Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blondie at the Beach

By far the most magnificent place I have ever lived was the beach. My time there was very fleeting but I somehow managed to live two blocks from the non-commercial section of the beach where all the fancy pants people live. Mind you, I am not, nor will I ever be a fancy pants. I wear very normal pants I assure you. I lived in the rundown house neglected by an old couple for thirty years. Hey, don’t judge. It was a fixer upper and I could walk to the beach in minutes and watch the dolphins play in the surf or ride my bike to the best state park in the universe. The boardwalk, although teaming with the ungodly masses, was a mere ten minute bike ride or a minute by car where the best beach front restaurants could be found.

One beautiful June day sporting my new aqua bikini and matching wrap I gathered my things and walked to the beach. I was enjoying the beautifully landscaped spreads of the very wealthy that increased in size and expense as I neared the beach. I was also enjoying the way that I filled out my aqua bikini top, a little extra jiggle in each step. I had my sweet shades on and a wagon full of necessary items.

When I reached the hot sandy beach I didn’t fail to notice a few looks from fellow beach goers. I strutted my stuff just a little extra and continued to stroll the fifty feet or so to the prime location near the breakers. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think they were looking at my cleavage, although in my head I’m still going to remember it that way. They were looking from me to my three year old who was about ten feet behind me whining, “It hot. Mommy, it too hot.” While lifting his flip flop clad feet.
“Come on darling. You’re slowing me down.” I was desperate to get to the water. To put my feet in the cool delicious waves, feel the squish of the wet sand between my toes. Those people probably didn’t know that I’d been itching to get to the beach for over two hours. If you’ve ever taken a toddler to the beach you will know what I’m talking about. I scooped him up, kissed his chubby sun screened cheek and carried him the rest of the way, pulling the wagon and starring down the nay-sayers.

My other precious cargo was my eight month old baby girl whom I had to thank for my additional aqua endowment. She was snuggled safely in her boppy pillow in the wagon. The problem with taking two babies to the beach are too numerous to count but let's start with the timing. You have to be sure everyone has napped and has been fed. Both beautiful blondies need to be put in their bathing suits, one with a swim diaper, slathered in sunscreen that will instantly become a sand magnet upon arrival. Sun hats, extra diapers, snacks, blanket, umbrella, shovel and pail, and drinks are packed. By the time you’re ready you can't help but think, “Is this really worth it?” I was born an optimist so I was sure it would be.
After getting settled the kids have a great time playing in the sand. My baby daughter has never seen sand before and dipped her spit soaked fist into it. She proceeded to put it where everything else ends up, in her mouth. The change of expression from blissful ignorance to pure disgust had me laughing pretty hard. I hoped that the sand I scraped off her tongue did not contain seagull poop, dog pee, or any other unsavory things.

As I sat on the blanket marveling at my son’s adorable chubby form chasing seagulls and snuggling baby girl on my lap, I counted my blessings: How lucky we were to be in such a beautiful place with such relatively little effort, in comparison to the tourist who traveled hours. I looked longingly at the ocean. It was calling me to frolic in the waves. 

I longed for the cool caress of the saltwater.
Certainly not with two short people who can’t swim yet. There is nothing more I wanted to do than jump through the surf and dive into the cool caress of the saltwater. It will have to wait for another day. After one heavenly hour at the beach, baby girl needs to eat, shorty-boy is doing a special “I gotta go” dance, and so I begrudgingly repack all of our sandy items and cringe at the outdoor shower fiasco that I will have to endure once I reach home.  Once I figure out how to hold a baby and wash a three year old I'll let you know.

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  1. Hi Karen.
    I really enjoyed reading this.
    You've got a knack of sucking the reader in and better, sucker-punching them with the unexpected.
    Allow me to extrapolate for a moment!
    As a male reader, I was conjuring up a pleasant image of a hot, amply-proportioned blonde in a bikini strutting her stuff along the boardwalk and then pow! The kids tagging along behind…
    Didn't expect that at all, at all.
    You nevertheless still managed to keep me tuned in and described the scene with lashings of humour and purpose.
    You're a skilled story-teller and I enjoyed this post very much.
    Well done and thanks!

  2. I sympathise and empathise. Days at the beach are never the same after the kids come along. I grew up in hot countries and had lots of beach days. Then much later my parents retired to a seaside town and I spent a lot of beach days there, especially summers. My wife and I live in Devon now and there are any number of good beaches here, but the days of me packing a book, towel, cigarettes and a coffee thermos and going beach combing alone are long gone. There's the expedition level equipment we need for the kids and I can't relax on the sand any more because I have to watch the children. Great blog by the way, well written and perfectly structured. Yo do write very well.

    1. Thank you Richard! I'm glad this could take you back to happy memories and bring you forward to appreciate them in a way you couldn't at the time. I am humbled by your complements and appreciate you sharing them with me.

  3. I spent the summer in a condo across the street from the beach last year. I loved watching the sun sparkle on the water in the mornings and almost never walked on the beach, but on the walk. I was too lazy to take my shoes off!

    The bad part about the beach is the lugging part, but in the end it is worth it.

    Great post, enjoyed reading it!

  4. Thanks so much CYW! So glad you stopped by to visit my blog. I agree about the lugging part. Every chance I got I'd leave the house without short people and just walk there with nuthin but flip flops. Hope you can get back to the beach soon. I'm heading there this summer or else!

  5. Loved this and can really relate. I lived in Chicago all my life and moved to the Pacific NW about 10 years ago. Here in Portland we're only 1 1/2 hours from the coast--the OCEAN! Wow! :D I LOVE going there for a night's stay and watching and listening to the ocean waves. Talk about therapeutic!

    There's nothing like taking a walk along the shore at sunset or sunrise. Nothing you can buy can begin to match the majestic brilliance of the ocean. That alone was worth the move from Chicago. :)

  6. Thanks so much. My mom grew up in Chicago! Great town! Would love to see the Pacific NW! Been to Cali down the Pacific Coast highway but would really love to explore Seattle, etc. Now I'm land locked and have no use for my 3 kayaks and a 20 ft canoe. Future blog post will expound on that one. So agree with the ocean as therapeutic. My son would sometimes wake at o dark thirty and we'd head to the beach to see the sunrise. Amazing! On the East Coast it comes up over the ocean!

  7. How nice to be able to live so close to the beach!! There is nothing better for sure. I loved your post and can certainly relate. :) Now that my short person is a teenager he gets to help carry things!

  8. Darla, thanks for stopping and commenting! Yes, I really miss the beach. It's been years since I lived there. Would love to be there now because my short people could, like your son, help carry our gear. Dang, you're making me want to get back to the beach with the salt water in my hair and the sun shining down on me.

  9. You are Brave I normally just stayed at home unless I had help. I also don't live ANYWHERE Near a Beach though LOL Gorgeous Beach I'm jealous

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  11. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. Beach Carts