“Is this our fourth trip, or fifth?”
After much discussion, we decided fourth. On our first Valentine’s Day together, we used a Groupon for our getaway to Addy Sea in Bethany Beach; it always reminds me of our argument because Ron didn’t propose. We occupied the first room on the right, second floor, with a partial ocean view.
We returned two years later and stayed on the Third floor, above our previous room. Ron learned to make sauteed zucchini and squash from Laura and her mom on that trip. On our next trip, in 2018, we occupied room 8, nestled in the middle of the second floor.
In 2021 we returned for the third time. Still coming out of COVID, the tennis facility required masks while playing. Not knowing that information when booking our cardio class, it didn’t take us long to cancel once we found out. Ron’s still mad about it and won’t go back.
“We’ve had a cancellation. Would you like the oceanfront room?
“I thought that’s what we booked?” I said to Andrea when she called with the exciting news
“No, you booked room 11, on the third floor. This one’s on the second floor and will cost $77.80 to upgrade.”
Thinking about Ron’s aching knees, I had no problem saying yes to the upgrade. For over ten years I’ve wanted to stay in the best room in the house, and now we finally will, or so we thought.
Timeline of our Valentine’s Celebrations to date:
2012 Addy Sea
2014 Pine Island Valentine’s Tournament (Me and Joe Vance, Ron played with woman from the club)
2015 Pine Island Tournament (Me/Joe, Ron/Woman from Richmond)
2017 Pine Island Tennis Tournament (Me/Chip Cowan, partner from Nags Head (We won consolation bracket), Ron/Lisa Wylam)
2018 Addy Sea, stayed in Room 8
2019 Pine Island Tennis Tournament (Ron played with Martha Cuevas, I didn’t play)
2020 Pine Island Tennis Tournament (Me/Joe, Ron/Emily)
We arrived at 4:08, exactly as GPS predicted. Cindy greeted us and within minutes of arriving, we entered the coveted room 6. The corner view when you walk into the tiny bedroom makes the size irrelevant. Magnificent views come with high price tags and less legroom, but worth it.
Cons include the shower and sink in the bedroom and the toilet by itself in the converted closet. Claustrophibics would struggle using the facilities in room six.
With the sun shining and the temperature in the upper 60s, the beach, and sunset called to us. Ron’s knees hurt in the uneven sand, so we didn’t walk long. As soon as the sun began to sink, the air quickly cooled, turning us around sooner than I would have liked
“You have fulfilled your obligatory beach Walk. You don’t have to go on anymore.” I said when we returned. Praying fervently for Ron to find relief from his pain. Lord bless his efforts. Let us have many more beach walks in the future.
Grateful he can enjoy a relaxing weekend by the sea with his honey:-).
Driving to Mike and Laura’s for dinner, we talked about our previous trips to Addy Sea. Visiting the McFarlin’s and Lambrose’s makes Bethany a favorite destination.
Laura and I met at the Ski Lodge in Treasure Lake just before my father passed away. Never living in the same town, we’ve remained friends through the decades. One of our most traumatic memories together happened shortly after dad died. Late for curfew, we took a turn too fast, totally Laura’s Dad’s car, when we stopped inches from the life-taking pole on the right. Praise God for His hand of protection that night.
Since then, we’ve grown into women of God who continue to grow together. Watching Laura raise her children and becoming “Aunt Beth” to them remains one of my greatest blessings. Now both married, I can’t wait to meet her future grandchildren.
After an evening of wonderful conversation, delicious pork tenderloin paired with green beans and potatoes, we drove the forty minutes back to Addy Sea and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.
“Look at those colors,” I said to Ron, rolling over in bed just before sunrise and seeing the telltale pinks of the morning sun highlighting the sky.
Watching the morning sunrise led to a reflective Facebook post:
May the sun shine brightly in your life today!
Morning time with God by the ocean touches my heart in a special way. I spent the morning studying guilt from a Biblical perspective.
“False guilt sees failure as a life sentence; true guilt sees failure as another opportunity to experience God’s grace and mercy.” gotquestions.org
All while recording the sunrise on my phone by the side of the water, wrapped in a blanket with the cool breeze blowing from the open window, Ron’s rhythmic breathing accompanying the pound of the waves on the shore.
“That’s too small. Yeah, that’s too tiny for me.” Ron said, referring to the once closet, now a bathroom. By day two, the claustrophobic potty began to take its toll. Ron’s stature requires more room. And God forbid when stinky activities happen. The can of air freshener comes in handy.
Barely two inches margin exists between the toilet and the walls. The toilet paper hangs on the back of the door. Febreze and a small trash can fill the opposite wall. Big people like Ron and I need a little more space.
“Breakfast at 8:30,” Cindy said when we arrived.
