A road trip; a house dinner; unpacking; sage burning (because who doesn't need a little cleansing now and then). On the front deck we circled around each other as night fell and tried not to feel awkward as we lit the fat bunch twigs and waited for the smoke to transform us.
- A red crescent moon disappearing over the bay, startling in its speed. We stood on the docks and toasted to the end of the world, because if the moon disappeared like that, surely we would be next.
- Early-morning thwacks of tennis balls on the courts across the street as I ran sunburned hands over my beach towel, hanging over the deck, to test for dampness. It stormed what felt like every night, and in the mornings our bathing suits and the deck chairs still dripped, fat drops falling through the cracks in the deck below our feet.
- One single, perfect beach day, bookended by many great-but-too-humid-or-too-cloudy beach days, where we all sat on the deck tearing up bread and taking our time with a slow breakfast and fast conversation. We got to the beach late, so we stayed later than any other day, long after the lifeguards jumped off their stands and drug their boats back to the dunes; long after everyone else back home was getting ready to leave their offices.
- A club, surrounded by 21 year olds in miniskirts who were trying so hard to be something someone, anyone, noticed. I had a fleeting pang of sympathy for them, because oh my, does life get better once you stop trying to impress everyone.
- Seagulls and snapper turtles and clams under our feet as we paddleboarded out into the bay, getting our sea legs, circling the marshes I'd never before seen up close. I fell in, splashing underwater until I realized it was only thigh-deep.
- The full seven days, which after last year, is all we could ask for.