And now, a few days later, we’re on the road again. Except now, instead of going toward spring break, we’re driving away, back to early mornings and fourth quarter. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s easier said than done.
At least I have 12 hours in the car to get some lesson planning and grading done. Maybe a little bit of reading, too.
Let’s hit the road!
Vacation. Time with family. Laughter. Exploring new places.
Some of the best memories come from the trips we’ve taken as a family. And this trip is no exception. Yesterday, we picked up my brother from his university and drove to Cabrillo National Monument. I thought we were just going to see the lighthouse and the view, but as we drove through the gate, we saw a sign for the tide pools. It was 4:00 p.m., and low tide was at 3:56. Perfect timing!
We drove down the steep hillside to the small parking lot crowded with vehicles. As we stepped out, the cool salty air hit us, and we hurried down the trail. Scampering down the rocks and thankful I had sandals on, we got down to the tide pools. Tiny hermit crabs scurried about and sea anemone waved gently as we explored the pools. Shouts of excitement rose around us from other sightseers who spotted ocean life.
We stayed until 4:30 when the tide started to rise and the area closed. I couldn’t keep a smile off my face as we drove back up the hill, the vast expanse of the ocean stretching into the horizon.
Travel. Family. Memories.
My day today centered around the ocean. From morning to afternoon, from different parts of San Diego, I spent today reveling in the beauty of the ocean.
It started with a long run on Shelter Island, the sun glimmering off the water and the city skyline in the distance.
Then we drove through downtown and soaked in the sunshine and the salty breeze as we saw the U.S.S. Midway and explored the various piers. After that, we sat on Sunset Cliffs, watching the surfers ride the waves and listening to the water crash against the cliffs.
My favorite part was the visit to Cabrillo National Monument. With the harbor and the city of San Diego on one side and the Pacific Ocean stretching endlessly on the other, I could have sat on the point forever. The cool sea breeze, the warm sunshine, and the blue sky dotted with cottonball clouds made for an incredible California day!
I just finished reading the book Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, and it was such an incredible read in countless ways. Kek, the main character, is a refugee from Sudan who is relocated to Minnesota to live with his aunt and cousin. His brother and father killed in Sudan and his mother missing, Kek has little reason to hope.
But hope he does. Somehow, Kek maintains hope that he will be reunited with his mother and find a place where he belongs. The book is a beautiful exploration of Kek’s journey and his new life in America. Hope threads through as a recurring theme through the pages.
So many quotes from the book jumped out at me, but one stood above the rest:
Hope is a thing made only for people,
a scrap to hold onto
in darkness and in light.
But hope is hard work.
When I was a child, I hoped to fly.
That was a silly, easy wish.
Now my wishes are bigger,
the hopes of a man,
and they take much tending,
like seedlings in rough sun.
In tough times, hope is essential. Without it, the darkness can overwhelm. Though it can be difficult to maintain, though it takes tending, hope is worth the work.
What a perfect reminder.
Getting ready to leave for San Diego and realizing I need to post my slice before we leave? Check.
Bag packed, clothes ready for sunshine or rain? Check.
Books tucked away, ready for the twelve-hour car ride? Check.
Cooler filled with snacks and food for the road? Check.
Crate of school stuff in the car with all of the grading waiting for me? Check.
Pillow balanced on top of the bags in case I need a quick (or long) nap? Check.
Music and podcasts queued up and ready to press play? Check.
All the boxes are checked! Let’s hit the road!
Right now…I am sitting on the overstuffed chair with a cup of coffee, writing my slice.
Before that…I cleaned up a delicious dinner of homemade pizza and fresh fruit.
Before that…I picked up our wedding invitations, pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive they were.
Before that…I painted baseboards at my house, checking off one more item on our remodel checklist.
Before that…I hiked with a friend, enjoying the sunshine, the view, and the conversation.
Before that…I played soccer tennis at the high school girls’ soccer practice.
Before that…I worked with my teaching partner to get some spring break planning done before I leave for San Diego.
Before that…I enjoyed sleeping in past the darkness of Daylight Savings Time.
And now, I need to start packing for our San Diego road trip. What a day!
Today as I sat outside for a few brief moments, soaking in the sunshine, I stopped for a second to listen.
– Birds chorusing from the tree across the street.
– A plane humming in the far off distance.
– Kids shouting and laughing as they played in the cul-de-sac.
– A saw whining from next door where the neighbor worked on a project.
– Walkers chatting and dogs panting as they passed my house.
It’s interesting to stop and listen. So rarely do I actually pause to truly listen, but that moment today was a gift.
If you stop and listen, what do you hear?