I’m sitting on the sofa in our beach condo. This summer will be the 21st anniversary of owning this condo in beautiful New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Our beach place has been a sanctuary for my husband and me, a place only 60 minutes from our full time residence but oceans away from problems and anxieties. The sea breezes manage to penetrate the schedules, to-do lists, and deadlines that live inside overworked brains. Concurrent with the joy, however, are the pangs of guilt over owning a place encroaching on the habitats of wildlife and contributing to beach erosion. (The joy has obviously trumped the guilt considering our longevity here.)
As I sit on this sofa I remember it once inhabited our Orlando house. That is what happens to the furniture in our lives- it transitions. When we bought our red leather sectional, this saffron sofa, festooned with foliage and blue piping, was hauled down the highway to our beach home. The former furniture here swapped geographies ending up in our son’s Winter Park art studio. It’s funny how furniture can tell the story of our lives, tangible mile markers. The rocking chair currently occupying our beach bedroom was bought when my son David fractured his kidney on a playground in the second grade. I spent so much time in one at his hospital bedside I wanted a rocker for home. My son is turning 32 tomorrow, is married and a new Dad, and moved his own life to Chicago. Now, accompanied by the lulling sound of the ocean, the chair is used to rock my grandchildren to sleep- another mile marker in my life.