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Back in March, B asked me what I wanted to do for my upcoming 30th birthday. We talked through some options, and when she offered to rent a house at the beach where I could invite some friends, it was pretty much a no-brainer. I found an awesome house for rent in Chincoteague, VA (hello, wild ponies anyone?) and friends were selected and rent was paid and all that was left to do was wait.
A little over two weeks ago, we set out on our first full week’s vacation away in almost two years. The house was beautiful, large, and right on the bay (with our own dock and hammock). It was the perfect setting for an actual relaxing vacation The day after we arrived was my birthday, and it was a simple and perfect day. B made my requested breakfast of french toast and bacon (don’t judge, it was my birthday!), and off we went to explore the island with my friend L. We picked up some bunker (crab bait) on the way home before having some sandwiches for lunch, then headed out to the dock to set up the crab traps. I taught L how to crab, as she never had before, complete with cutting and tying the dead bunker. B spent most of her time in the house reading while the two of us were crabbing, alternating laying in the hammock, drinking beer and chatting. It was perfection. Around dinnertime we cleaned up and headed in with our day’s catch. We caught 78 crabs (SERIOUSLY) and 10 of them were keepers. My other friend, LH, arrived, and we all got showers and headed out for a seafood dinner to round out the day. It was spent exactly how I had hoped, without any big party or flashiness, but with so much that I loved.
The whole week was my favorite, really. Every day I had wine or cocktails or beer, even if it was 11 in the morning. I read books. I went to the beach. I saw a lot of nature – wild ponies, all kinds of birds, dolphins, and even a bald eagle. We rented scooters for a day and went mini-golfing one night. We went out for ice cream 5 nights of our trip. I spent an hour in the little local bookstore, leaving with many new finds. I saw the sun set almost every night on the bay. I walked the beach in the black of night, lit only by the moon. I spent quality time with a few good friends, and of course, my girl. I slept in. I recharged. It was all so needed. It was my first time ever visiting Chincoteague, and I fell in love with the island. It was so very laid back and chill – not a lot of hustle and bustle – but still, everything I loved about a beach town.
This vacation re-solidified my need for being (and eventually, living) at the edge of the land, where I can smell the bay breezes and hear the seagulls call out. It’s in my blood. And makes me very happy, as you know.
Life continues to keep me equally busy and entertained. Complaining about anything would be whiney and ungrateful of me, and fluffing things up under a veil of semi-perfection would be oversimplifying and not quite true. For the most part, things are good. I have an itch to write, yet time is hard to come by. (As evidenced by the fact that it’s already the second week of July!)
Today would have been Gracie’s 7th birthday. I’m remembering her today. I went over to the cabinet where she now sits – her ashes, her collar, and a picture in a cute doggy frame with her happy, smiling face in it – and I just stared, thinking about the irony of it all. I think about what it would be like to have her here with me, alive and dancing and warm.
I’m so sad that she’s gone, but I’m happy for ever having her here. Happy Birthday girl.
It has been nothing less than a bit insane since we’ve gotten back from vacation. We even came back a day early AND I took an extra day off before going back to work (granted, it was a day of errands and doctors appointments and food shopping, but still, an extra day off) and it still felt like I needed a bit more time.
Work has been a piece of work. The further along my time is here and the more responsibility I have makes me dread taking off – no matter how much I prepare people and instruct and help them to do the things that need to be done when I’m not here, it doesn’t always seem to work out. It’s good to be busy, but not this busy.
Vacation was quite lovely, although I won’t say it was all wonderful. We ended up vacationing with people who weren’t in the original plan, and they had children, so that wasn’t too fun. But overall we did get to relax and read and swim and catch a lot of sunrays and most importantly have time with each other, so I’m really grateful for it. I’m already looking forward to my next vacation, which is not yet planned, whenever that is. Preferably it’s in Maine (something like this vacation here) and definitely adults only.
And it’s kind of fucked up that I’m thinking about vacation because B still doesn’t have an “official” job, ever since her company went bankrupt back in September. She does really well doing side work (she’s a landscaper) but as you can imagine, that is a very seasonal thing. And we just found out her unemployment has just run out so we’re a little worried. I can’t tell you how many jobs she applies to – people just aren’t calling back. It is such a ridiculously tough economy we are in and there are hundreds of people applying to one job and I just don’t know how people do it.
In non-depressing news, I do believe I forgot to mention that B got me a kayak and a paddle for my birthday, as June was a pretty busy month for her. Can you believe it? It’s amazing and great and wonderful. She also got herself a kayak and a paddle so that we could go paddling together. Plus she got the kayak carrier for the top of her jeep and our launching permits. Crazy, right? We FINALLY went for the first time this past weekend, and besides it being 97 degrees out with death-inducing humidity, it was fun. I am REALLY looking forward to more time on the water. But can we say, seriously – BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!!
And also, I’m on the verge of almost being done my grad school application. I don’t think it’s the best work I’ve ever written, honestly, but like I mentioned before, maybe a small part of me doesn’t want to get in. Either way, I’m days away from officially submitting it, and I can’t wait to be done with it.
I’m so out of touch with the online world and you blog peeps and my own writing, but it’s been kind of wonderful. Lots of time for being in the present, getting exercise and sun and quality time in with the people I love the most. Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July weekend! Can you believe we’re a week and a half away from August?!?! Omg!
The world keeps turning, eh?
Last year I wrote a post on the eve of my 27th birthday, which you can find here. I re-read it today and wow, it’s great to see where I was and where I’m at now.
I love that my house was up on the market a year ago and has already been sold and I’m moved out and all is done. Also interestingly enough I talk about disassembly and the process of taking apart the relationship bit by bit – and today EJ has a court date for the finalization of our divorce (which I didn’t have to show up for because I’m not contesting anything). So hooray, the disentanglement may be completely finished quite soon. Not a bad way to end the year. Talk about coming full circle.
