Today we head to the beach after Mr. Scuba gets off work. It’s a long drive, 4 hours, but it’s worth it to spend the weekend down there. It’s peaceful and quiet in the off-season, and it’s always good to see our friends there.
Avon is a small fishing village. It survives on the tourist trade. Most of the tourists are fishermen and wind surfers. Although it is the second most populated village on Hatteras Island, it’s just a tiny dot on the map. Avon is where we want to retire.
It feels like we have more family time there. We both take Willow for walks on the beach. We seem to take more time, converse more, linger over dinner, and just generally hang out as a family.
The residents there are very nice, warm folks. It’s rare to not see them smiling even though life there seems hard. What is not rare is sitting at dinner and having the folks at the next table just strike up a conversation with you. It’s a very refreshing change, as the people here in Richmond seem to keep mostly to themselves.
The few off-season tourists that we do get in Avon think we are residents. We find that rather amusing until we remember what we were like when we first bought the house. We could tell at a glance who the tourists were and who the residents were. But, we no longer dress in touristy type clothes. We buy regular groceries and not just what we need for a week’s vacation. We’re a familiar fixture at the hardware store. We know everything that’s open and everything that’s closed in the off-season. We know the people who work in the stores and restaurants. We are more outgoing and neighborly there. It feels more like home to us than Richmond does.
I know that retirement here will not be the same as weekends or vacations here. But I know that life will be simpler.
This is what I’m striving for, a more peaceful, simpler life, near the ocean, where I can open my windows and hear the waves crashing on the beach.