Is there a place that one can go to get away from all thought of stolen cars or even the graciousness of given ones?

I found it.

Emma, Abby, and I just returned from 7 days on a cruise ship to the Mexican Riviera (along with my parents, my
sister, her husband and two boys, and my brother and his girlfriend). None of us thought about cars. In fact, we didn’t think about much at all. We did, however, thoroughly enjoy every second of our trip.

I’ve now been officially bitten by the cruise-bug. I loved it! No thought of schedules. No thought of work. No thought of cooking or cleaning. No thought of dieting. No thought of too much sun. No thought of rain. I told you: we didn’t think much at all!

I’m torn as I think back on our ventures: I loved getting off the ship and seeing Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta – sitting on the beaches, buying cheap silver jewelry from the vendors, watching the girls play in the surf and the sand; but I also loved the days at sea – watching the water stretch to the horizon, feeling the rocking of the ship, knowing that every detail and necessity would be taken care of on my behalf. How can you go wrong when faced with these options?

More than anything (yes, even more than not needing to think) I enjoyed the time away – together – with my daughters. It was lovely to see them relaxed, spontaneous, uncensored, full of laughter and life. It was lovely to be the same in their presence.

And it was hard to return – to realities that don’t always imbue relaxation, spontaneity, or easy truth-telling. We’ve been back for 5 days and our land-legs are returning – as are our guard, our tension, our roles.

I think for me, more than the desire to cruise again, I have the desire to live in a way that enables the kind of freedom and joy we knew while gone. I know it’s not completely possible in the contexts and realities of everyday responsibilities and stresses; but I also know it can happen.

That’s the memory to which I’ll return – again and again – and seek to recreate, both in imagination and in reality.

In the midst of stolen cars, given cars, and even returned cars (yes…mine was found, finally, quite a bit worse for wear, but now in front of my house again), I’m grateful I can go to a place that is warm – yes, in the memory of the beaches and 90+-degree temps; but even more, in my heart as I picture the three of us together laughing, living, loving.