Newport Beach and Time to Set the Reset Button

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Maybe it’s because more and more I’m pressed to keep up with technology, but the only word that comes to mind as we shift to our once-a-year beach week, is we’re off to reboot! We’ve pushed the reset button and doing our best to avoid a hard shutdown.
It’s been unusually busy lately. We’ve balanced several shifts of houseguests with personal social engagements leading to late nights followed by early morning work assignments.
Every time I felt a power outage coming on I held on for just this time.


It’s beach week. Our once a year family gathering at Newport Beach. There was a brief time, a few short years, Jay and I were mostly on our own. We had teenagers and then college students. They came down when they could. I spent the week reading and staring at the ocean.

Fishing Boats

But then our family multiplied, and with it, the activity level. There isn’t as much quiet, but my enjoyment has  increased. I have such vivid memories of similar “beach weeks” spent with my grandparents. When barely 4-year old Karina asked me a week ago if we were going to sit on the sand and watch the sunsets, I was reminded why we do this.

Newport Pier

It took a little something extra getting ready to leave, however. I do have responsibilities, you know. For one thing, I needed to prepare the house for a house sitter. The house didn’t need sitting, but you-know-who did.
Darwin under the car
Recognize this fellow? Yes, that’s Darwin. All scrunched down. And stuck under my car! Just when I think I’ve figured out all the ways he can get himself into trouble, he introduces something new. I heard a “scritch-scritch” sound, and thought it was the squirrels. Then I realized those squirrels were awfully persistent! I found him. Caught on a shock absorber.
What’s a mother to do? Crawl under a car? And if I do, what then?
Fortunately his little brain and instinct kicked in. A little forward, a little back, a little forward, a little back…Voilà.  Freedom!
Do you see why I can’t leave him unattended? He does test me. And HOW does he repay me for my concern?
Darwin plant damage
This is was a beautiful succulent. I came outside to find him munching away. I know he is on what has been termed a “natural” diet…and to an African Sulcata Tortoise natural means that my garden is wide open as fair game. Many of the succulents are native to South Africa.
Darwin's damage
Clearly I have a problem. Restricting Darwin’s diet has increased his need to forage. I have yet to design a way to satisfy him without quite so much damage to the succulents–do you know how slowly these wonderful plants grow? Darwin took about two years’ growth off the two plants. Aargh!
Oh well. I’m at the beach. For one whole week. Darwin is being well attended by a very competent house sitter who was very patient with three full pages of instructional detail outlining our many layers of care for Darwin, Rocky, the smaller tortoise, Pinky the Rabbit, and the multiple bird feeders…oh yes, and the squirrels.
 My nephew loves us…he already knows we’re a little kooky!
 But for this one week, 1 in 52, I’m not thinking about any of this. I’m here for the sunsets. Tonight there was too much fog for a picture worthy sunset, but with just a little bit of patience I found an excellent substitute focus.
Moon over Newport
It’s all good.  I’ll be around, rested and attentive, all week. In fact, with NO responsibilities for seven whole days? Oh my goodness. You may be hearing quite a bit from me.
So where’s your reboot going to come from? We all need them, don’t we? I encourage you to look for one that’s perfectly tailored for your personal recharging. 
If you need it, I give you permission. In fact I totally endorse pushing that reset button!

55 thoughts on “Newport Beach and Time to Set the Reset Button

  1. I was just starring at the beautiful emerging moon this early evening as I was swimming. I made a note to take time to check up on it later in the evening, but after eating dinner. cleaning up, nightly ritual readings, and now searching the web… I forgot. I have a reset button post I wanted to write as well…let’s see how much energy I have the rest of the week and hope to get it all out of my head and into wordpress. Darwin cracks me up–maybe he wants to get your attention and would like to join you on one of your get-a-ways! Glad to hear you hit the reset button!

