Beach Blanket Bingo

Tonight we started our summer tradition, the Wednesday evening picnic on the beach. We had planned to start much earlier, but first we had a late spring, so the water was too cold, then there were sea lice (ewww!), then we got into a rainy pattern where thunderstorms would roll in around 2:30 or 3:00 and last off and on through the evening. Today was one of the first forecasted warm, dry Wednesdays since about, oh, last September…

This whole Wednesday night date on the beach became a tradition our first summer here, where we hardly missed a week. I wasn’t working then, and would plan and create elaborate picnic fare. When David got home, we would change into our bathing suits, drive to the eastern-most free parking lot in town, and trek the four blocks from the car to the ocean with our cooler of food, lawn chairs, towels, and sunscreen. That was in 2005. In 2006, we meant well, and went a few times, until I started my elimination diet, and food became too much of a hassle. We went a few more times, but there seemed to be a lot of reasons not to go. It looks like rain, David’s tired from work, Li’s having a reaction to some food, we can always go next week. Now here we are in 2007, mid-July, and we’ve just made our first trip to the beach for the year. We’re off to a slow start.

I seem to recall someone warning us we would never actually go to the beach once we moved near it. Actually, I think several people warned us… But I’m not willing to admit defeat just yet. We still have a lot of summer left, and I intend to dip my toes into the Atlantic many more times this year!

That’s right, dip my toes. Not dive in, not float around, but just dip my toes. I’m not much of a swimmer. I’m not crazy about being wet, and I really don’t like the rough surf we have around here. So while I will occaisionally swim, I generally just get wet up to the knees, and toodle around on the beach, looking for sea shells. David, however, is a fish. He dives in, swims around for a while, comes out, retrieves his mask and snorkel from the beach bag, and goes back in the water for the next 30-45 minutes. I watch anxiously from shore for sharks. Every time we go, I review the diver’s signal for sharks with him, in case he can’t hear me screaming at him over the waves. He nods, and smiles, and pretends he’s paying attention. Then he runs to the water and dives in, leaving me to worry. And look for dorsal fins. No, I haven’t seen one yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, lurking…

But actually, in spite of the possibility of imminent death, it’s pretty fun. The meditative sound of the waves crashing on shore, feeling the warm water wash over my feet, and just being outside at sunset with my hubby remind me that there are some benefits to living here.

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I've been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you're gluten-free, it's even better!
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