Learning from past experience, we knew the staff preferred timeliness. On one visit, we skipped out on breakfast, God only knows why, and we received a reprimand for not informing the staff. At the time, new to Bed and Breakfasts, we didn’t realize our absence meant wasted food. Now we know better,
And why would you miss a breakfast filled with so much deliciousness? Every bite melts in your mouth; guilty pleasures ladled in syrup.
“You can’t drink too much in here. The floors already leaning, I already feel like I’m drunk.” Ron said, lifting his arm at an angle to illustrate the tilt to the floor.
Squeaks with every step make the ambiance of this old Victorian house even more precious. Lounging in the corner chairs and studying God’s word filled my morning with peace. Ron, struggling with a cold, stayed snuggled up in bed, missing his puppies.
Eventually, I joined him, book in hand. Spending the rest of my morning learning about the mental side of golf.
Wedded bliss: Ron cuddles beside me in our Victorian-style bed while I read “Inner Game of Golf” by W. Timothy Gallery, the sun shining, salt air flowing through the open window, and soft waves rhythmically lapping the shore.
A significant mind shift occurred about golf, “I play golf to learn relaxed concentration.” A fierce competitor, realizing I can’t conquer golf, no matter how long I live, freed me. After joining our local golf club, determined to better my score and failing, I wanted to quit. So I began studying the game’s mental side, which led me to the weekend’s reading.
“Relaxed concentration is the idea that you can focus without trying too hard or psyching yourself out. When you’re using relaxed concentration, it’s important not to be judgmental.” W. Timothy Gallwey
Currently writing a book, “Love Remains,” the premise applies Relaxed Concentration to living a life of faith. And after much prayer and supplication, I have changed my attitude about golf. No longer do I want to conquer golf, but instead, learn from it and apply those lessons to my life, specifically, relaxed concentration.
Addy Sea offers a light fare menu for those guests who don’t want to venture far. Tuscan Kale Bean soup paired with fresh greens and strawberries filled out bellies, just enough for a noon-time meal. Ron and I spent the entire day in our “saucies” (comfy clothes), not getting dressed until dinner.
Back in the room, Ron didn’t waste time snuggling back under the covers. Crawling beside him, I settled back in with “Inner Game of Golf,” the perfect beach read for a chilly day in bed.
Written by a tennis coach, learning golf and applying his teaching techniques to the process helped me understand not only the game better but coaching as well. Borrowed from a friend, I couldn’t highlight the book, so I stopped periodically to take notes on my phone, making the going slow.
Ron spent the day resting in bed, something he desperately needed and rarely does. People underestimate all Ron does on a typical day. Between work, caring for his elderly father with dementia, and putting up with me, Ron has a full plate. I felt joyful sitting beside him as he enjoyed uninterrupted rest.
Dinner at Bethany Blues with Troy and Carolanne, my sweet niece, Laura’s daughter, capped a wonderful day. Listening to the young couple’s ups and downs since we last saw them blessed us. They give us hope for the future as they persevere through life together, God their navigator.
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33, MSG).
Life comes with troubles, but together we persevere.
Only a few minutes from Addy Sea, after our leisurely dinner, we enjoyed the nighttime view from our room. Darkness surrounded the ocean as the waves continued to lap the shore. We kept the window open the entire weekend, allowing salt air to fill our lungs as the water serenaded us.
With a contented sigh, we crawled into the four poster bed, falling asleep effortlessly.
Setting my alarm for the sunrise, clouds covered the morning rays. Grayness enveloped the beach as rain, mixed with sleet, began to fall.
“Without good days, you wouldn’t know what a good day is,” says my friend Sharyn. Over the years, I’ve heard the words from her lips many times. On mornings like this one, I remember her words and thank God for both kinds of sunrises.
After another delicious breakfast, we packed up and headed to Laurel to attend church with the McFarlins and Lambroses. Rainy days make leaving the beach much easier, and the added cold made leaving easy. God healed and restored us as we took a step back in time, resting in the peace of His nature.
Greeted warmly when we entered Laurel Nazarene Church; we met the new pastor and his wife. Worship moved me as I felt God’s spirit in my heart. Listening to the interim pastor’s last sermon at LNC encouraged us on the journey.
For Lent, the church offers a 40-day devotional, “Water for the Way.” I can’t wait to join them on the journey as I read through the short book.
Driving home, the rain never left us. Sometimes the drops would come as a mist; other times much harder. Ron slept most of the way as I navigated route 13, listening to our church’s morning message.
Both apprehensive crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Ron drove the last part home, his nerves steelier than mine.
God blessed us with safe travels and a wonderful weekend filled with cherished memories. Until next time Addy Sea, be well!