July 27th, 2015
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Hi there Resilient Readers!

I’ve been off the grid for a bit and recently returned home from being on much needed vacation.  I must say that I absolutely adored every lazy minute of it!

Bethany Beach Chair

Photo By Ryan O’Toole

Chances are you have or are about to have the opportunity to take some time off for yourself this summer and move into a chill out zone.  Whether we travel anywhere or not, we all need down time to refresh and renew ourselves.

From the beginning of my vacation until the end, I was totally off my usual work/home schedule and my body and mind had absolutely no problem AT ALL adjusting to sleeping in, taking morning walks on the beach, reading lots of books (trashy and non-trashy), having long uninterrupted chats with my peeps and never ever really knowing what time of day it was.  In fact, I took my watch off when I checked into our beach house and never put it back on until long after check-out.

Me and Ryan at Beach

My Son and Me Enjoying The Beach

Photo By Hannah Donnelly

I return to Bethany Beach, Delaware every year for my vacation and that may sound boring to you but for me it is a no brainer.

Everyone needs a place where they can mend themselves.  Everyone needs a place where they can totally unwind and do whatever they want to do when they want to do it.  Eating Swedish fish at 10 am?  Why not? Lunch at 4 pm?  Why not? Napping on the beach at 11 am?  Why the hell not?  That’s why it’s a vacation!

I am as open as the next person to traveling and discovering new places but my vacations are so precious to me that I want to make sure I go somewhere where I know I will relax and spontaneously enjoy time with my friends and my son and his fiancé and Bethany is it.

For sure, I know that when I get to Bethany there is an unconscious change for the better in my breathing and an exhilarating feeling of coming home to my happy place.  Sometimes it’s the little things (people saying Good Morning!) about the town of Bethany Beach that makes me feel welcome and sometimes it’s the big things (the sound of the Atlantic Ocean).

For example, one day last week, I was driving by a small traditional yellow and white cottage in Bethany which has been there for at least 40 years.  Seeing the house always makes me smile.

It’s an old school one-story cottage that has a great big screened porch on the front of it with the kind of door that constantly bangs when kids fly out of it in anticipation of another great day at the beach.  And above that door is a worn, hand painted, forest green and white sign which says “Atsa Nice”.

Even though the sign is about this family’s house, I choose to think that it’s saying something about the bigger picture of life.  It’s about the beauty and simplicity of starting my day in a bathing suit and wearing it until dinnertime.  It’s about how special it is to be blessed with a week of leisure and being unplugged from the responsibilities of scheduled time.

It’s a simple and sweet reminder that I am at the beach; the same beach I have been visiting since I was a child and the same beach which always, always melts my stressful feelings and allows me to drink in the beach’s killer combination of sun, sea and sand.

ocean wave

Photo By Ryan O’Toole

My annual beach trip also makes me think I am similar to a bird who instinctively knows it’s time to fly back to Capistrano.

When work and personal stuff starts to wear me down and I feel that I am running on fumes, it’s a sure sign that I need to get going and find my patch of sand.

I am just like that faithful little bird driving myself to return to “my place” which serves as a touchstone for me.  A place where I can once again build up my core reserves of peace and inner strength after being pounded down by personal stresses and one mother of a busy job.

Bethany is truly my healing place and I hope you too have a healing place that you can call all your own.

I would love to hear from you about where you go for vacation or where you go to build up your emotional reserves!

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2 Responses to “Atsa Nice”

  1. Maggie Mazcko

    I love Bethany Beach too Mary Kate. My parents bought a house there in 1971 when I was still in high school – (at Holy Cross with you), and we have been spending all our free time there ever since. Such wonderful memories of my entire family there enjoying the beach and the wonderful times since I was 17. Now that my parents are gone and my children have grown and have children of their own our beach house has become a place just as you described. Children in and out playing on our dock, wonderful boat rides and lovely days on the beach when everyone comes home for outdoor showers and family meals on the porch. I know how very blessed I am to be able to experience the joys of the beach with my children and grandchildren – there is nothing in this life that could make me any happier. So happy that others love it too!

    • Mary Kate Cranston

      Hi Maggie: Lucky lucky you to have a house at the beach! I am so happy for you and your family that all of you are able to enjoy all of the beauty of Bethany Beach! I hope it stays pretty much the way it is now and doesn’t change too much!!


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