Save Time for Shenanigans

This past week we did something completely different. We took off Wednesday to spend some time on my husband’s fishing boat. It was a working trip—a pump needed replacing. Okay, a pump ALWAYS needs replacing. But this one was in the bilge, and it’s truly expensive when boats sink. So, off to southern Oregon we went.

It was different, and that was good for me. I’ve been so totally focused on writing. I work on the bookkeeping for our construction company, caulk and waterproof, even substitute teach a few days, but what I spend the bulk of my time on is writing. Blogging, Twitter, a little Facebook, email, and watching webinars on marketing until I lose the will to live. Then there’s the actual writing new stories, posting them, getting and giving feedback in return. And with six novels that I’m hoping to publish next year, there’s always revision work from beta swaps.

I tend to focus on goals that are important to me, and I believe in work ethic. Since succeeding at writing is a huge priority for me, I’ve been rather intensely focused. Every spare minute, I’m on the computer. I’ve been grateful to my husband for the times he pulls me away to do something real, like walk the dogs. I tend to work myself to exhaustion otherwise.

163But there we were in Oregon having actual fun, and I wasn’t certain I remembered how. Coos Bay has a great classic rock station, and I’ve missed non-corporate radio. The kind of station where you see that someone brought in a load of ling cod on the docks, and you hear about it on the radio ten minutes later. We drove north, up the coast, found a pizza parlor and a beach, and ate our pizza sitting on the grassy bluffs, watching the sunset. We even saw the new Charlie Brown movie on the way home.

On Saturday, after installing the new pump, we went out on a harbor cruise. That was severely cool. Not many people can do that. Fishing boats aren’t yachts, but we try to keep this one nice, so being aboard for several days is no hardship at all. I don’t know the ins and outs of making the silly thing work, but my husband does, and that’s close enough. He had me drive, which isn’t difficult, at least not while you’re being supervised. Being in the correct channels and such is important because it’s generally not recommended to run aground.

183We saw sea lions, harbor seals, and many pelicans, which I always enjoy. Okay, they’re small, but there are sea lions in that photo. Southern Oregon has forest right down to the edge of the beach, and it’s truly gorgeous.

Then on our final day, I discovered two extremely civilized things about Oregon. First, all beaches are owned by the public. Imagine that. Oregon’s coastline is drop-dead gorgeous, and every inch of it is open to everyone. That’s the sort of thing that can get me to cheerfully pay taxes. And much of the camping is free. Ha. If you want to camp anywhere on the beach in California, be prepared to shell out fifty bucks for the privilege.

Shore Acres Christmas lightsSecondly, there’s a state park with a large garden attached called Shore Acres State Park. Hordes of volunteers converge on this place to string incredible amounts of Christmas lights for free, to turn it into a fairyland. And get this, there’s no admission. Just the same five dollar parking fee they always have. Personally, I’m amazed at this.

Then, on the way home, I was getting mildly bummed about the return to real life. So I engaged in actual retail therapy, which happens like never. I bought two overpriced stuffed dragons at a truck stop for my young grandson for Christmas. I made up a story to go with them on the ten-hour car ride back. I have delusions of self-pubbing the thing before Christmas. Hey, hope springs eternal. 🙂

Somehow I need to work more of this into my life, or at least remember that this is the goal. We all need a few shenanigans. We need to remember how to have fun, to make time for the things we enjoy.

Note to self: don’t forget to have a life so you have something real to write about.

Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

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Posted in Reflections
15 comments on “Save Time for Shenanigans
  1. colleen says:

    Love this, Cathleen. So true that we need this kind of time and it is hard to break away. Kudos to your hubby! I LOVE the Oregon Coast so it was lovely to read about it and see your pic of the sea lions. I wanted to see the stuffed dragons though! :O)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mick Canning says:

    Sounds like you had a great time. Yes, we all need to stop sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, assuming I have time to get this new story up, I can show you more pics than you ever wanted to see of the silly dragons. This is going to be fast illustration if I’m going to meet my insane goal of a picture book by Christmas. Still, I did get the story written and all. Seems a shame to waste. 🙂

    Like

  4. Sounds like a great couple days off. Last week my husband and I did a day to Columbus for Christmas shopping and just to have the day away, and it really is refreshing to get away. I’m jealous of the sea lions, I’ve never seen them outside an aquarium. Coast looks gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicole Dacanay says:

    Oregon is so stunningly beautiful. I’m glad you had a great few days off, and that you were able to relax and take time to yourself. Beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! Hope does spring eternal… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 🙂 Sounds like a smart and enjoyable trip, Cathleen! This made me laugh: “Being in the correct channels and such is important because it’s generally not recommended to run aground.” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beaton says:

    Time for shenanigans, yep got get up to some real world living ^_^

    Like

  9. Claire B. says:

    Sounds wonderful! We took a family vacation to Oregon several years back and it was amazing! We drove up the coast and played on the beaches. For kids from west Texas, we really didn’t know what to do with all the water and trees. 😛
    It’s always nice to take a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Taking a break is vital, and something I’ve been learning this year. Things can pile up fast, but put yourself and your health first. I’m glad you had such a lovely trip! The photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good advice at the end. 🙂 It sounds like a wonderful trip, and that can really recharge the batteries.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. blondeusk says:

    What a great read! I really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Okay, so a new picture book by Christmas was totally unrealistic. Still, it was an awesome time. I’m glad you all liked me sharing it with you. 🙂

    Like

  14. I love those photographs.

    Like

  15. How wonderful! My favorite line was the one wherein you said one has to have a life in order to write about it! So true! Although I live in Southern, CA., I spend a lot of time in Carmel-by-the Sea, on the Monterey Peninsula. I love the misty climate of the area, which is similar to that in Oregon. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Oregon, but reading your post here makes me want to plan a trip!

    Like

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