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Yesterday the missus and I, along with Isabella and her mum Lisa went to Cannon Beach to see the sand castle contest.

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Of course it was raining, because we decided to attend.  We are unwilling rain gods and we are powerful.

For those who have never attended this annual event, you can view some great examples here.  This year’s competition was somewhat lackluster;  not a great deal of participation in the contest, although attendance seemed substantial.  It mattered not, as the contest was really just an excuse for us to go to the coast for the first time in two years.

There are few things I enjoy more than walking the surf, and I get much the same sense of immensity gazing at the sea as I do looking at the stars (when I can see them, anyway).  I feel I could walk for miles and miles alongside the ocean.  It feels like a blessing.   Do you know the feeling when you come to a realization that this moment, right now, is perfect, that every sense is attuned to that perfection and you wish that you could keep that moment as more than just memory, to bask in it at any time you wanted?  It’s like that with me.  I call them Gaia interludes, and they come while revisiting landscapes I haven’t seen in some time but just as often they come spontaneously in new places.

Anyway.  Isabella and I had a great time running in the surf and dodging the waves.  My shins and calves are feeling the effort now (further hints that my legs need more work than just pedaling a bike), and my shoes are still out on the porch encrusted with sand and sodden, but it was a grand time.  We gave it four thumbs up!  The missus made a few dashes herself (I keep having to warn her that she’s going to bust a hinge and be in real trouble but it falls upon deaf ears), but Isabella’s mum Lisa chose instead to wield her fancy four-pound digital camera from a safe distance.

Lisa doesn’t care for the outdoors and would prefer an air-conditioned bubble (with room service) at all times.   Her presence was only a concession to Isabella, I suspect.  I won’t bust her chops too much, as she was a good sport about not taking face-forward photos of me (my request; I detest having my picture taken).  Besides, she had to put up with a longish drive with my wife and Isabella in the back seat.  Gawd.  You would think they were the same age, and I mean six years old and not, uh, the other.  They did everything but kick the backs of the front seats.  At about the 25-mile mark Lisa started to get those hard lines around the mouth.  At around fifty miles I swear I heard muttering.   She did at one point clearly state that this was why Isabella was an only child.  I myself was feeling remorse at the tortures my brother and I inflicted upon our parents during road trips.

Me:  “He’s poking me!”
Brother Bill:  “I’m not either!  Get your fat leg off my side!”
Dad:  “Okay, stop touching each other.  Jesus Kee-rist!”
Me:  “Now he’s looking at me!”
Dad:  “Alright, stop looking at each other.  Actually, one of you just get out of the car.  Draw straws.  Jesus Kay-Keerist!”

After a couple of hours we piled back in the car and drove homeward.  That’s when the torpor set in.  Exercise followed by enforced inactivity in a moving vehicle and too many store-bought chocolate-chip cookies (road trips are not fueled by health food, c’mon!) is guaranteed to put me in an eyelid-sagging fugue state.  Plus, my tail-bone starts pining for the womb and begins to fold over on itself.  Extricating myself from the car after finally arriving home is an excruciating process and I’m thankful we went in Lisa’s Outback rather than our Yaris, else I’d have needed the jaws of life to get out.

Isabella spent the night with us, and she and the missus are now up and awake and demanding, so I must close for now.  I’ll try to update in a more timely fashion from now on, but really, I just can’t be trusted.

Now readingD-Day June 6, 1944 by Stephen E. Ambrose.  Riveting.

Guh-bye,

-Rob

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