    1. Sometimes I have to get away from home to really do the reset. At home I find there are just so many distractions. I hope you, too, have found a way to recharge your own batteries, perhaps getting some writing time! It can be a challenge sometimes. I smiled at your words about getting it all out of your head and into WordPress…that’s so often how I feel, too. ox

  2. Have a wonderful week! 😀 The beach is certainly a good place to unwind. I also love water – lakes and mountains are a beautiful setback for relaxing too. This year the garden will be our haven… leaving the phone indoors and escaping to the bottom of the garden with a good book and a cup of tea!

    1. I think you’ve hit upon exactly what works best for relaxing, Cathy. It’s not just the place, it’s our ability to unplug. I know that I need to be better about that myself. Your time in the garden with a book and tea sounds perfect! 🙂

  3. Enjoy your week off! It touched my heart when you wrote about your granddaughter asking if you two will sit in the sand and the sunsets. These will be beautiful memories for both of you later in life.

    1. The sunsets have been our favorite time each year, Marie. I was so glad to hear that she was also thinking of them. It’s ironic that we’ve had almost no sun, and certainly no sunsets–yet! LOL! It’s alright, though. We’re having a very good time. Thank you, Marie. ox

  4. Fortunate for me my reset is no more than five minutes away… need a break.?? pop round to Rietvlei nature reserve and spend a few hours with the camera and all that may be seen… and boy I’m reset and ready to go…

    1. Oh you absolutely know I’d be there in a heartbeat if I could, Rob. I can’t even imagine. I’m quite sure I’d be popping into that reserve ever possible opportunity! And I can see why you return so often, also. 🙂

  5. Darwin does seem to be the work of many children. It’s the same in this house where the smaller the species, the more attention you seem to demand. I wish I was smaller! It looks like the beach is a great place to spend the summer xx

    1. I thoroughly enjoy our beach week every year, Charlie. It’s been an important part of my life for many years, and I feel fortunate that we can do this, and that we can share it with others. It’s been cold today, which was a little odd! But even with the lack of sunshine we sat on the sand for hours. Cold, but relaxed. LOL! And on one of our walks my husband and I discussed how we were going to have to make some changes in the yard so that Darwin doesn’t get into so much trouble! 🙂

  6. Time away is always good … and the a week at the beach sounds delightful … especially because I imagine Ralph’s is somewhere nearby on the mainland for a creamy treat of nirvana. 😉

    Rocky? Oh … it’s like the second child, that is all the pics are of the first child! 😉

    1. I laughed and read your comment out loud to my family, Frank, about Rocky being the second child. I must do an update on him soon. I’ve mentioned him, but you’re right about the fact that Darwin gets all the negative attention, leaving the “good child” to be a bit taken for granted. No Ralph’s within walking distance, but when I get home I’m going to go on a search for Graeter’s. We have a couple of birthdays to celebrate (and more company, hahaha!I) so I’m going to indulge! 🙂

  7. You are so lucky to have a reliable house sitter. You don’t have to worry about any of your housemates getting into trouble (or at least there will be someone to help them out of it). I have a cat sitter that visits but doesn’t stay and it usually takes a day or two for me to get over my pet neurosis and relax. Have a great time with family!

    1. I was so pleased my nephew was willing to stay and take on the challenges of watching the place. I do feel a big sense of relief knowing he’s at the house. Fortunately everyone I’ve ever had watch the pets for me knows how I am and they let me know from time to time how they are. I do think it’s a little silly perhaps, and maybe getting a bit worse as I get older. Hahaha!

  8. Your post does mirror the calmness and peace of your beach holiday. Is it not increasingly becoming difficult to move away from technology nowadays? What would I not give to be on a beach and not have to answer the phone?


