I picked Orange Beach at random from the various Alabama Gulf towns and made a reservation for a long weekend at the Hampton Inn, splurging for an ocean front room. I packed a suitcase, through some other necessaries in Tommy’s new car, bought a long historical novel on Audible for the drive and headed out. Frankly, I don’t remember a whole lot about the trip, the beach, the hotel, the audiobook, or anything else. I know I was there and I spent a lot of time on the balcony listening to the waves. The one thing that I do remember was sleeping a lot. The last six weeks, I hadn’t been sleeping well at all between worry and spending as much time as possible with Tommy. I didn’t write a whole lot that weekend. My major Facebook post only consisted of the following:
The beach was the right call. Slept for nearly ten hours last night. I don’t think I’ve managed more than about six since Tommy got sick.
I’ve long believed in the restorative power of the beach. My only major beef with Birmingham is its distance from open water. Perhaps it’s my childhood in Seattle where water is everywhere. Perhaps it’s my young adulthood in California where trips to the beach were a routine occurrence on the weekends. I just know that when I get around sunshine and salt water, I feel more attuned to myself and the world. Steve also loved the beach. He spent a lot of his young adulthood living in Venice Beach outside of Los Angeles. We used to talk of our retirement together in some beach community, walking on the sand, watching the waves roll in. That was not to be but there’s still a chance I might retire to San Diego or some other such place. A small chance, but still a chance.