It's a Friday here(presumably elsewhere as well) and the significance of this datum in this summer 'cottage vacation spot' on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX, for you car decal decoders who have trailed vehicles across states beyond your destination, lured by the slim hope of getting the driver's attention long enough to inquire as to where he has been lately) is that for many sun/sand/surf-worshippers, it is the last day. At the crack of ETD, wives, who've been packing at Mach speed - in the dark - will be lining all manner of bags/containers/luggage, neatly, efficiently, adjacent to the soon-to-be home bound car.
And the driver - car packer, payor, padre - will be utilizing everything he can recall of plane geometry in a stunning example of perseverance, occasional pain and paternal pluck (Did I forget grace under pressure? No. There'll not be any.) in this 'no-way-to-start-any-day' enterprise of 'loading her up'. He'll be muttering, reduced to a babbling idiot, but one who is aware of one fact certain: there were maybe half the number of 'to-be-packeds' when last he was charged with this task. Moreover, their arrangement/containment was requiring nothing short of 'Rubrics' exactitude.
Ultimately successful, he will be pale, perspiring, but immersed in an odd expression of art appreciation. Then he will de-trance, responding to a directive from his significantly and demonstrably patient co-captain to, ". . .pu-leez, seat/secure the (three to six) kids", who stand at attention (co-cap's) awaiting seat assignments and the last merry brawl of the vacation, focused on their placement/comfort during the upcoming seven to ten-hour trek home.
This is (due to lack) no time for petty arguments between the adults concerning, "Where did all these bags/kids come from?" Nope. Last bathroom check; first of what will be many head-count checks and then the vehicle pulls away, a dazed but victorious driver at the helm, seeing only his Nirvana - their own driveway and the frosted glass and its good buddy, cold bottle of beer, carefully positioned during the last pre-departure check.
So today, Friday (It's still Friday here.) is pull-out-all-the-stops day. Cameras have been clicking since sunrise. The posed, freshly-clad family shots done and already "shared" with everyone they know. The cottage, dunes, surf, one last sand-sculpted masterpiece - even if created by the kids next door - the frolicking (and crab-hunting, please see above) pets, the first-time-at-the-ocean toddler. The cast on this 'master'-designed set.
The Northeast wind is brisk and the tide strong - has caused the raising of the red flags by the vigilant life guards. Sooo, surfing - body and board - is out. But the surf anglers are in their glory - and well beyond the marked areas of beach where sane, thoughtful humans would heave and yank shards of barbed/honed steel hooks suspended on threads of nylon into such a frenetic ocean. (Over the years, my husband, 'doc', has removed such menacing 'equipment' from the pierced-through toes of unsuspecting strollers.)
This unabated, barely supervised ". . .one more for the Gipper" frolic will continue, undisturbed by weather/warnings until the last illegal cherry bomb is fired, the last limbo leaned, the final slam of a cottage door behind the last sand-encrusted, bare feet - feet that for the past week have been 'tripping the life fantastic' on this little corner of Heaven. Dancing with waves. Life is good. Life is even better by the sea.
Later, Lorane. . . .