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I’m back at home now, again, after a great week at the coast. Despite the scorching temperatures—the heat index was 110 one day, which in laymen’s terms means that after a few minutes exposed to it you feel like you’re going to burst into flames—we had a lovely time. Lots of swimming and eating and sleeping and laughing. My daughter proved herself to be a total pro in her little Puddlejumper flotation device, paddling around the pool while I looked on all choked up like a total sap. Sniff! We collected shells and ate shrimp burgers and had good friends down who made margaritas. Score! But then, again, it was time to come back home.

Last night, before we left, I was thinking about how fast this summer feels like it’s going, even though I started my summer way back in the first week of May, with the first beach trip I took. I counted up and realized I’ve been gone four out of the last twelve weeks, which is LONG time away from my dogs, home base, and local Whole Foods. I’m not quite sure why I’ve been away so much. I can’t blame a book tour, or work. One week was in Cape Cod with family, but the other three were just me wanting….well, I don’t know. To get away, I guess, but now I’m wondering WHAT it was I needed to escape from. I think there’s something about staying in another place, another house, that can make you feel like you’ve left the things that stress or worry you behind. You know, at a beach house, everything is sparse and simple, like a hotel room: no bills piled up waiting to be paid, no calendar on the fridge criss-crossed with commitments, no To Do list that is constantly refilling itself, even as you mark things off. I could pretend none of those things existed as long as they weren’t right in front of me, but really, they never went away. The beach just made me think they did.

What I need to figure out, I’ve realized this last week, is how to achieve that kind of peace—turning off the computer, letting calls go to voicemail, sitting down and being still, once in awhile—here at home. There has to be a way to do it, right? Or at least get something like that, every once in awhile. It shouldn’t take a change of zip codes for me to be able to breathe more easily, right?

So anyway, that’s what I’m spending the REST of this summer (and we still have a week of July or so! And the whole month of August!) figuring out. How to be in a vacation state of mind, not always but sometimes, here in the Real World. If you have any great suggestions on how, exactly, to do this, I’d love to hear them. Otherwise, I’ll just learn as I go. Maybe I just need to turn on a wave machine, for starters, like Thisbe’s in Along for the Ride? Couldn’t hurt.

For now, though, there are groceries to buy, and emails to answer, Real Housewives to catch up on, Tweets to be Tweeted. Blogging will return to its regular schedule: thanks for your patience. I’ve been gone, in a lot of ways. But I’m home now.

Have a good night, everyone!

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