Happy Wednesday, Readers! This week, I’m on vacation, so I’m taking a break from my normal routine, and diving in to a new one. My family and I are in one of our favorite summer places: Black Butte Ranch, Oregon. We love coming back here year after year, because it brings us together, and helps us savor summer.
I inherited this vacation tradition when I met my husband eleven years ago. As someone who grew up vacationing in a different place each year, at first I didn’t get the draw of going back to the same place each summer. Aren’t trips about escape, novelty, and breaking routine? Well, I soon discovered that vacationing in the same place each year allows me to fully tap into all the things I love best about summer, and return home truly refreshed.
In the dark Seattle winter, I look forward to knowing that come August, I’ll ride my bike home from the pool in my swim suit, wet hair blowing in the breeze, a good book tucked into my basket. I’ll help my son practice his dives, drink cold rose on the sun-warmed deck with my in-laws, play go-fish with my youngest, and take an evening walk with my husband under bright stars. When I lay my head down each night, I know I’ll smell the scent of Ponderosa pine, and feel the cool breeze on my nose as I snuggle under the covers.
We come back to this place year after year, so different, and yet it’s always the same. That sameness allows me to reflect on what I’ve accomplished (like writing this blog every week for a year!), and the ways my family is changing and growing in ways I might otherwise miss.
Like life, it’s a mix of good and not so good. I know we’ll remember the summer of 2019 as the year my in-laws bought their first vacation home on the ranch, and the year my husband came down with an unfortunate case of food poisoning, and spent the first part of our trip in bed. We’ll remember it as the first year baby Sam spent at the Ranch, at only three weeks old!
I don’t have to think very hard about what to pack, or what to do each day. I don’t have to worry that I’ve missed out on seeing something, or trying something new, or squeezing too much into a day. For better or worse, I know we’ll be back, and I look forward to the surprises that await us next summer.
This week, as you go through the routines of life, or venture out on vacation, I hope you can savor a little bit of summer, too!