Post Vacation Funk

I have to admit, in the week since I’ve been back from my mini-vacation with my grandkids I have been in kind of a funk. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, I was in the same funk before the mini-vacation. It was only during the four days with the younguns that I felt somewhat “normal”.

But since coming back, I’ve realllly noticed the funk.

It started last Sunday when I said a watery goodbye to my daughters. I could see it in my older daughter’s misty eyes. I don’t know what she was thinking but I know what was flying through my mind. This could be the last time we’re together under happy circumstances. For the first time in forever, I felt old. The realization of my entrance into the winter of my life hit home.

And it has bothered me all week. No, it has been amplified all week.

I returned to chaos. Actually, I returned to normal, but it felt chaotic … kids coming and going … people coming and going … so many cars in the driveway they overspilled onto the lawn … annoying little inconveniences with my cars  … catch-up at work … over-commitments … hectic non-stop schedule.

And God has a twisted sense of humor. He teases me with potential changes. He feeds my melancholy with unsuspecting songs and names and events from the past that had special meaning for me. He fuels my emotions with memories … good memories, but again a realization of how things were, not how things are.

My trip to the Jersey shore is a perfect example. I love Seaside Heights. I grew up near there and it was my summer “home” during my late teenage years. But, since Sandy, it is not the same. It doesn’t have the same feel. It doesn’t have the same crowds. It doesn’t have the same energy.

I never went there for the rides or amusements. Okay, I went there primarily for the food and to flirt with the girls on the boardwalk. As I matured I went there for the surf and sand. Okay, I still go there for the food — makes me hungry for another sausage and pepper sandwich — and to people watch. My flirting days are well behind me.

In that sense, Seaside Heights — and all the Jersey shore — hasn’t changed. The relentless ebb and flow of the waves on the sandy beach relaxes my spirit and rejuvenates me. It gives me a sense of who is in charge … and it ain’t me!

I returned home, however, to read a report the owners of the iconic Carousel could be heading for auction. It is one of only two surviving American made classic carousels in the State of New Jersey and is intimately tied to the origins of Seaside Heights’ boardwalk. The Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Historic Dentzel/Looff Carousel at Casino Pier is now over 100 years old! A museum piece in itself, it whirls on the Seaside Heights boardwalk with music provided by the only continuously operating Wurlitzer Military Band Organ in the state. It and has 58 total animals, 35 moving horses, 18 stationary horses, two camels, a lion and a tiger and two chariots. It boasts 2,016 light bulbs and 15 original antique paintings from 1910 in the center casing. The machine was originally part of a trolley park called Island Beach Park in Burlington, NJ. In 1928 the park burned and the fire damaged the carousel, but was it was rescued, rebuilt and moved to Seaside Heights in 1932 and has been a mainstay on the boardwalk ever since. My grandkids and I were just on it last week. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we were among the last riders. {there’s a petition to save the Carousel at}

That’s the type of news I’ve been processing since my return home. It’s not life-threatening. It’s not catastrophic. It’s not the end of the world … but it is the end of my world, the one tucked in the recesses of my mind. And that has helped feed my funk.

I even received a glowing report from my cardiologist. While she was pleased with my mechanics, I couldn’t help feeling she missed the emotional misfires in my life.

My rock is a pile of ash out in the gazebo. My mooring is convalescing from a serious auto accident. And, despite family and friends, I feel somewhat alone … and happy to be so.

It’s a good thing my Anchor is solidly rooted, or I really would be lost.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Find the people who make you laugh and follow them around like a golden retriever. Laughing is like a vitamin. You can never get enough of it.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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6 Responses to Post Vacation Funk

  1. Interesting and so identifiable thoughts. I too, spent the weekend with one of my grandchildren on an mini-vacation last week. I too, returned, as I so often do, wondering what the hell it’s all about. I lost my rock in September 2012 and have been living ‘our’ life as mine since then. I have what I need and plenty more, but still, when I come back from anywhere, the funk starts again. I don’t have it when I’m away, but maybe that’s because daily reality doesn’t exist there, wherever it is. A little like Las Vegas, totally disconnected from the real world.
    Great piece, thank you.


    • I often tell people who have not lost their spouse they just don’t understand. Life is different. The same challenges exist, but how you react to them is different. Widow(er)hood is a sorority/fraternity until its own. I lost Karen in 2008 … forever ago and just yesterday. Thanks for your insight … and your post.


  2. Sorry ‘Father’ I inadvertently called you Patrick! My apologies….


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