|In our front yard maple leaves unfurl in a backdrop of blue sky.|
Planning a vacation to any destination can be just as sweet an experience as actually being there.
It is the anticipation of the journey that brings great joy.
When you have a summer home, you feel a heightened awareness in springtime and a delightful urge to relocate yourself.
Throughout the long winter months, I am landlocked and content to occasionally visit the seashore.
But come May I can no longer endure the long-distance relationship, and thoughts of my seaside home consume me. I listen to weekend weather reports with new interest.
During the weekly trip to the supermarket, I toss barbecue sauce, magazines, suntan lotion and bug spray into the grocery cart.
While at the library, I lose track of time, reading book jackets of contemporary fiction and checking out a stack of books.
I reread favorite parts of my annotated copy of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” “The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett, “Gift of the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and “Charlotte Fairlie” by D.E. Stevenson.
I start making lists of things to do.
I let everyone know that I will be unavailable on weekends for the next three months.
Then one May morning dawns that justifies the advance preparation. I open the trunk of the car and pile in all those books and magazines, bags of groceries, sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts and swimsuits; and I finally satisfy the longing.
The wait is usually over on Mother’s Day when traditionally we open the summer house. But this year unexpected delays postponed the ritual.
God willing, we will officially open the Fogland season on Memorial Day weekend.
In the meantime, I turn to the pages of one of my favorite books:
“They set out to walk through the little village to the harbor,” wrote Stevenson in “Charlotte Fairlie.” “It was bright and breezy. The sea was very blue with crisp white caps upon the waves; the sky was paler blue and cloudless. The land was green; the beach was of pure white sand with piles of bright yellow seaweed. Far in the distance there were purple hills, their outlines softened by haze. All the colors were clean – like the colors in a brand new paint box – and the sunshine was so strong that the very air seemed to glitter. Charlotte took deep breaths of air and smelt the faint tang of the seaweed drying in the sunshine – that unforgettable smell…”