    1. Yes Shakti, I think we could use some deliberate moving away from all of our technological commitments! I can’t say anything about younger people and the way they are always on their phones, since I’m just about as bad! I did spend several hours today, however, reading on the beach. It was heavenly. I have to ask myself why I don’t deliberately unplug a bit more often. I hope you can find a way to do the same. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    1. We need to pay attention to our energies and reset as often as we can. There are times you just know that crash is coming, don’t you? It’s been very overcast so far…not sure about sunset again tonight. But it’s still a beautiful location and I’m enjoying every minute. 🙂

  9. We too are enjoying the mist shrouded sunsets in Santa Barbara. Sometimes if looks like the skies will cooperate with some nice clouds and then the marine layer rolls in. It’s ok, I could be in Houston at 90 degrees abs 90% humidity!

    1. That’s right, Bishop! I just enjoy the weather when I’m on the coast, no matter what happens. There were a few raindrops today which was so unexpected. But I was watching the evening news and seeing weather across the country, and I don’t think I’m silly enough to complain! I do love Santa Barbara. Hope you’re having a wonderful time. 🙂

  10. Debra, I hope this week brings you the reboot you need.

    I am trying to organize my own absence from cyberspace for a reboot. I need some off-line time. I will let you know how it goes. 🙂

    1. This time I actually have more on-line time here on vacation than I’ve had at home over the last couple of weeks, and I’m a bit excited to have the opportunity. But I can really understand how you might need to take a break, Andra. You have developed such a schedule and I know it must weigh in as a responsibility that sometimes leaves you very fatigued. I hope you’ll figure out a way to make it work for you. Sometimes we just need to learn how to not be “all or nothing” and to allow for a change in schedules. I will be eager to hear the decisions you make, and how you will take care of YOU! ox

    1. Thank you, Nancy. It’s a bit cold and drizzly, which is usually not considered great summer beach weather. But I have always said that it’s impossible to have anything but a good time if you’re at the beach. 🙂

  11. My reboot will come shortly, in the form of getting on a bike and traveling paths untraveled (by me) and getting sweaty and sunburnt and free of restrictions. For a week anyway. Your reboot sounds wonderful.

    1. I do think I would benefit from some “rebooting” involving a bit more physical activity…I do try to get some good walking in when we’re here, however. I hope you were able to get some good biking in, Colleen!

  12. Here in Australia there is a wonderful beach near an Inlet called ‘Sussex Inlet’. This is were we spent for many years unforgettable holiday weeks with our young family. 🙂

    1. It’s really so lovely when we can simply establish a place for family memories to be created! For those of us who live so near lovely coastline it seems quite natural to gravitate to the ocean, doesn’t it, Uta! 🙂

  13. Thanks very much for the link love 🙂 I think hitting the reset button through a holiday, lifestyle change and thinking pattern change can be fantastic. Great to see we are on the same page.



    1. It’s nice to hear from you, Sarah. It was fun to see your post noted in the WP suggested links after I prepared to post! I enjoy finding others with similar feelings to how I like to approach unplugging. 🙂 Debra

  14. Those tortoises – for such ponderous creatures they sure like to be adventurous! I think the only way to protect your succulents it to put them in tall pots or hanging baskets. Enjoy your Beach Week 🙂

    1. I am really unsure what I’m going to do about the cactus and succulents, Martin. Some of them are very large, but Darwin can still get to them! I am thinking of more raised beds with rocky borders. It will help me buy a few years of his growth anyway. 🙂 Beach week is going “swimmingly.” 🙂

    1. Thank you, John. I like the term holiday very much. I think it tends to be more accurate, but yes, we tend towards “vacation.” We are enjoying the time, not far from home, but a world away in terms of responsibilities. Thank you for visiting. 🙂

  15. I think its lovely you have a one-week restart with family in Newport Beach! And of course, Darwin is foremost on your mind! He would have a wonderful feast in my neighbor’s cactus-covered front “lawn”, filled with blooms now. Its chocolate to them!

    1. Darwin is really getting large and he can reach a bit higher and grab bites out of succulents and cacti that take years to get to a good size. He definitely would love your neighbor’s yard, Koji! 🙂

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