I’ve not had the greatest week – in fact, that’s a gross understatement. Still, I’m trying to focus on the positives and for the nice long weekend I have coming up. If this 27th year has taught me anything, it’s that I am strong enough.
This might have been the most defining trip around the sun I’ve had yet. The evolution continues.
Gracie would have turned 6 today. We adopted her 5 years ago. So on her birthday this year, my first birthday without her, I want to share one of my favorite memories of her.
So the background first:
When we adopted Gracie we had two cats at home, so the shelter had to make sure she was good with cats before we could take her home. They brought her to the cat room where there was a cat or two roaming around and probably over a hundred cats in their cages. She didn’t care about the cats at all. Didn’t give them a look. So, we took her home.
We found out rather quickly that she was obsessed with cats. Obsessed. She chased our cats, whined at them, stared at them, tried to play with them… when she did get them in a corner, she whined and prodded her nose at them. It didn’t matter if they swatted at her or growled at her, she was always going after them and trying to be around them. We tried as best as we could to curb her behavior, but nothing worked. It drove us nuts. We eventually learned to deal with it. We put the liter box and a lot of their toys in the basement so they had a safe place where the dogs couldn’t go. We installed a cat door so that they could come and go as they pleased. It was the best we could do to keep the peace.
That brings me to my memory:
About a year and a half ago the ex and I were out front washing our cars on a beautiful fall day. I was inside, scrubbing away, when Liz said, “Oh my god Jen, look at the door, right now!”
When I looked, this is what I saw:
She had stuck her head in the cat door (as she always did) to check out what the cats were doing downstairs. This time, however, the cat door came with her.
We laughed so hard we were almost peeing ourselves. It was such a Gracie thing to have done. The poor cat door never fully recovered.
So often I feel like crying when I think about her. I try to remember times like these when I need a laugh … and usually they do the job.
I really really miss her. She was so goofy and silly and she always made you smile. Love you girl.
A blizzard came on Saturday. Luckily I was able to drive to B’s Friday evening so I had no travel issues. So B got a nice little birthday gift -about 2 feet of snow
I woke up very early to sex – B kissed me awake – my back, my neck, my ear, my cheek – and I ask you – really, is there a better way to be woken up? When I was awake enough to be coherent she whispered into my ear that she wanted to fuck me with her cock – who, upon hearing that, doesn’t quickly stumble out of their sleepiness? Waking up to sex might only second best to Christmas morning.
B’s choice for breakfast was Shady Maple (my first time there and so good), so we trekked the beginning snow storm and met up with two of her friends in her 4 wheel drive jeep for the long ride. It was slow and slippery, but worth it. The rest of the day was spent shoveling, playing in the snow, being snowed-in in the bedroom, driving in the snow, taking pictures, and eating. The perfect blizzard day.
Sunday: homemade breakfast and dinner, jeep drive, pictures, playing in the snow, seeing friends, and ending the night at Hershey Park’s Candylane with two of my friends and their son from home who met us there.
I’m back in the city and back to work with only 3.5 days to get all of my work done before the holiday break and to finish all of my Christmas stuff. The last thing I should be doing is writing.
Saturday we leave for Tennessee for a week, staying at a condo that is a part of my uncle’s time share program so we were able to stay for practically nothing. It’s in the Smokey Mountains and it has a fireplace and a hot tub and beautiful scenery. I’m excited. I’ve never seen Tennessee and Tennessee has never seen me.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
I made my broccoli casserole for Thanksgiving and some people liked it! I mean, it’s super easy to make, but still. I’m proud of myself for cooking something. Thanksgiving was really nice – B’s family is a good time.
I did go out on Black Friday – but can I just say – there were really nothing in the ads that were catching my eye! That was disappointing. We were out of the house at about 5 and at the stores by 5:30ish which was fine with me. So we went to Kohl’s first and then TJ Maxx and then Michael’s – all in the same shopping plaza. At Michael’s I bought some things to try to make an ornament for Gracie – something simple with her picture on it and the year so that I have a way to remember her every Christmas. We then headed over to Home Depot where B got some tools and I got 60 AA batteries for $10! That was probably the most exciting deal that caught my eye in the ads. After that B took me into a sports store where I bought some thermal underwear for myself and my most favorite purchase of the day – a ski bib – originally $75, on sale for $19! Obviously I’m hoping to go skiing or play in the snow this year : ) We were home by 10:30 ish and taking a nap by noon – obviously, a nap is key to any Black Friday shopping experience.
I also shot two different kinds of guns (rifles) on Saturday for the first time in my life. It’s always something I wanted to do and I finally got to do it. Yay! And when I was shooting the .22 caliber rifle I got TWO shots on the bullseye and most of the other ones pretty close. Go me!!! It was fun.
The rest of my time off was relatively low key – ate good food, hung out with some good people, had some quality time with B – it was lovely. Every weekend should be that long and that relaxed.
Work is stressful and busy and I’ve been doing at least an hour of overtime a day, which will be nice on my paycheck but I’m still afraid I can’t get done everything I have to get done by the time I have to get it done by. I try not to stress about it but it’s kind of nerve wracking.
This upcoming weekend B is coming to my place which I’m really looking forward to because it’s been a few weeks since we spent a weekend in Jersey. And then the following weekend I take B away for her birthday (which is on the 19th) – we leave Friday the 11th in the afternoon and won’t head back until Monday the 14th. She knows nothing about where we are going, only that we’re headed North and that she should pack some warm clothes. I wish I could write about it but she reads the blog so I’ll have to write about it after we’re back!