picking the lock (I can pick some kinds of locks) because the tumblers were all fubar'd. (I even went so far as to start taking apart the lock to get to the internals. The lock was screwed beyond any hope of future usefulness.) The door needed replacing anyway (so it wasn't worth it to try to take the door down by the hinges) so I decided to get into the room the fun way - a rare opportunity to justifiably do something over the top. So, I told kiddo to stand clear (I backed him up to within the door frame of his bedroom at the end of the hall) so he wouldn't get hit by flying splinters, I backed up, and I did a perfect front heel kick to the sweet spot and took down the door. BAM! The door ripped open, and the whole length of the door splintered both above and below the lock (told y'all it was a cheap crap door). I looked over at my son to make sure he was OK, and he was staring at me with his eyes and mouth wide open. Then, he came to his senses and looked at me like I was someone he'd never met before. It was so funny blowing his mind like that. LOLOL I finally came clean and explained to him that there's a trick to doing that with a locked door. Years ago, a police detective I knew had taught me the correct way to kick in a locked door.

    Gotta keep the kid guessing. Never underestimate Mom! :D

  30. What a fabulous vacation. You just have to take the time and let those moments happen.

  31. April I love that family story of the impromtu vacation! This vacation although planned had that vibe during it.

  32. Martini virgin here (yes, we do exist) - I am waiting for that perfect moment to try one. Maybe my long time husband and I could scoot across the pond, put our feet up, and...wait what am I thinking? I am a sunset, he is a sunrise. I dream of that perfect syzygy moment when everything is just right with the universe, but for now, will be satisfied enjoying it vicariously.

    ~ Steph

  33. Steph maybe you and your husband can meet in the middle-say, noon?

  34. Barb, I'm using "real estate porn" now and forever. LOVE!

    Deb, I've always believed timing is everything and I'm reading/writing this on August 20th, my parents'45th wedding anniversary. Seeing your happy pictures here makes me realize that not only do my parents put up with each other, they probably enjoy doing so, and voluntarily. Thank you for the pics.
    I am jealous about your vacation. I'll add it in as "vacation porn."
    Your blog is teaching me so much! :)

  35. Hey Deb- Decided to stop "lurking" LOOOOVED those stunning horizon pics -incred colours! Talents that were unknown are shining thru here.
    Glad the vaca was good and Loved Chery Lynn's "guest spot".
    *spoken in best "The Prisoner" voice* Be seeing you!

  36. Love it! Great pictures Deb and glad to hear you had such a great time! :)

    Also love the QI clip and the tinge of national pride at the mention of New Zealand ;) interesting about the sun strike - I thought it happened everywhere, guess not haha. I've only just recently started watching QI on tv and feel like I've been missing something good! I'm now tuning in every week. Cool to hear of others who love it just as much, if not more :D

  37. Cottage country, cocktails, kites, and 'life-long' friends'. I was smiling ear to ear as I read and listened to the Beach Boys! Ah the joys of summer!

  38. Really enjoyed this peek into your beachfront vacation, thank you!


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