Saturday, March 28, 2015

a beach holiday




I'm sitting on the almost-sunny beach in coastal Alaska. Hawaii was forsaken for our Spring-break holiday this year, as we're still trying to get our heads above water after my extended maternity leave. We figured that Juneau, Alaska wuld be a nice getaway and perhaps far enough south to be more spring-like than Whiitehorse. And it really has delivered. Sunny days this week and lots of beach walks, albeit with long-underwear, snow-jackets and woollen hats. Spring-like here doesn't exactly mean green grass and flowers but rather the absence of snow and a couple of degree's above freezing. Ah balmy! We all happily exclaim. And it doesn't deter the Mountain Kids from sitting in the cool sand and digging like prospectors anytime we pause in our beach ramblings. It is true that mittens hinder the maoeverability of shovels somewhat, but they persist with fever-like enthusiasm.
 
Mountain Dad is also not detered by the layers with which we must all done upon leaving our forest cabin. Instead, he'll lean back upon a driftwood log and gaze out over the frigid ocean to the snow capped mountains beyond. "Eat your heart out Hawaii," he sighs. My gentle reminder that if this were Hawaii, I would be reclining next to him clad only in sunscreen and a bkinini, does give him momentary pause. But for all who know him well, you'll be able to picture Mountain Dad's overall contentment. He savours the quiet isolated beaches, the snowy vistas, the rocky beaches ("good for launching a kayak") and the numerous hiking trails that we march up and down. "And it's so QUIET!" he boasts. "Imagine how many people would be here in summer?" he commands with incredulity in his voice.
 
I imagine the sun and t-shirt weather. The leaves on trees and dry sand. The possibility of swimming in the clear waters of this rocky beach. I imagine the grumblings of a Mountain Dad over-whelmed by crowds, the queues and inability to find a deserted beach like the one on which I now sit.
 
Grudgingly I'll admit that it has been a wonderful and well-deserved family break. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity as I returned to teaching and almost drowned in the demands of it. Lochie began daycare and sobbed through the transition, while Mountain Dad traded in the hiking boots for a tea-towel and became Domestic Dad. One week I was in charge of the homestead and the next our roles were reversed. Because of his work being part-time and mine full-time, Shea took over the cooking of every meal, all the grocery shopping, ferrying the children around and sometimes had to run the evening routine 'til the kids were in bed ALL BY HIMSELF (emphasis courtesy of a Little Ladie).
 
Life changed for us all quite quickly. To make things more interesting I signed up for a local play and spent my spare time rehearsing for that as well. It was a crazy and tiring time.
 
So we all got sick to make things more interesting.
 
Yet we survived the fine balance that an over-scheduled life demanded of us all and we tumbled into this holiday with joy. Adelaide has taken to exclaiming at random moments, "Look! It's like a family!" when we sit down to eat together. Or when we plop down at the beach. Or really any moment that she observes all four of us together at the same time...which was pretty much the entire time of the past ten days.
 
So despite my misgivings at leaving my swimmers behind, I do agree with the Domesticated Mountain Dad. Hawaii would have to work hard to beat this warm rocky beach looking out over the frigid ocean to snow-capped mountains.
 









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