Wednesday, February 25, 2009

But it sounded nice, didn't it? I'm not one to indulge in Fat Tuesday, unless one counts the daydream of carefree wanderlust I am prone to on that or any Tuesday. It's that time of the year when you reach the limbo of your New Year's resolutions. You assess that January list, get slammed with the tax bill, look outside to see the dreariness of midwinter gray, and head down to Pat O'Brien's for a few too many Hurricanes. Oh well. Believe me, no one wanted it to be real more than me. Ash Wednesday will save us. (I'm late for work. I should give up this blog for Lent.)

The truth is I had yesterday afternoon off and could just as easily made it as perfect. Oceanside is every bit as beautiful as Santa Barbara if you're standing in the right place and facing the right direction. My old surfboard, though dusty, still works fine. I have a 2002 Windward "Monopole" I've been saving (it's a pinot) and I know everyone around here would appreciate a family day at the beach. So why didn't I? Not sure. Too many things to take care of around the house. There was a playdate. Random obligations. Dumb stuff.

Then again, it was perfect. The truth is I don't mind all that dumb stuff. I like being around the house and fixing this and that, repairing the mighty corkboard, organizing the photo library, and working on the backyard path. I think it's all swell here in the suburbs, with the adventure of life more figurative and less literal. It's easier to manage. You get more out of it. And it's not as dangerous as some exotic cave in some backward, third-world country. I've been to such caves. You can't take the kids. (Or shouldn't.)

Sometimes I pick up a toy and think, that spot right there is where she took her first steps, among other things. There's ghostly magic all around this place now, and I don't want to leave it. So perhaps my days of yanking the wheel in the unexpected direction and singing the song of the open road are behind me, at least until the kids are off to college (2027), and so what? We were actually at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway the other day. Out of responsibility and obligation, we went south. That's where Home is, and it ain't so bad, nor any less dreamy.