It's the end of a glorious beach vacation, a gift from one of our earthquake refugees. I told a little bit of their story here. Soon after we got to the States, J. started mentioning the beach house and telling us we would be welcome to spend a week or so there in the summer. Back then it was winter and it felt to me as though summer would never come, but it did, and here we are.
Of course, we didn't realize that the house would look as though Martha Stewart had decorated it, or be filled with everything we could possibly need, including an endless supply of thick white towels, and another endless supply of beach towels. And, especially enjoyed by someone from Haiti, a laundry room with washer and dryer (I wrote here about how much fun it is to do laundry in the USA). We were a block from the beach, and we went there every day, but we also spent a lot of time watching World Cup action and playing games and reading and being a family. One night we went to see some live theater and came back after midnight.
It was wonderful.
Now we're cleaning up and getting ready to go. I am washing sheets and towels, sweeping up sand, packing. Each of these small domestic tasks, such as remaking a bed with sheets fresh from the dryer, cleaning a toilet, putting away bathing suits, is bittersweet for more than one reason. Yesterday was the solstice, so the days are getting shorter already, even as summer, according to the calendar, has just begun. Our time here is over. But also, each job inevitably makes me think of tent cities, of mothers making homes with what they have, which isn't much. When do they get their break from the harshness of their lives?
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