A Weekend At the Coast

23 07 2012

This weekend our family went to Florence OR on the coast to take our oldest daughter to camp. On this trip the family experienced what a sneaker wave can do. We stopped so the girls could play in the waves. I chose not to go in because I was wearing long pants and forgot to bring spares just in case I got wet. The sneaky wave caught plenty of people who were lying down on the beach too. The girls and my wife got a deep soaking! I had to scramble to get our stuff.

I grabbed my wife’s purse and attempted to grab the few layers of clothing that had been taken off to go into the water. My wife’s set of keys were nearly lost. Thank God she had it on a lanyard and the keys only went a bit into the sand. If it weren’t for that lanyard the keys would have been lost to our sight.

With that adventure, everyone was now getting tired so we went to buy our dinner and go to the motel. We stayed at a rustic almost “Twin Peakish” place called “The Park Motel”. It was very wonderful. The room was a dark wood and reminded me of Special Agent Dale Cooper’s room at the Great Northern Hotel. It had a kitchenette, and we had a very simple meals for dinner and breakfast. And I didn’t dream about tall giants who’s head hit the ceiling.

That night I did get the chance to talk with my wife about things that were troubling me and , along with an intense prayer time at lights out, helped me to start seeing what has been wrong in my soul. Which I hope to detail in a different blog post.

The next day was spent exploring the old town section of Florence. We went to the Pioneer Museum. What a FANTASTIC place. It is in the old school house. The volunteers were excited and one wonderful gentleman followed us around. You could get right up to the displays. He even cranked up the old Edison record player. He let me hold one of the records! THIS never happens in the BIG cities!

We also ate lunch at a classic A&W! The place had the drive up where you push a button on the menu and they bring your order to the car. We didn’t take advantage of that, due to a 7 year old who would have made a mess of herself It was so good to have a chilli cheese dog made only the way that A&W can. (It was not one of those connected to a KFC.)

Then it was time to take Suzy to Camp Cleawox. The funny thing about this part of the trip is that the road to the camp was right next door to our motel. And we didn’t know it! Since check in wasn’t til 3pm we had to check out at 11am and come back to the area. If Suzy could have gone earlier we could have just sent her walking up the road with her stuff.

It was very hard to leave her there. Suzy has gone to camp before, but not at Cleawox. She usually goes to Camp Arrowhead which is only an hour or so away. NOW she’s 3.5 hours from us! If she gets hurt or can’t make it through the week (pick up is Friday at 3:35) it’s gonna be a nerve wracking drive for me. And I’m missing her.

When Suzy was born I became the stay at home parent. So having her more than an hour away feels like a part of me is missing. I have faith that she will not be hurt and will be fine. But being her daddy and having to trust that no harm will come to her is very hard.

The rest of the family drove home and I looked at her “empty” room. I thought about sleeping in her bed, just so it could be used and not empty, but Suzy made it VERY clear that no one should be sleeping in her bed. No Goldilocks in this house. Having such a fun weekend but to return home not as a complete family makes me start to appreciate those who’s family can not come home again. Those who have lost people due to others actions. Who have lost loved ones that will not be seen in this world again. How wonderful life is. That for all the evil in the world, there really is much more good. That love makes you sane.

I also notice that on the coast there is a feeling of friendliness that is not easily accessible in the big city of Portland. The Owners of the motel we’re very personable. The people next door respected the 10pm quiet time rule. And with the very little distractions, not having toys and stuff around, our family seemed to be more peaceful.

It is now Monday morning. There is still no Suzy in her bedroom. The remainder of the family is doing their own thing. I’m blogging, Beth is eating pancake and sausage on a stick. Shelby is watching episodes of The Fresh Beat Band on Netflix. Kathleen is doing something on the laptop and is freaking me out by making the printer next to me start printing by wireless actions.

We now are doing our individual life thing again. Our shared experiences of the weekend are over. But do they have to be? Do we not need time with each other AND do those things we do?

Or are we just now avoiding each other and try to DO life on our own?

So much of our everyday world, that one that consumes us with business, the disconnect with those that are right in the room with you, the “I HAVE to do this” and not the “I WANT to do this” attitude is now back in me. I HAVE to do house work is not beneficial .

I think that everyone has this trouble. I certainly have felt duty bound to my family. I don’t feel that way about the rest of life, so why do we apply this to our families?

I find when I move my thinking from NEED to do this (duty) for others to I WANT to do this (free choice) for others, it’s not a guilty way to live. This is part of what I worked out this weekend. I’ve done so much out of the guilt NEED, that I’ve neglected to WANT to do things for my family.

I feel like I’ve grown a bit more this weekend. I feel more like a fine aged wine than a quickly processed wine cooler. So until Friday, I am unable to serve Suzy, father to daughter, as much as I WANT to. She is in God’s hands, which are on the Girl Scout staff. But I WANT to take care of my family this week, without all the stress that comes from the idea of NEEDING to take care of them.

I find that I WANT to take care of my wife and daughters. I don’t NEED to take care of them. I don’t NEED to love them. I WANT to love them.

I find that the words “want” and “need” do not mean what I think they mean. I also feel like I’m falling in love with my family all over again. The weekend has brought about a change in me that no sermon or book as ever done. I am very grateful for what has been done within me.

I feel much more whole than I have in a long time. There is a part of me missing though, and she will be back in my life on Friday. For now I still have the rest of my family to be with because I WANT to be with them. I am here in Portland, NOT at the coast with Suzy. So here’s to serving your family and friends because you WANT to serve them, to love them because you WANT to, not NEED to. Here’s to living life because you WANT to, not because you NEED to.

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