Sunday, I sat down in my in-law's sunroom, put my feet up, and finished reading a magazine I started two months ago. Four more are waiting their turn in my suitcase and I'm feeling really optimistic that I'll get through them this week, too.
I'm also determined to read a book -or at least start one. The first one in months...maybe a year. I made a late night deal on the side of the highway Friday to snatch a copy of my friend Larry Waddle's new western, West to Trust. I bet two cars in a pull-off area after dark...with money trading hands and a square package passed over...looked suspicious. I'm sure no one would believe it was a "book" deal and not a "drug" deal, but I thought the long hours with no routine duties ahead of me would be the perfect time (and maybe only chance) to read his book. I'd meant to order my copy online and had just never gotten around to it, but thank goodness Larry and Conni had an extra copy in their car and were able to make the deal with me on their way back from town.
Yesterday morning I stretched out on the nearby beach in Navarre, soaking up the sun (after applying tons of sunscreen, of course!), watching surfers and seagulls, and listening to the waves crashing on the beach. The sand here is like snow - not just because it's near-blinding white, but because it squeaks when you walk on it. The water is green-blue and the perfect temperature right now, and felt so refreshing I ignored the more-than-usual amount of seaweed all around me.
One thing I love about the beach is how it draws people together - small communities of towels, chairs, and ice chests, side by side, separated by just a few feet of sand. Just next door to us a mom about my age, her pretty blonde daughter and granddaughter played in the sand. There were retired couples and teenagers, tanned surfers and young families, all drawn to the same place for the same reason.
I've spent hours and hours losing at 3-13, one of those card games that really depends on your last hand but takes a LONG time to get there, especially when there are six or seven playing with three decks of cards. But that's just more time for talking and catching up, in between the teasing and bickering back and forth, anyway. The Shallue's are a competitive bunch.
Also this week I've gone "junking" with two of my sister-in-laws, swam in a real swimming pool, and watched a movie. I've gone over 24 hours without getting on the internet - a recent record for sure - and survived. I've had to grocery shop, clean, and do some laundry, but you just can't get away from some things when you're a mother. Tom and I walked to a nearby track this morning to run - there are some parts of your routine you don't want to leave behind.
This afternoon the youngest set of Shallue's arrive - youngest brother John from Arizona, with his wife and three kids, including my precious goddaughter Nicole. I haven't seen her since last year in Montana. She's one pleasure I haven't forgotten. I just hope she remembers me!