Returning from the coastal New Year's weekend, I got to thinking about what we all *did* on our weekend away. A trip to the casino (to be detailed later), a screening of the Rose Bowl game, a dip in the hot tub, a windy/wet/freezing/awesome walk on the beach, an interaction with the Lincoln County sheriff (to share, or not to share?), and a TON of food and drink.
A little side note... In a big group, you can usually depend on someone to bail on their meal duty - lack of funds, lack of preparation, lack of sleep. But this group? No way. We ate 17 meals in 36 hours and it was glorious. We were a group who takes pride in culinary endeavors, showing off for our own. Pumpkin spice pancakes with sugar and lemon, 15 pounds of grilled pork loin, Thai shrimp bisque, raw oysters on the half shell, sausage chili, spinach pie and roasted potatoes, drinking chocolate, I can go on and on. (Really, it was about 36 hours all told.)
But what did we REALLY do?
We established a wonderful set of new in-jokes, specific to our little band of Bella Beach warriors. It's a virtual guarantee that the exact same set of folks won't celebrate again, but in the time we spent together, we created a little community - complete with catch phrases and family roles. And as I drove up into Salem on Sunday, that's what I settled on. We told stories, we lived new ones, and we banded ourselves together for a bit. And it made me sigh with happiness. It's not about the cost of the rental house, or the wear and tear on the cars. It's about the stories. What else is there is life? What else do we live to do but write more of them? For me, it doesn't get better than that.