woman looking at sunset

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Promise #2: To Drive Hours Out of the Way to See the Ocean
When I was born, my parents lived in a small beach house, right across the street from the water. For the first five years of my life, I fell asleep each night to the sound of the waves crashing against the sea wall. Later, we moved to the suburbs, but we still took all our vacations at the beach. On the last day of a trip, the car packed for home, my mother would bring us to the sand and we'd stare out at the water. "Take it in," she'd say, "Remember it." She was certain that the ocean, her great love, would bolster us through whatever hardships might come in the months ahead. Now, all winter, wherever I can sneak in a quick visit to the ocean, I do it—no matter what. Last summer, I was in central Maine for work one afternoon. I needed to be in Boston that evening. A trip to the coast didn't make any sense—it was a couple hours out of my way. But I went anyway, and sat there fully dressed for an hour, while everyone around me lounged in their bathing suits. It was heaven.