Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday musings 7/31/16

Sunday musings…

1) Clock. Whew! Look at the time. Day kinda go away from me there.

2) Old friends. We are on day 2 of year 25 of our annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod (more in just a bit). One of my oldest friends and his wife came to visit the “compound” today, the first I’ve laid eyes on him in 3 years. It’s amazing how much we once had in common, and even more amazing how much we’ve grown to be alike despite our 3+ decades apart.

Some friendships remain strong, vibrant entities despite the miles or the years. The years can’t be helped of course. The miles, though, can be traveled.

3) Emergency 9. Though I no longer play golf, the game is still a very deep part of my foundation as an adult. What continues to amaze is that such an ancient game can continue to provide new stories, even among old friends. Such is the case with the “Emergency 9”. I first heard the phrase on a trip with my brother when he asked for consideration in the pro shop of a course we’d play the next day. Never heard the phrase before. It’s essentially to golf what “parlay” is to pirates. The request is for 9 holes that are needed after something stressful, in our case a long trip, and is almost always granted. My visiting friend had never heard the term, so the story was that gem of a moment where old friends unearth new treasures from an ancient mine.

We’ll be having experiences like this around our annual extravaganza, the CrossFit Games, in 3-2-1…

4) 25. We begin our 25th family visit to Cape Cod this weekend. I’m sure it will provide fodder for musings next week, as it so often has these last 10 or so years. Today, though, it’s all about noting the change within that which is so much the same. The elephant not in the room, of course, is the absence of my Dad. It’s hard to exaggerate how awkward it was when all present insisted that I, as the oldest male, move into “Dad’s seat” at the dinner table.

No one is ever ready for that change. No one is ever comfortable in that seat.

The White family continues to grow larger, but the participants are actually fewer this year in response to that growth. “The Heir” and his bride stayed behind, the soon to come “Little Princess” too near her arrival date to travel. “Lil’bingo” and his bride encountered their first in-law schedule conflict, so our “Little Prince” will have to wait a year before he digs his toes into our sand for the very first time. Cousins come and go, hoping to overlap with “Lovely Daughter” and her husband for at least a quick hug and hello. Life intervenes in our very special family event in the form of jobs, school, and the like. Families find it easier or harder to make it for all or some of the week as stage of life priorities ebb and flow.

What we hope doesn’t change is the ties that bind, however they may be stretched by those ebbs and flows. What we hope for is that always and forever as we go through time that some part of each of us will grow in parallel with each of the rest of us. That we as individuals will be able to look not only to what we have had, like my visiting friend and I, but also to what we may yet grow together, even though separated by distance and time. That we will ever seek to remain bound.

Families are hard work. There’s no getting around that. Sometimes it’s easy, or at least gets easier. Those times are precious gems, indeed. Most times it’s work, and with growth more work, still. In the end it pretty much always turns out to have been worth it. 25 times we’ve headed to the mine together, most of those times en masse. We are here once again, in person or in spirit, for as much time as each of us can spare. Mining the memories that bind a family takes commitment and effort.

Anything as valuable as a family always does.

I’ll see you next week…


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