Back to the Billable Hour

2010 November 8
by Jennifer

I’m back from a week-long stay at the beach! This vacation has been a looooong time coming. Last year at this time, My Man and I were all packed up and enroute to the coast when I got the sad call that my grandmother Mema had passed away. We immediately turned around and came back home to be with my family.

We thought that surely we would be able to get a refund for our untouched rental house. But the owners would hear none of it.

After a dramatic letter-writing campaign that all but included sending Mema’s obituary and funeral program to those heartless sticklers at the vacation rental company, they finally let us reschedule our vacation for the following year-as long as we were able to come exactly the same week. Never in my life have I had anything planned this far in advance.

So a year of anticipation later, we were beachside.

That is what the South Carolina beach looks like the first week of November. No people and no children! Judge away at the darkness of that last sentence, but there is something sublimely peaceful about the beach during the school year.

Our friends Ron and Martha came for Part I of the trip. We ate and drank well and in large quantity, biked, bocced, beached, Baileyed and played Spades into the wee hours. Fun was had by all. Ron and Martha experienced the best of the beach weather-and when they left the sun went with them.

It was cold, rainy and windy Tuesday through Thursday, so we filled our time with card games, novels, magazines and a new season of Friday Night Lights. Like hobo’s who rummage through trashcans and smoke discarded cigarette butts to get their nicotine fix, My Oneandonly and I were able to overcome the obstacle of a busted 1982 VHS player and find the nearest Wal-Mart to buy one of those magic cords that rigamajigs the computer to the TV. Streaming Netflix on-demand? DontmindifIdo. Tim Riggins and I reunited and my support for the Dillon Panthers is renewed.


On the coldest days, we pretended we were at a ski lodge, drinking hot tea and using the beach house’s big bathtub as if it were a slope-side hot-tub. [No pictures] [Bowchicka BowWow]. So what if I am paler than I was before I left for the beach-Vacation is Vacation! And we are really good at vacation.

Last time we got back from a week at the beach, we took the proper precautions to make re-entry as painless as possible.

Even helmets couldn’t protect us from what was waiting for us at home this time around. Coming back from vacation in April with spring weather ahead is one thing, but coming back to 6pm darkness and winter looming is quite another.

Winter hit Atlanta last week and the heat in our drafty house works like crap isn’t exactly energy efficient. And while we were away, basement dwelling Chuck sent us an email to inform us that we had a water situation on our hands. Because of a major leak, our water had to be turned off to minimize possible damage. The situation is not yet remedied and we are still waterless.

I’m using handi wipes to wash my hands, sleeping in a hooded sweatshirt and socks, rationing the remaining Brita pitcher supply, and dry brushing my teeth. And I saw a bug. It’s kind of like we’re camping. Only no Brownie patches will be awarded for the hardships I have endured. The smell of pumpkin baked goods, my DVRed Sister Wives interview with Natalie Morales, the nearing “appropriate” time to crank up the Christmas carols, and fond vacation memories are the only things keeping my campfire burning.

Back to the billable hour.


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