This past weekend, our family packed up, cleaned up, and left Lewes until next summer. After a two hour drive, we unpacked, cleaned up (how DO these houses manufacture dirt on their own while we’re away?) and settled back in Oreland for another year. It may have been a relatively short hop, but it was, as always, a bumpy landing.
Not that everything at the shore is peaches and cream. But there’s always the soul-soothing walk on the beach to quiet racing brains and calm frazzled nerves. The slower pace infects even the most ambitious among us, as the screened porch and afternoon naps beckon. But as the last days tick inexorably by, we rev up to our usual frantic activity level, and we fret about what awaits us back in PA.
This September, the Seyfrieds are all about leave-takings: Rosie is off to Seattle for a visit this week; PJ just embarked on a semester in Marburg, Germany; Julie leaves Thursday for a 2 ½ month European backpacking trek which will take her from Italy to Finland, with several stops in between. Both Rose and Evan moved in to new digs on Sunday (Evan in DC celebrating the first time ever that he can afford to live without a roommate).
We are NOT the masters of the smooth transition. When the kids were little, the first days in Delaware were tearful as they missed their rooms, their friends at home. Along about week two, they finally adjusted, and the next six weeks were happy indeed. Like clockwork, though, they fell apart when it was time to return to Oreland. Our heavy-laden trip back up Highway One (High chairs! Cribs! Playpens! Bikes! We would have benefited from a U-Haul just to transport the toys alone!) was further burdened by the inconsolable weeping coming from the car seats in the back. Steve and I annually settled in for at least a week of nightmares and disorientation as we returned to a town without ocean breezes: “I miss mine beach! I miss mine boardwalk!” tiny PJ used to say, with deep emotion if not grammatical accuracy.
Today, Mom and Dad, too, experience bumpy landings. Steve returns to countless hours of booking shows, rehearsing, and preparing for his drama classes. My church schedule goes directly to insane, with so many things going on that I almost (but not quite) regret going away at all. It doesn’t help that it’s still really hot and we have no air conditioning (unlike the delightful AC in the Lewes condo); I easily sweat off the five pounds I’ve tried to lose all summer.
The only constant in life is change, right? Yes, but that’s not always good news for us creatures of habit. Nevertheless, our circumstances do change, often, and we must adjust. And by and large, as Evan would say, “it’s all good.”
And so we come to the end of the runway, taxi for a bit, and prepare for takeoff again. Fasten your seat belts, everyone!