I get obsessed with weather predictions when I have a vacation coming up and the obsession carries right into the vacation. Moving from one weather website to the next, I check forecasts compulsively. Will it rain? At what time? How warm will it be? What will the cloud coverage be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday?
Last week I spent eight days at Humarock Beach, a long, thin peninsula of ocean-tossed rocks and sand south of Boston. Surrounded by water — the cold Atlantic to the east and tidal rivers and marshes to the west — there’s no hiding from the weather. The houses are on ten foot pilings so the ocean can roll right under and across to the marsh on the other side during strong storms, and winter Nor’easters often leave the central road on the northern tip of the peninsula covered with fist-sized rocks.
But as I found out last week, as I find out through all my vacation weather obsessions, forecasts are rarely right if made any more than a couple of days ahead, and the weather really doesn’t matter anyway. What matters are the uninterrupted hours and shared meals with family, the jumble of four generations putting together dinner and playing games over days instead of just hours, the rhythm of living in the same house with children and grandchildren.
It did rain during our vacation and it was too cold for the beach many of the days we were in Humarock. When it rained we played games and watched movies and read and talked and cooked and ate. When it was too cold and windy to sit on the ocean side deck we sat in the sun on the river side, tucked out of the wind and looking over a marsh flooded with high tide or drained to a small ribbon of river snaking through sloped banks of mud.
With so much family gathered — my parents, all three of my sisters, my children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews and partners — my phone was much busier than usual with beach and dinner planning texts and phone calls. At one point as David was driving to the grocery store I was texting with my sister Meg, figuring out what we needed to pick up for dinner. Somehow, as David and I were talking about a song that was playing, my phone got switched to the microphone for text, and when I looked down to read what Meg had sent I saw a message my phone was ready to send. The predictive text picked up from the song and our conversation was about as accurate as a weather forecast, and as meaningless when it comes to having a sweet week with my family.
There’s a loser husband in case this homeless replacing the work job pound some loose and this is the song I know the song.
The song of making sure you have time with the people you love most.