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Middle-Aged Vacations

A few weeks back, Mark took a week off work, and we took a little vacation - just he and I. We've only done this once before since our kids started college - where we go away for a week, and not see anyone we know - just spend time together. I'm ashamed that we haven't done it more, but I admit, when our kids were little we felt just a little guilty for moving away from family - so we always (yes, ALWAYS) went to see family (and friends) on vacation. We did fun things, but let's just say, it didn't enrich our marriage relationship. Even as grandparents we haven't chosen to spend our time alone, we have made it a priority to see the grands and build relationships with them, which is great, but not usually relaxing, and not usually marriage nurturing....and we want to still be married when our grands get I hope they'll understand (and their parents!!)

I get so excited to finally see the water; just 3 bridges and we're there! 

Being empty-nesters, we want to see our kids, and our grand-kids, but it's the first time in our marriage that we aren't going to every time we get to take a few days off....we may SOMEtimes, but not every time. We need this time together. To walk on the beach hand in hand, to sit across the table from each other, to be together with no schedule or plans. ALONE.

This was a new addition to the area we stayed at.
You might think that this is being selfish. Go ahead. You are entitled to your opinion. We are working, the best we can, at making a marriage work. We've got 29 years under our belt, and we aim at making it at least another 29... we believe in that "till death do us part" bit. It's a commitment we've made to each other, and to God, and we'll use all the tools we can to make it work.

Hey! You don't have to worry how you look on vacations!
You can be sure that the wind will blow at the beach!

Our lovely view...

So relaxing, walking hand in hand, enjoying God's creation...

I really wish we had started doing it earlier in life, in the midst of kids and laundry and feeling exhausted. It would have been good to get time away from everything and just go be US. Married. No work, no meals to cook. No nothing.
Mark enjoyed walking the beach early in the mornings, but we ventured out together  after breakfast.
There were lots of shells and treasures on shore...
Actually, I got to thinking as I was sharing our wedding story last week, our honeymoon was at a church couples retreat. Really. And we've only been on one other couple's retreat since then. I know a lot of it has to do with schedules, and finances, and well, most of those 29 years we had KIDS that were busier than we were (so they were dependent on us to get them there, root them on, and clean up afterwards). It would be nice to go to a few more retreats TOGETHER in the future (and to women's and men's retreats too) to gain tools, encouragement and build friendships while we're drawing closer to God. Yes. Definitely something to look forward to doing.

Although it was rainy and cool most of our trip, it was relaxing!
For now, I'll sigh heavily each time I look at our trip pictures, regret (a little) that we didn't go see our kids and grand-kids, and try to capture the moments walking hand in hand on the beach at sunset, the memory of Mark coming in each early morning with his bounty of sea shells, and just being together - no work calls - no interruptions - no schedule. Quiet. Peacefulness.

I'm sure we'll take time off in the future to see the rest of the family...but we'll always treasure the moments we can capture now, alone, my sweet love and I...


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