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Local Personality Blogger
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Local Personality Blogger
Riley Children’s Foundation, Trisha Shepherd

Beach Lessons
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Beach Lessons

What I learned on my summer vacation


July 29, 2012 | 09:37 PM

Trying to coax myself into bed at a reasonable hour after a week of vacation is not working out very well. Tomorrow morning I'll be back to work. Tonight, I feel like lingering one last moment on some vacation highlights.

We spent some time on Lake Michigan last week, floating in the waves, making lots of sand castles and eating s'mores with friends around beach bonfires. I won't bore you with lots of vacation photos or stories, but I did want to share this revelation: Sand is a wonderful, terrible thing.

On day one, we were all crazy about the sand. We sunk our toes and plastic shovels in, plopped our wet behinds onto it with reckless abandon and labored across it patiently as we made our way to and from the long wooden staircase up to the house.

By the end of the trip, sand was in our ears, hair, noses - and parts of our bodies we didn't know existed. Even freshly laundered bedsheets offered a grainy, gritty feel. S'mores on night two had an especially crunchy texture, since the marshmallow and graham cracker packaging got infiltrated. It even got into our adult beverages, but I found if we just made them a little stronger, we didn't mind so much.

Toward the end of the trip, I asked Clara if she wanted to go down to the beach. She wanted to swim, but didn't want to pay the price. "I really only like beaches where there's not much sand," she told me. "Like...a pool?" I wondered. Yep. Pretty much.

But we had some wonderful walks down that beach. We saw some beautiful sunsets and watched lots of little faces light up while working with pails and shovels. And already, Clara has forgotten her sand aversion and wants to go back.

I decided the sand was teaching me a lesson: we need to get better at handling the uncomfortable parts of life in order to better enjoy the spectacular parts.

And tonight, I will be enjoying a spectacularly sand-free bed, along with beautiful photos and memories that great stretch of sand and water provided.


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