I Should Be at the Beach
Author: Sheri Denkensohn-Trott
For the past 13 years, Tony and I have gone to Rehoboth Beach to celebrate our anniversary. It has become a tradition that we both look forward to and enjoy. There are fewer people, beautiful weather, and a relaxing and happy place to celebrate our anniversary. We were married on September 3, 2005. We have a favorite restaurant and every year we eat there and dine outside looking at the ocean and sunset. Considering that we were married on a boat on the Potomac River, it is always fitting to be near the water to celebrate our special day.
Unfortunately, because of COVID, we are not going to the beach this year. It is not safe for us to be in a place where we are not sure there is proper sanitizing, potentially be exposed to many people who may or may not be wearing masks. With my trach, getting COVID is dangerous and life-threatening. Tony also must be careful along with everyone that works with me. Except for necessary medical appointments and going to visit my sister who walks while I roll in the street early in the morning when there are no people around, we have remained in our condo.
I must admit that the past few days I have been sad. Hearing about other people finding a way to escape on vacation, whether it is to the beach or to Maine (it seems to be the popular COVID escape this year), we remain home at the Berkeley. Many days it feels like a worn- out routine of movement. From the bedroom, to the dining room for breakfast, to the office for work, and then back to the living room for dinner and television. But instead of being sad, I need to turn things around and I am trying hard. To give Tony credit, he helps make it easier by doing things to lift my spirits.
We are blessed to have a huge terrace. It is large enough to socially distance and be able to visit without wearing a mask. It is also a haven full of beautiful flowers, herbs, and surrounded by trees. Tony has been faithfully watering so it is bountiful. In the back of our condo complex is a beautiful Crêpe Myrtle tree in bloom. Yes, we probably have one of the best terraces in Arlington, VA!
It is quiet, except for the very loud cicadas in the evening, and on a breezy morning it is the perfect place to start with a latte and some deep breathing. I usually work in the office for most of the day, but make sure to take a break around 4:30 when the sun returns. Yes, I am a sun lover. The feeling of the warm rays on my skin makes me relax. I usually recline my chair and put on a podcast. I have begun trying some audible books. These are new things for me. And I find that it is enjoyable.
On a nice evening, Tony and I eat our dinner and sit on the terrace and talk until it is dark and all we see are the stars in the sky. On Friday and Saturday evenings we often spend long hours playing a competitive game of Words with Friends.
Today when I woke up, I decided to get out of this funk. Yes, we are not at the beach. And yes, many of our friends are planning getaways for the end of the month and September. But we are healthy, we have a great place to live, and we are together. For 15 years we have shared adventures, laughter, and joy all coupled with health challenges, losses of loved ones, and tragedies that we never expected. But I guess this is what you call life. And I would rather be spending it at home with Tony than alone and in poor health. I need to be responsible and I can control my health as far as COVID to the best of my ability. As much as I want to be at the beach, it is not worth the risk.
Despite a crazy workday, we were still able to enjoy our Friday ritual. Promptly at 7 PM, we got our drinks and dinner and listened to our great friend and musician Eli Lev perform his Folk Friday. Tomorrow I have a virtual bridal shower for a special friend who is marrying another Tony in October (it will be our third zoom wedding!). On Sunday, we will do our ritual zoom with Tony’s parents and then our fabulous neighbors are going to the local farmers market to pick up a delicious dinner for us that is premade. And Tony has ordered all the necessary materials to start practicing making a drink called the Hope Diamond. We usually order it as a treat when we eat at our favorite restaurant. It won’t take much to get me to be a sampler!
Much of life is not within our control. I have known that for a long time. So, next year we will do double time at the beach and maybe even travel somewhere unexpected. For now, we will take it one day at a time and be thankful that we are in a happy place even if it isn’t Rehoboth Beach.