Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A year by the sea

Sunday marked the one year anniversary of buying the shore house. I woke up tired, going back and forth about going down to the beach to watch the sunrise or staying in bed. I usually go once a weekend, and Saturday was rainy...but it was so nice to lay there in the dark in an off-season silent sea town on a Sunday morning...then I remembered how I felt a year ago, and how I couldn't go to sleep because I was so excited to get up to watch the sunrise on the beach from my own house.

I got up, and I'm glad I did as always. I noticed how different the ocean looked from yesterday afternoon, and how lucky I was to see so many different faces of this ocean over the past year. I thought a lot about what this past year has meant to me. It has meant and been so many things. Euphoric highs as I cruised down the Atlantic City Expressway late at night, Bruce Springsteen blaring; hard knocks, when I learned something the hard way in a year of home improvements; the absolute joy of having a place for all of my beach stuff where I can leave it and never bring it home; a deep, deep appreciation for those who helped us out along the way with hard labor and those who understand when we aren't places we would normally be or doing things we'd normally do; minor anxiety with a dose of humility and a side of lessons in patience, kindness, and live and let live from a year dealing with renters; the security in knowing I never need to leave my dogs home; the great feeling of sharing this space with framily. It has been amazing with the highs far outweighing the lows. It has all been so, so worth any frustration or worry I've felt along the way.
It's also felt like living a double life - at a certain point in the summer, I really felt like my real life was down there, and that my life at home was the part time life even though that is definitely not the reality...yet, anyway. I still feel that way because I love the off-season much more than the summer. It's like living in the Boys of Summer song: nobody on the road, nobody on the beach. Regardless, sometimes I feel like I'm having an out of body experience, watching myself do things in my normal life but with a sense that I belong somewhere else.

If I could go back in time one year, I'd tell myself that it would be different, watching those sunrises now, but in all good ways: I have a beach cruiser to ride down now, and I bring my coffee and a mat and I have a little bag everything goes in. But that feeling of waking up at my own shore house to see it? That is the same. It does not get old. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

And if I could go into the future, to next year and the year after and on to infinity, it would be to give myself a nudge - to make sure I'm still grateful, that I still remember what a dream comes true feels like, even if we had weather issues that took a toll on the house or renters that drove us insane that year.

I'd also tell my past self to chill the fuck out and that everything would be fine. Hell, I'd tell my future self that too because you can never tell yourself that enough. We were fully rented for this summer by the end of January and really had a great first season. People treated our house well and they were nice. And we're already booked for four weeks for next summer before the end of October.
I went back and forth with writing this, because it's hard to convey how life changing this has been, not only on the outside with what we do and where we spend time, but on the inside with how I think in my head and feel in my heart. In the end I didn't want to let such a first anniversary go without putting words down for myself to look back on. If you enjoyed it too, that's a bonus.

VRBO listing






26 comments:

  1. Dreams come true! Being so grateful will make more dreams come true! Love ❤️ you and Mike Doyle to infinity and beyond!
    Love. Your. Momma.

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  2. Time flies! I am glad everything has worked out, and that you get to enjoy such awesome views, and have renters for season! Maybe I should make my way there sometime and be one of those renters :)

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  3. Time is hard to articulate but you did it so well in this post. Wild applause for wading through the sea of change and coming out refreshed.

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  4. god why am i so emotional today. i'm teary reading this. happy one year to your shore house! yay for dreams coming true.

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  5. Salty air and the miracle of sunrise does the soul good. It's transformative. So happy that you and MFD have this opportunity. Here's to many more.

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  6. I remember when you wrote the post about getting the shore house and I was SO happy for you! My husband and his family talk about owning a shore house and how amazing it would be, and I can totally see how it would be, especially when you can go down when it's not super crazy and crowded and just enjoy the peacefulness and the serenity. I'm also selfishly glad you have a shore house because I got to meet up with you! :) Congrats on a year!

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  7. Beautiful! So glad that you have been able to truly experience all of this and you will continue to get to to that! What a blessing for you. I miss the beach! I live vicariously through your posts though:)

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  8. So happy you took up these prompts to share about this momentous anniversary. I remember your post from last year sharing the news. How awesome that this first year has been such a rewarding one. Thanks for always being a reminder to remain hopeful and grateful—two things I'm trying my hardest at this year more than ever.
    Here's to a second awesome year and many more.

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  9. I love that you went to see the sunrise in a symbolic way to see how far you've come. I don't think I "got" the shore house idea until you got yours and started talking more about the happiness and struggles that go with it and how it's more than a place to vacation for you. Cheers to many more memories made there!

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  10. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary! I always love seeing your shore pictures, especially the sunrises. For those alone, I would understand why you bought a shore home. Too many more years of fabulous sunrise and great memories. :)

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  11. This was a great post and I think it really captured what you were trying to convey. Congratulations on making it through your first year and wishing you many more years of Shore House Happiness!

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  12. Your beach photos always make me so happy so I can only imagine the tangible, real joy it actually brings you! You have your own slice of ocean- a home in the sand. A paradise of your own that you can drive off to and bring all the dogs and your family and friends. Happy one year!! Here's to many more!

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  13. Chill the fuck out because everything will be fine is basically the best advice ever.

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  14. I think that's exactly how my parents started to feel when they purchased their place in the country. That their life was more in Leakey than it was at home. That's great that you're already booked for so much during the summer!

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  15. Happy one year!!!! I think it is so great that you still get the joy and gratitude of enjoying those sunrises and sunsets and hopefully you will feel that way for years to come. To get to own a vacation home like this is a dream of many that few achieve and for that you should be forever proud!

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  16. I love the quote on that wall sign - it's so true. Everyone says "life's better at the beach" and I couldn't agree more. Growing up in Long Island I was always in close proximity to one, but NOTHING comes close to living there and having direct access. Enjoy it!

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  17. I can't believe it's been a year already! Congrats on your first year. I've loved seeing all of the posts about the shore house & of course the sunrise photos.

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  18. A year? That's crazy talk! I'm so insanely happy for you both, and visiting the shore with you is on my list, because it's not the same with anyone else. I can command my Gulf beaches with ease, but being with you for "your" shore adventures is unparalleled.

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  19. I'm so glad you wrote this... I really love the reminder to tell your future (and past) self to chill out, it will all work out. I've been working on that lately... and though I'm not doing exceptionally well at it... it's not for a lack of trying. I love that you appreciate the many faces of the ocean, and I'm thankful that you share them with me. :)

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  20. Congratulations on one year by the sea! Best wishes for much happiness and many, many years by the shore.

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  21. I absolutely loved this post, Steph! I can distinctly feel your emotions (happiness, gratefulness, appreciation and peace). Happy Shore-

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  22. Investing in a home like this - financially and mentally - is like having a child and it's only natural to feel the growing pains which bring on the sentiment. I think you and MFD have built an amazing vacation spot for yourselves and others to enjoy. I need to convince the husband now that we need to make our way up to Ocean City for a summer vacay! The boardwalk area sounds awesome and nothing like I've experienced in FL.

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  23. I loved reading this. You nailed a feeling that's really hard to describe.

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  24. I have really loved following along with y'all achieving this dream! Can't believe it's already been a year. I look forward to many more sunrise photos!

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  25. Wow! I can't believe it's already been a year. So many wonderful sunrises. Cheers to many more!

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