Jimmy Buffet calls it “When the Coast is Clear.” The rental websites call it “Off Season.” We keep using the word, “different.”
St. Augustine, Florida this last week of August is just different. Different from the many times we’ve been here in July. Rarely on those July vacations did we have our usual assortment of three kids. Working at summer camps kept Robert and Ryan away different times. Sometimes Robert’s been able to join us for a day or two. Ryan was just too far away in Tennessee the last three summers. Lizzy has always been here, sometimes with an assortment friends. There was the week with the four girls crammed into one small room. They pushed the twin beds together and slept wherever.
Whoever was here, for whenever – there were always kids.
But not this time and not for just us. St. John’s County, where St. Augustine is located, started school today. So even the locals are filling backpacks with books and paper instead of sunscreen and beach towels. Parking spaces are abundant, open tables mean no waiting to dine, and the beach is empty of childish squeals, parents yelling, and arguments – at least where the Shostaks’ are sitting.
Who would’ve imagined? I find myself wondering what Disney World is like at this time of year? What other things and places do I think I know, but when I really examine it my knowledge is rather limited. Limited to my experiences, my perception.
Maybe that’s something to come out of all these changes in my life – a challenging of my perceptions. What other things am I only seeing one facet of?