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.
But 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.
We 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.
Secondly, 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.