Monday, July 9, 2018

Sittin' In an Airport Station, Got a Ticket to Our Destination, Hmmm-mmmm

9 July 2018

With apologies to Paul Simon.  But the music is still running through our heads.  Soundtrack of our lives and all that.

We've been visiting Richard's brother and sister-in-law near the Jersey shore for three weeks, though we had planned a short trip to Washington DC.  But one of our friends there fell and broke a leg, and it didn't seem appropriate to go and stay with people when someone is recuperating from all that.

Of course, that didn't stop us from staying with Richard's brother, who had knee replacement surgery six weeks ago - but there, we were happy to help out with driving as needed, icing the knee, picking up meals - everything that Richard did for me last summer when I got my new knee.  

Old people, you know?  We're all aging baby boomers, and the warranties on body parts are beginning to wear out.  We're all up and travelling - but there definitely is wear and tear as we keep going.  So, we just deal with life as it happens.

The Jersey shore is sort of the playground for people from northern New Jersey and Philadelphia, and has been for a long time.  There are beautiful older homes built in the late 1800s, side by side with new modern McMansions sporting nautical themes.  Old churches or possibly old one-room schoolhouses converted to homes.  Boardwalks, casinos, eateries, and tons of tourists.

But also smaller towns inland, on the actual mainland.  The shore part of New Jersey is really a series of barrier islands protecting the mainland area of wetlands and solid land from the storms that come off the Atlantic Ocean.

So there are migrating shore birds along with the migrating tourists.  And seasonal visitors, such as us.

It has been one of those visits where we see various family members of the next generation and their children - and realize that we are now the official older generation, which is quite weird.  But all the kidlets are fun and interesting, and willing to talk about computer programming summer camp, or books they've read, or wishing they had a dog.  (That seemed to be a common theme with a few of them.)  Always fun to see the children growing up, despite the fact that it makes it obvious that we're getting older.

There have been the usual summer events - the occasional concert by the beach, which wasn't bad; walking in the surf (because we're spoiled, and the Atlantic is cold!); and of course fireworks for the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the USA.  Really fabulous fireworks - we arrived at the beach and saw that one section was blocked off, no access allowed - obviously the area where the fireworks would be shot from.  So we set up our beach chairs right at the fence in front of the blocked off area, and had front row seats for the entire show!!!  I LOVE fireworks, especially being that close where the explosions cause a percussive BOOM that you feel reverberating through your body.  Where the exploding fiery chrysanthemums and Queen Anne's lace blossom in the sky almost directly overhead and the residual golden sparks come trickling down.  Where the grande finale is a series of explosions and sparks and fire in hyperdrive.  It was wonderful!!!  And it makes me sorry that we have such displays only once a year.

We also played with the niece and nephew cats, who brought us toy mousies to throw so they could chase them.  You know that you are accepted by the cat when they drop a toy mouse right in your lap.

Last year's young rabbit seems to have become a mama rabbit, with at least one baby bunny who hopped around the yard and nibbled the clover.

We also had a visiting shore bird, not exactly sure what it was, possibly some kind of heron?  But it kept returning to the back yard every day, or nearly every day, just standing in the shade.  The house is not even three blocks from the wetlands, so we thought maybe the bird just needed some shade - days were decidedly hot and sunny, and even wading birds need some shade.

So it has been a rather lazy visit - nothing major or monumental to report.  Some walking, plenty of visiting, catching up on TV and reading, things like that.

But now we're on our way to Seattle and then up to Bellingham, where we'll have our usual medical check ups and visits.  Plus of course visiting with the family in that part of the world, as well as my friends.

In fact, it's sort of the kind of summer we had as children - nothing major going on, just enjoying the hot weather and relaxing.

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