Against all odds, we made it to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, for some much-needed downtime. Bob has been off-the-charts busy, and I have been doing more running around than usual. But then, on the day of our departure, Hurricane Ian swept in and washed out our plans.
It seemed silly to drive through the rain to sit inside, so Bob worked another day at home as it poured outside. Then, just before dinner, the power went down. We ate by flashlight and went to bed early, but woke when the room exploded in sharp light. When daylight came the following morning, we went around the back of the house to find our WiFi junction box gaping open, its contents char black and the lid lying fifteen feet away.
Fine, we thought. Bob called a restaurant in Kitty Hawk and learned they still had power. But what to do with the thawing contents of our two freezers? We sat tight all morning, willing the Duke crews to plug us back in, before deciding to load up as much food would fit in the Volt and leave the rest to fate.
We arrived at dusk to witness a magnificent post-storm sky. We’d made it! En route, we learned that our power back home had been restored. Our food was secure. The gods were smiling at us.
We celebrate Bob’s birthday with a regenerative week at the shore every year. Last year, my mother died a few days into our beach week, so we cut it short and flew north for her funeral. Bob worked hellishly long days for all but the last bit of our vacation the previous year. This year he again brought a backlog of audit reports that simply must get done.
Honestly, I don’t know how that man sleeps. Indeed, he often lays awake beside me, turning his workload over and over, helpless to quiet his brain.
This unsettling vacation trend will end soon, I promise. Bob’s retirement is near; how near, I dare not say.
This morning we shouldered our cameras and strolled up the beach, a bit of post-retirement practice if you will.
Like the other off-season tourists, we let the water lap our calves, its first chill warming quickly. We watched the tiny sanderlings, and the larger-than-you’d-think seagulls mingle, plucking breakfast from the wet sand as the tide rose. Finally, we climbed through the deeper sand, past crab lairs, and towards the path between dunes that would take us to our street.
For breakfast, I made a salad with lettuce and peppers from our garden, and Bob put together a couple of cold-cut sandwiches on toasted asiago bread. Then he opened his laptop and got to work.