Life 101 and Back from the Beach

There’s Newton’s Law. You know the one about how every object in the universe attracts every other object in the universe. This is a good one. Gravity is observable–well sort of.

And Copernicus comes in handy when dealing with narcissists. “Copernicus called; it turns out you’re not the center of the universe.” Anyone come to mind?

Then there’s the most famous equation in the world. E = M c2.  The energy of a particle is equal to its mass times the square of the speed of light. Right. I can repeat it, but don’t ask me to work with it.

Perhaps the Law I know best–from experience–comes from a man named Murphy. According to the story, “If anything can go wrong, it will” comes from an incident at California’s Edwards Air Force Base in 1949.

Capt. Edward Murphy was working on a project designed to see what happened with sudden deceleration. How much could a person withstand?

When  a technician improperly wired a major component Murphy cursed him with “If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.”

And Murphy’s Law was born.

We’ve experienced a few days of Murphy’s Law. Six blocks from home the car’s transmission died. Really died. We limped home and then made our way, posthaste, to the only car rental agency we could find still open on a busy Saturday afternoon. Very frustrating, but of course, at least we made it home!

Have you ever been to an Apple store on a busy Saturday afternoon? The power cord on my laptop chose this weekend to give up the ghost–followed by the fancy coffee maker–KAPUT!

Vacation is over!

So be it. I may not physically be at the beach, but every time I think back to some of my favorite moments I can be there in my mind. And that’s precisely what I’m doing this week. It’s worth a try, don’t you think?

Our nephew, Thomas, came down one day to surf. The waves weren’t great, but he made the most of it!

And then he took one very eager Sophia out for her first surfing lesson.

She couldn’t have had any more fun!

And right in the middle of the surfing and amazingly close to shore we were treated to a parade of dolphins.

Even a seal swam right up to the shoreline. Someone reported a mama and baby, but you should have seen the excitement when a large, gray shadow appeared right at the shoreline. Shark? We did get quite animated for just a moment, until the nose and fin popped up and it was clearly a seal.


So life has its rhythms and it just follows that after a lovely vacation there are going to be frustrations and events that quickly pull us back to reality.

So here’s another little “law” I might like to keep in mind…

“Even when in the midst of disturbance, the stillness of the mind can offer sanctuary.” –Stephen Richards.

I do breathe a great deal lighter when I’m at the beach. I think I’ll be looking at photos for quite some time!

48 thoughts on “Life 101 and Back from the Beach

  1. My, my… You certainly had your share of kaputs today… 😦 but it ended nicely with these great fun memories! Dolphins, seals… How cool is that?? Now… let’s see Darwin on a board! 🙂

  2. Now I know where the “Murphy’s Law” comes from… a day at the beach can cure a month inland… keep looking at the photos and picture you’re there… hope it works …

  3. Woohoo looks like fun. Am headed to the beach myself. Rincon in Ventura. We will camp if we can find a space .At Rincon they don’t take reservations…..if not we may be sleeping on some ones street. It is the chance we take to get the prime spots. I love watching the dolphins from the campsite each day as they make their way up and down the shore. Then there is the occasional seal who comes by. Watch for pictures! And I pray M _ _ _ _ _ _ L _ _ (I don’t even want to say the words) does not get us for once. But what are the chances?????

  4. Isn’t that what makes holidays special? You get away from all the niggly problems of daily life! Seems like you have lots of lovely memories (and photos) to keep you going till the next break. Is it Murphy’s Law that says the bread will always fall buttered side down? Hope you can breathe a bit lighter as you settle back into normal life again. 😀

  5. We’re heading for the beach. It’s been nearly two years since Peter promised me we’d stay there again in a cabin for one or two nights. The beach is only a fifteen minute drive away from where we live. But staying there for an hour or two is not the same as staying overnight, I reckon. The other day I reminded Peter about his promise. His excuse, it’s winter now here in Australia. Well, does this really mean you cannot stay in a cabin at the beach? I don’t think so. I just have to give Peter a bit more time to think about it a bit more.
    I would like to see Darwin on a surfboard! Would he like it? Maybe not. Your weekend of kaputt, kaputt, kaputt , you blame it on the law? Well, at least it made you write a terrific blog and looking at these beautiful photos can only give you joy. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    1. Truly, Marie, watching that little girl delight in the surf will forever be a highlight! If we can help these little ones form happy memories, everything else will just fall into place! 🙂 Thank you!

