Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Topsail 2019

I might lose my inspiration to blog about a whole lot of other things, but never the Schlosser beach vacation. I finally got over the worst of the withdrawal a couple days ago, and today I feel like it was all a dream. We got to have all the sun, sand, water and blue sky, with none of the stomach bugs. The only thing was, we were missing Anna and Sophie and their families (and they were missed!). I think as time goes on, these vacations mean more and more to me. I get to reconnect with family whom I go many months at a time without seeing. I get to enjoy my own little family a little more. I spend as little time indoors as I can get away with. I immerse myself in my surroundings, forget about my to-do list, and feel really and truly like myself.
We were all right in a row: Scotty and Faith in the right side of the red house, Tim and I in the left side of the middle house, and Mom, Dad, Grace and Joey on the right side of the middle house. Very convenient!
Joey's grumpy little face!
I did not think it was possible for this vacation to get any better. We had healthy people (except for Annie's nagging cough and stuffy nose), beautiful days that weren't too hot, a full moon, beers on the deck under starry skies, a rainbow over the ocean no less ... Then on Friday morning, as Tim headed off to the gym, he texted me the picture below, along with the message that this thing was going off in front of Scotty and Faith's house. I passed the message and picture on to Scotty and Faith, and what happened next was comedy gold.
A while later, Scotty came down to the beach and told us that it had been a sewage alarm, and there was a truck and a crew of two men who were at that moment sifting through everything he and his family had flushed in the past few days, trying to find the blockage. Scotty did a hilarious impression of everything the men had to say, complete with a southern twang. Below is our reaction, captured by Grace. I can't possibly do it justice, but as I told Tim later, hearing that story was like the cherry on top of the sundae that was the whole week.
The end of this vacation snuck up on me the way it always does. I refused to even think about it even though it was Friday, and Tim kept reminding me that we were going to have to "address the elephant in the room" and start doing things to get ready for the next day. I'd say, "Yeah, yeah, I know." When, one by one, everyone started to gather up their chairs and umbrellas to take them up all the way up to the houses so they could clean them up and pack them, that's when it became real for me. That's when my heart started to feel heavy. I sat there, the lone adult for about a half hour or so, watching over the handful of kids still out playing in the waves, thinking to myself, Nooooo, I'm not ready for this to end. I didn't want to have to call the kids in. I didn't want to leave my happy place. I didn't want to say to my parents and siblings, "See you in six months." 

Faith made a huge batch of guacamole and mixed margaritas so we could be "fat and happy" for pictures on the beach. (She sure knows how to take care of a crowd of Schlossers.) My smiles were feeling pretty forced, yummy margarita notwithstanding. Our kids were less than cooperative, scampering off in different directions every time they thought they were done. But we managed to end up with about a hundred beautiful photos to take with us, so it was worth the effort as always. 

Saturday morning we said our goodbyes and headed out, Tim and I in separate cars, about 10 minutes after Grace and Joey and Mom and Dad. I dropped off our keys at the realty office and pointed our car in the direction of home. I was feeling sad but grateful for the way everything had gone so perfectly that week. Within minutes, I saw hazard lights up ahead on the right shoulder, and moved into the left lane to pass. I steered around some stuff in the road -- a baby gate and a black trash bag -- then slowed down a bit so I could rubberneck. There was a minivan with a small trailer, and it looked like beach chairs had fallen off. There was what looked like a couple members of a dance team, with perky ponytails and matching t-shirts. There was a red Jeep and my husband in his Red Sox t-shirt -- wait, what? I said, "Timmy, that's our family!" I thought maybe Grace and Joey had just lost some things off their hitch, and Tim was helping them put it back together. That was nice. But what about the dance people, were they also helping? What was really going on? I found out soon enough, because I had Timmy give Tim a call. Someone had tried to drive between their minivan and the dance people's minivan. He'd hit them both with his big pickup truck, then made a u-turn a little ways up the road and sped off. Unbelievable. Fortunately, no one was hurt, just a little shaken up. The vehicles were still able to be driven. I headed back to the scene to give Grace a hug and see if there was anything else I could do. There wasn't. Tim went to a store for duct tape for their taillight, and water they could have while they waited nearly an hour for a state trooper to come take a report. The quick-thinking grandma in the other minivan had taken down the licence plate of the truck, and another person, already gone, had tried to chase him down. I felt terrible for Grace and Joey, and for Mom and Dad who'd backtracked from a different route, having to add another hour or two onto what would already be a long and difficult day.
That trailer hitch took the brunt of the impact and saved the van. I still can't believe someone hit two minivans that anyone could guess would be full of kids, and then drove away!
I hate to end on that note. So, on to the rest of summer which, for this week includes many trips to the Y for the pool and the workouts and included childcare (thank God for all of it!), and lots of carb and sugar indulging as I count down to my first Whole 30. For anyone who's actually read all of this, I hope you're having a wonderful summer!