I waited all year for this vacation. For me, the highlight of the year is when I get to spend an uninterrupted 7 days with my sons, who both live 8+ hours away from me. Each year, we choose a destination where we can be together in a large house that has enough room to accommodate meals and games and is stituated on a body of water so we can kayak. Over the years, we’ve stayed in Air B&B’s in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, West Virginia and Pennsylvania – some wonderful (like this year’s choice on the Ware River in Gloucester Courthouse, VA) and others kind of strange (like the house on Conneaut Lake, PA with the creepy room above the kitchen and personal photos of the owner strewn about). Wherever we stay though, when I’m with my kids I’m in my bliss, but the week always seems to go by so quickly.
What I appreciate about the house we are staying at this year, (besides the plush couches that feel like a warm flannel blanket) are the broken clocks. Clocks without hands and clocks stuck at one time. They are reminders that time is irrelevant. We’ve got no where to be, nothing to do and no list to check. We are here to be – just be together. To throw a few bean bags at the corn hole boards and decide mid-game to quit and walk away. To take fishing poles down to the pier and cast… catching only air until the sun sets. To sit and stare off out along the water and wonder what lives beneath, what once was here and how us being here in this time is a gift of rest and relationship.
Confession: there’s a part of me that will still count the days we are here, regretting when Saturday arrives and we have to part ways until we see each other next time. I always get teary-eyed at the good-byes. But for now, I’m going to remember the hand-less clock, put away my watch and sink into the warm water of the Ware River, relax into the long lazy days and feel the deep gratitude for the opportunity to be with my family uninterrupted for one week.