We lived in Brooklyn for 10 years. For eight of those years, we would take a week’s vacation in Cape Cod at the end of August. While the week was always wonderful, the return trip home seemed to undo all the relaxing of the preceding seven days. We invariably hit awful traffic in Connecticut that would add an hour to our four-and-a-half hour ride. This was generally the precursor to finally arriving back in Brooklyn sometime before midnight with a packed car that needed unloading and two sleeping children in the backseat.
Unpacking a car in Brooklyn is no small feat. Forget finding a parking spot. You start by pulling in at the fire hydrant or double parking while you unload. We’d start with the sleeping people. I’d run ahead and prop open doors and pull back bedsheets and Dave would carry them, one by one, up the two flights to our apartment and into their beds. Then, we’d unload everything from car to stoop, stoop to vestibule, vestibule to apartment. Once all that was done, we’d argue over who was going to have to get back into the car and start driving up and down the streets looking for a parking spot that would never present itself for at least half an hour.
By this time, it was like we’d never gone on vacation.
Except for all the sand in everything.
But this time was different.
We had the great fortune of procuring a caretaker for the farm some months back. Knowing that someone competent and enthusiastic was going to be tending the animals and gardens allowed us to really relax and enjoy our week on the beach with friends. We got near-daily updates on Cindy’s milk production, the progress of the garden, and the general goings-on around the place. We knew that things were in good hands and we were able to do things like jump off of things into other things (we did a lot of this).
At the vacation house, there was no end to just hanging out with friends, generally listening to music and playing games.
And we dedicated a solid amount of time to pretending to be mermaids.
But the really special part this year was, believe it or not, leaving for home. It wasn’t special because we wanted the trip to end, but rather because we didn’t mind returning to where we now live. We’d had a wonderful time with really great friends and coming home was going to be a wonderful time as well. We missed all the faces that were awaiting us here. Never before have we left behind dogs and cats, pigs and goats, rabbits and chickens. We had so many creatures to come home to, the blow of vacation ending was cushioned as never before.
So, the week came to an end and we packed up and headed home. And that was just fine with us because we didn’t hit a moment of traffic and we got home in under four hours. We drove right up to our house and parked in our driveway and the sleeping children woke up just enough to go into their rooms under their own power. There was no double parking and no four-stage unpacking fiasco. No one had to circle for parking and we were happy to find memories, in the form of sand, in all our things.
Coming home to our little farm was a joyous and relaxing thing in itself. This morning, waking up early and greeting all the animals and doing all the chores was a total pleasure. There may be no fresh oysters on the menu today, but we’ll sure be glad to see what the garden is providing!