Time-Out for Robin

I saw the ocean and the sunny blue sky out the big picture windows as soon as I walked into the Courtyard by Marriott at Carolina Beach.  I smiled and took a deep breath. Then I saw this sign–a hand-printed piece of poster board on an easel in the lobby.


Investigators Association of North Carolina

Training Conference

No wonder the parking lot filled with law enforcement people as I drove up to the hotel.  They were on a break. A bunch of them waited for the elevator–they were staying there for the conference.  Young(ish), mostly quite fit, and overwhelmingly male.  I felt safe.

My brother, Jim, who died in July, lived oceanfront at Carolina Beach from the late 80’s until Hurricane Fran in early September, 1996. His condo building was seriously damaged (he was fine) and all the stuff he stored underneath was swept away by the storm surge. After Fran, he bought land with a trailer on it off the island, on the other side of Snow’s Cut Bridge.  He continued to work on a commercial fishing boat that kept him on the water.

I started going to Carolina Beach by myself while my daughters were young and living at home.  I put myself in time-out a couple of times a year. I began to take care of myself in a new way.

A few months after one of my escapes, I start to crave the ocean and begin planning another trip.  I always take a bunch of books and usually an Oprah magazine.  My goal is to rest–body, mind, and soul.  I finished a whole Harry Potter book on one trip.  Total escape from reality.

Sometimes I told Jim my goal was to talk to as few people as possible. He understood.  He interacted with the public for work.  He was happy to retreat to his solitude at the end of the day.  By the way, Jim’s trailer had only one bed, so I’d stay in a motel or condo by myself.  Always oceanfront and never in the summer–too hot and too many people.

My brother and I were both born in Iowa and grew up mostly in the mid-west–Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio.  We moved to Raleigh, NC, in 1968.  We could drive to the beach in 3 hours–no interstate highway then, just a bunch of small towns.  Now I can drive from Greensboro to Carolina Beach in 4 hours, interstate almost all the way.  Boring, but much quicker.

Why did 2 mid-westerners love being on and near the ocean?  Someone told me years ago it was negative ions.  “Okay, sure,” I said, my usual initial response to stuff like that.  Today, finally, I googled “negative ions.”  This quote is from WebMD.

Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.

Science explains the negative ion effect.  The awe and wonder I feel at the sight and sound of the ocean must be Holy.

The Homicide Investigators and I all came to a healing place.  I guess they needed some negative ions.  I know I did.

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 7:44 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love the post Robin. I, too, crave the ocean. It definitely has a healing affect on the mind, body, and soul!

    Beverly Dorko live . laugh . love . dream Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:44:26 +0000 To: jdorko57@hotmail.com

    • I’ve always wondered if you live on the ocean, do you build up a tolerance like you can with meds?

  2. That info about the negative ions is interesting! In addition to whatever effect the ions may have, when I am at the beach, the ever present motion of the ocean and the sound of the waves are so soothing. There is a timelessness about the ocean and the sand and the big sky that is peaceful and calming and soulful.

  3. I know that I crave being near water. It doesn’t have to be the ocean, but the ocean is the best. Maybe because the waves create more negative ions?

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