Playing Hooky

I think it's fitting on this, the first day of school, (in our town, anyway) that I write a post about playing hooky.   Now, you might call it bunking or wagging or dossing, but it's basically not being where your supposed to be, usually to be somewhere better.

So yesterday the whole clan played hooky from church.  (Hence the lack of a Sunday Setlist post this week.)  Why?  Because it was the last day before school started, because the summer was way too short, and because the day was gorgeous.  We'd been telling ourselves that we would drive up to spend a day in Rhode Island all summer, and hadn't.  We were running out of time, and so (after duly informing the pastor and our worship leader, and covering our children's ministry) we skipped.

Things were conspiring against us, mainly in the automotive department.  My wife's car snapped a tie rod Saturday night, and we were scrambling to find transportation.  We wound up taking my (smaller, non-air conditioned) car, and not being able to take everyone we wanted to.  We were hoping to meet the Klampert clan, but they were having car trouble as well.  We left two hours late, and arrived at Misquamicut  Beach around 2 in the afternoon.  There were signs saying all the lots were full, but we got right in.

A little backstory:  where we live on the Connecticut coast (which is distinct from the Connecticut shore) we have these little things that are laughingly called beaches.  When I was a kid in Long Island in the 70's, beaches were like the fictional Amity from Jaws: miles of white sand, thundering waves, and about a bajillion people.  Where I live now, we have mostly a sand/rock mix, shallow water and no waves.  To me, a beach has sand dunes with those leaning picket fences, dune grass, big waves and fine, white sand.

Rhode Island - now that's the ocean.  That's what I remember.  My wife and I were reminiscing to the kids about what it was like when we grew up.  We were both used to crowded Atlantic Ocean beaches; after all, there was no internet, cable TV or video games, and air conditioning was truly a luxury.  Hitting the beach was the thing to do all summer,  and hit it we did.

I told my just-turned-nine-years-old daughter about being her age; on a summer day I would leave my house in the morning, and not be seen until probably after dinner.  I might stop in for some food, but usually would eat at a friends house.  We had a pool, so I might spend some time swimming with friends, but more often than not, I was gone.  Every kid in the neighborhood had the same curfew: come home when the streetlights came on.  I couldn't imagine sending her out into the streets without knowing exactly where she was at all times, and neither could she.

We stayed until the sun went down, and the onshore wind and incoming tide pushed the water up to our chairs.  What a great day! (and all my wife's idea, BTW)

So anyway, playing hooky was a good thing.  I generally hate to miss church, and miss playing worship, but it was the thing to do, and I'm glad we did it.  Sometimes the simple things are best.


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