  6. That is a task I badly need to master…maintaining peace once I’m back to reality. It would make my Mondays so much easier if I could master this skill. I think your beach pictures would be a wonderful way to do that. 🙂

    1. I will be working on the skill of quieting the mind for the rest of my life, Kristy. I hate to make a comment that borders on being ageist, but honestly, when I was your age I didn’t even have it in my mind that it was a goal. LOL! I’m not the most enlightened individual. Hahaha! But I’m also here to prove it’s never too late. I really do believe we are responsible for our own happiness and every day we have the opportunity to try again. I do think that when we age we begin to realize we don’t have quite as much time…and with what we have left, we want peace of mind. Not everything about getting older is all bad. 🙂 You’re a dear. Thank you for stopping by. ox

      1. Thank you Debra. I for one think you are a very enlightened individual! 🙂 I find so many great things on your blog that help me to relax and rethink things. And you’re right it’s never too late. Each day is a new one.

  7. They do say bad luck happens in threes so you’ve had your turn and can move on. How wonderful to be surfing with those dolphins and seals – I would love an experience like that – such peaceful and gracious and friendly creatures. Looks like (apart from the ending) that you had a lovely vacation xx

    1. I have too much to be thankful for to be too gripey, Charlie, but it was very odd to have had NO car trouble and then to have it break down almost as soon as we entered our home town! It’s not at all unusual to have the dolphins and seals parade on by, but this year they were so much closer to shore. They were literally with the surfers. I don’t know if the water temperature was a little different or what, but it was so great. It’s amazing to me how watching those creatures just slows the breath and puts a pause on other things! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, my friend. ox

  8. A car transmission isn’t a cheap repair …. plus a couple of other kaputs don’t help … but you continue to keep your head up and smile. Cheers to Sophia and her effort.

    1. I do a great deal of talking to myself, Frank. Our expenses could be medical bills, and they aren’t! Between that and “this too shall pass” we’ve been ok. Today our power was out for a time, leaving me to wonder what the little black cloud is all about.It has almost been funny because I’ve only mentioned a few of the things that have either broken or fallen apart. Whew! But we are just fortunate that we had a great vacation. I will never forget the way Sophia enjoyed that pounding surf, and I’m sure she felt very grown up. That will take me all the way to Christmas. 🙂

    1. I was as surprised as you at the date attributed to Murphy’s Law, Celi. I would have thought it to have been from a long, long time ago. Didn’t we all grow up with that one? 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by today, my friend. ox

  9. Loved this . . . if your car is going to die, it’s great to have it die within shouting distance of “home.”
    Loved Sophie’s surfing lesson. Did you get a lesson too???

    My favorite “law” when Murphy’s Law is playing out in my life . . . “This too shall pass.”

    1. “This too shall pass” ought to be emblazoned somewhere on our bodies, Nancy! There are days I think I’m muttering that under my breath. LOL! I honestly wish I’d thought of it last night when I was posting, because it belongs in my list of laws! No, didn’t get on a surfboard, but I do enjoy swimming in the ocean. No photos of that. Ha!

    1. If I’m truly honest, Claire, I have to work a little too hard sometimes to still my mind! I think the point is that we keep trying. LOL! I do find that taking my mind “elsewhere,” like looking at my favorite family photos, really does help! 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend.

  10. Wonderful pictures, Debra, what a special time! You make me think of a favourite story of mine: the time when Christ tok his disciples up a mountain to have a very special time indeed. And when it was time to go down Peter said -no, don’t lets go down. We can pitch tents and stay here forever.

    It’s how I always feel after holidays. Oh, lets stay here away from life and responsibility. But life has a way of stretching a long arm up the mountain and pulling us back again, whether we will or no. MAy life settle a little, and find its customary rhythm. I hope Darwin was inordinately pleased to see you back.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful illustration, Kate. I really respond well to that particular gospel story. My husband and I have schedules that are so pressured, (isn’t that all of us?) and being “away” just absolutely opens me up to what I wish I could hold on to throughout my daily life. I’m trying! 🙂 We are so blessed with good health and the joys of family for me to even feel one whit of temptation to be too much of a malcontent. But it was hard to miss the irony of coming home to so many things on the blink. Today we lost electricity for awhile. Poltergeists? 🙂

  11. I wish I could just dive right into the water in your pictures. I’m so glad you had a good vacation and it will stay with you for a long time.

