Friday, September 26, 2008


Paradise is perhaps just as much a state of mind as a location.

Each September, Gary and I travel to Neskowin on the Oregon Coast to celebrate our anniversary at the same place where we honeymooned. The condo we rent is perched on a dune just a few feet from the surf, there is no phone, we have never turned on the TV or radio, we don't read the newspaper, and except for the manager, we talk to almost no one. It is a wonderful opportunity to relax and reconnect. Gary reads, I write or draw, we go for long walks, and some days the biggest decision we face is whether we should take a morning or afternoon nap. This is paradise.

The days before our departure are often tense and I'm ashamed to say we have had some of our most heated arguments on our way to paradise. One year Gary was so put out with my attitude that he stopped the car and declared he would walk home. I liken the arguments to babies who are overtired crying themselves to sleep. It takes a while to unwind, but the tension always melts away on our anniversary as we read our wedding service and repeat our vows. This tradition reminds us how much we care about each other and how lucky we are to be together.

We have had lots of interesting adventures during our stay in paradise. The first year we wanted to peek in the windows of an unusual house so I boldly rang the doorbell thinking no one was at home. Much to my horror, I heard footsteps approaching too quickly for me to retreat. I was frozen on the porch as Gary dove into the bushes. Luckily the pleasant woman who answered the door invited us in for a tour. 

One year we started out on a long hike not realizing a heavy rainstorm was headed our way. The deluge soaked us to the skin and caused the die in my red hat to stain me and my clothes from head to toe.

This year we set out on an expedition to locate a bridge across the wetland behind the dune. Our first route led us directly into the swamp. We felt like Lewis & Clark as we retraced our steps and climbed through thick underbrush to the top of a knoll where we spied our destination in the foggy distance. 

A favorite activity is to pick up ice cream cones at the general store and walk the narrow streets of 'our' town to look at the quaint cottages and colorful gardens as we consume our delicious treats.

Every year when our short stay in paradise ends, we promise to bring the peace of Neskowin home with us. Every year the stresses of life all too soon get in the way. 

Paradise is perhaps just as much a state of mind as a location.

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