Posted tagged ‘Ocean House’

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.”

April 5, 2015

Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

This morning my alarm jolted me awake at 6:15. I went down to my friends’ house to decorate the tree by their deck, an Easter custom. I hung a cardboard tiled banner with Peep in the middle and a chick on each side, several colored eggs and a small glass flower pot with a hyacinth. It was cold, only 34˚, and quiet until I heard the loud gobbles of wild turkeys. Four huge toms appeared on the front lawn across the street. Their tails were fanned. They strutted across the lawn, gobbled again, together as if they practiced, and went around back. I watched until they disappeared. Wild turkeys are common here, but these were the biggest I’ve seen.

After I finished decorating, Gracie and I went to the ATM and then to Dunkin’ Donuts. I didn’t see another car until the main road. It is quiet in neighborhoods on Easter morning. At Dunkin’ Donuts I was third in line.

The day is sunny and bright.

This afternoon we’ll get gussied up and go to our Easter dinner at the Ocean House. I think it is the only day I voluntarily wear a dress and fancy shoes. We always wait for a window table as the restaurant looks right onto the rocks and the ocean; hence its name. Out the windows you can see and hear the gulls circling over the water. If there is wind, there are whitecaps.

It doesn’t matter how many times I see the ocean or the gulls or the rocks because every time is mesmerizing. The waves slap the rocks and water flies into the air. Gulls walk on the wet sand and leave their footprints. They always seem to look proud as they walk.

During dinner we chat, laugh, take pictures, all sorts of pictures, and often look out the window. We always say how beautiful it is and how lovely the view. We also always say how lucky we are.

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

August 17, 2014

My dad used to tell me the story of my birth. The hospital was in the same town where my mother’s family lived so my father kept driving back and forth with updates. My aunt was getting married that very day and was not happy her beauty sleep was being interrupted by my dad. My grandmother told her to deal with it. After all, this would be the birth of her first grandchild. Later, back at the hospital, my dad was sitting in the waiting room, the only one there. Finally a nurse came in and asked for Mr. Ryan. My father, after a hectic, exhausting night, said, “Who in the hell do you think I am?” She had him follow her, and they were just wheeling my mother out when he saw her and me. That never usually happened. Most times the father first saw his wife when she was in bed and the new baby in a bassinet in the nursery. My mother always complained she looked awful and should have had time to clean up. “What is it? was his first question. The it was girl. The it was me. It was around 3 AM when I arrived. I still like a good entrance.

I have been most fortunate. My life is filled with loving family, the best of friends and countless adventures. I have lived in Africa. Who could have predicted that? In Ecuador, I stood with one foot in each hemisphere. That is just so cool. I have the best aim when it comes to holes in the ground making me an overachiever in such an important skill. My friends make me laugh and give my life joy. My two sisters are amazing. They love making fun of me, but they’d be here in a heartbeat if I needed them. My friends and I have traditions like celebrating the first day of spring by watching the sunrise over the ocean, playing Sunday night games before The Amazing Race, Saturday night movies on the deck, Easter at the Ocean House and impromptu nights with munchies and games. My Peace Corps friends are back in my life and I am so much the better for knowing them. My former Ghanaian students too are back in my life. Two called and wished me a Happy Birthday today. KTCC has given me close friends for whom I am always thankful.

Okay, there have been ups and downs and bruises, but they never soured me on life. They made more grateful for what I have and taught me resilience and how best to land with the least amount of injury.

This morning my friend Clare left a mum on my front walkway. She does this every year, and it is one of favorite birthday traditions. Yesterday afternoon my friends took me to the Ocean House for a late lunch by the water. The food was scrumptious, the view spectacular and the drinks mighty tasty. They went down far too easily. They also gave me a Sharknado t-shirt I’ll wear with pride. When I got home, I took a nap. It was 6 o’clock. I woke up at 8. Tonight another friend is taking me to dinner. I expect it will be an early bedtime.

Every morning I am thankful for the new day and for whatever surprises it will bring.