    1. It would probably be very therapeutic if you could get to the ocean at some point, Inger! I hope that might happen. My husband knows that when I start to be a little let’s just say “wound too tight”-ha!–I need to spend a few hours watching a sunset over the ocean. Thank you for your kind words.

  12. My car saw to it that I had the same welcome home that yours provided you, Debra. It has been a frequent guest at the dealership, of late. Any more visits and I may inquire about buying a time share.
    How nice of your Nephew to spend some time teaching Sofia how to surf. He gave her an experience she’ll never forget and a memory to cherish.

    1. John, I am SO sorry to hear about your car. Believe me, I’m in synch with you on how much frustration this provides. Time AND money! LOL! In our case this was actually the good car…gheesh! Oh well…it really is just our turn, right? I honestly can’t complain too much. We had a wonderful vacation when many of my friends can’t break away and have one at all. And to share it with my two special little girls and see them have so much fun, well, that will take me until at least the end of the year. Hope your car heals soon. We’re still on a rental car! That does get expensive, doesn’t it?

  13. we had a similar run of breakdowns, all restored now, lots of insurance money later 🙂 what a marvellous holiday at the beach, terrific surfing photos!!! … and yes, the peace within that is always there, perfectly undisturbed by all that comes and goes …. sigh 🙂

    1. Oh my, Christine! You, too, huh? I’m really sorry to hear that your marvelous vacation was met with breakdowns when you came home! I did think to myself that the problems we’ve since encountered would undoubtedly have occurred without our having first been away from home, so at least we are approaching the problem-solving from a “rested” position! 🙂 We live about 45 minutes from the closest “peek” at the ocean. I think we need to do that much more often! Those resting moments do help me maintain a bit more balance! Thank you for your kind comment.

  14. Time With Thea

    Aaah! I can hear the ocean waves as i read your post. What a fabulous location to spend some relaxation time. I so agree with you that when things are going to go wrong or break down, it never happens in isolation. It always seems to be everything coming at once. I do however, like your perspective on things. i often say to myself, this too will pass. I thought your writing in this post was excellent by the way. take Care, Thea

    1. Thank you very much, Thea. I was thinking that perhaps one sign of a good vacation is to come back and feel like “real life” is a little overwhelming. We were in such a bubble last week that I almost forgot responsibilities were waiting for us. 🙂 I think maybe we need to break away a bit more often! 🙂

  15. While Murphy’s Law is often the norm around here, Debra, Richard’s Law is one to bear in mind.
    Your photos are breathtaking – and what fun for Sophia to have her first surfing lesson with Thomas. From the looks of the pictures, you will soon have another surfer in the family.
    Sorry to hear about the car. Good thing it was close to home, but, that doesn’t “make it all better” without some inconvenience and expenditure. I hope that by now it is fixed – and that nothing more has gone wrong.

  16. When I feel stressed Iusually just go and walk in the garden. But I also hold some photos in my head and one of those is whales and seals off the California coast in December 2011, your post reminded me all over again, thanks.

  17. Sounds like you have a lot of fire element going on now. I would add some of your wonderful holiday photos from Balboa Island in your bedroom and continue to think of Stephen Richard’s quote. You have a positive philosophy of breathing lighter so I think your transition from your holiday will go a lot smoother. Happy Nesting.

    1. I love your idea of adding the Balboa Island photos to the bedroom. I really do sense the fire element…I didn’t have the words to use at the time, but now that you make the suggestion I can say that has been true. Thank you for the lovely, and beneficial suggestion, my friend. ox

  18. So sorry life brought you back to earth with such a bump after your lovely holiday, Debra. Keep looking at those gorgeous photos until things are back on an even keel. 🙂

    1. It’s been a crazy week or so, Perpetua, but in the balance of life’s difficulties, we can’t complain! 🙂 I am glad we had a nice vacation that at least left us rested so we could handle all the other issues. 🙂

  19. Ah, Debra, what a beautiful post. I’m sorry for the difficulties, but know the peace that comes from remembering the good times.
    I tried to comment on your fire post but it wouldn’t let me so I’ll include it here.
    I read your post and searched the news on the wildfire at the time. My mind has been on other things at present and I’m sorry to be so late in commenting, but pleased you lovely retreat has been spared. Take care my friend. Tricia

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