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Photo title: The Wall of Comfort

Ocean Boulevard, Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Happily ever after is a journey, not a destination.”  —  Unknown

Daily gratitudes:
Clouds
The sea
Laughter
New places
New words
Minimizing drama

the slow cadence of long rolling breakers in the early morning matches my breathing

pelicans skim in formation over the smooth surface of the outstretched sea

San Pellegrino bottles sweat on the porch railing within moments of being positioned for their view of the beach

the chill of the air-conditioned cottage is blissful agony on wet skin in the hot afternoon

the wind off the sound brings with it a whiff of woodsmoke from the mainland fires

books are made to be consumed langorously like soft milk chocolate

a lightweight novel can transport you through the halls of time, and when you return you are still in heaven

a grey day is just as wonderful as a sunny day anywhere else

the waters are a cradle, womb-like, liquid-gentle, humbly loving, eternally changing

the dunes have risen to a protective height, sea oats swaying out of rhythm with the waves

[Written last night…internet can be intermittent here, and oddly enough, dependent on the weather.  More to come (plus photos) if the weather gods cooperate.]

The beach is bathing in rain and thunder. We watched the storm head towards us from the mainland, across the sound.  The lightning is moving sideways across the sky, over the sea, as dusk settles.  On stormy evenings, it is hard to tell the change of light from day to night or from sun to storm – each influences the other.

The water has been Caribbean warm, and blue-green, just for me, I have decided. We shared our boogie board in a tidal pool and talked and admired boys, who in turn admired Kelsea.  We plotted and drifted. Now, rain drips off the eaves, and we are as at home as anywhere on earth, in this place of 40 summers for me and 14 for her.

We still share a room, the room that was mine when I was growing up, with its paneled walls and twin beds.  Rightly or wrongly, we have always shared this room, even when I was married and Pat was here with us.  Perhaps not on that first year, when he and I took the big front bedroom with a rented crib for her, but every year after.

Tonight, we anticipate sleep.  We slept for a long while after a long day last night, waking 15 minutes before we had to check out of our hotel, and stumbling around for hours afterwards.

Tomorrow, we have no real plans. Maybe go up to Surf City to buy an extra boogie board to donate to the house, and to look at a new swimsuit for me.  A run on the beach in the morning.  A lot of water time. Some work. Some sun. Some reading.  A good day.

Thunder makes the house shake and the windowpanes rattle.  The shelling up at the south end of the island will be good tomorrow – the direction of my run.  I love storms here, and even after my close brush with lightning last year, am disappointed when we don’t have a banger-up during our stay.

Kelsea spoke today about bringing her kids here when the time comes.  I love that idea – four generations loving this same little beach house. It changes slightly every year – new tile and a new bathtub, a lovely little antique hutch by the kitchen –
but never enough that it is not home.

There is a book in here for me, a book about my 40 summers in this house, and all the things, some small, some lifechanging, some just rawly tender, that have happened here. It may be worth starting now.

And the lightning flashes in agreement.

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