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Too Much Relaxation

Jul
28
2006

While we’ve been taking regular annual summer vacations for about six years now, this is the first year we’ve taken two consecutive weeks. Perhaps this is a little too much time for some of us.
Previous vacations had us in a frenzy trying to fit everything in we wanted to do. The week would fly by as we attempted to please everyone, RELAXFORGODSAKE and make up for a year of neglect of our psyche. We usually returned home more exhausted than when we left.
I figured with two weeks of down time our minds would finally slow enough to offer insights there is normally too much static to impart. Perhaps our muscles would totally unclench. Maybe one of us who enjoys the tension and excitement of constant chaos in his soils business might find he prefers the tranquility of simple organization. We might actually drive home still talking to one another.
The Heirs have brought along their friend, LT, and at first the bulk of their time was spent rotating among televisions hooked up to video games – much like what they do back home. But back home, when they get sick of each other they can retreat to their own rooms or their own home. Here there is just no getting away from each other.
As we enter Week 2, they snap at each other like cranky dogs in a pack. The tussles are minor and brief but preferable to the sulking that ensues when they are forced to accompany us somewhere to “get out of the house for awhile.”


I use words like “jaded” and “spoiled.” They roll their eyes.
“This is the last year you come with us,” Dirtman threatens. They mutter under their breath.
After a brief pang of guilt I decide that since they are 15 and almost 18 years old, I am no longer their tour director.
Breathe. Relax.
We three adults take a boat tour of Portsmouth Island to see an old abandoned town that is under U.S. Park Service jurisdiction. We are greeted at the dock by a volunteer couple who live on the island alone four months out of the year, coming to tiny Ocracoke Island only once a week to do their laundry.
“That would be perfect for us in fifteen years or so!” Dirtman enthuses. The couple give him applications and become his new best friends. Somehow, they are a little too anxious.
Breathe. Relax.
Relax.
Relax, dammit.
Meanwhile, my brother – he of the masters in engineering and 35 years experience as a USGS cartographer – has decided to become a clamdigger because, though he is still renting his rake, he now owns his bucket.
So every night it’s clams. Raw clams. Clam sauce. Clams oreganato. Even the dogs are sick of clams. He needs practice, he says.
We have to be up early in the morning because that’s when clamdiggers get up, though he doesn’t know why. He enlists Dirtman, who will have the time to join him in this business since we’ll be sitting on an abandoned island waiting for some other idiot couple to come along and fill out the form.
“You’re supposed to pace the shoreline and wait for your men to return from the sea,” my brother informs me.
I remind him they’ll only be about five feet off the tideline and he and Dirtman question my commitment to their dream.
Breath. Relax. RELAX. . .
Next year I’m booking for two weeks again. . .
. . for me and the dogs.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 9:44 AM | Permalink

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