I slept in.
Loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the dead food out of the fridge, folded and put away the last load of laundry, got Drew's room ready for Shannon (no small feat) then packed up a few things and was at White Rock by 1 pm.
Here is what I wrote in my journal:
"It's the 30th of August, and this is my first day at the beach this summer. Why have I not done this before now? I've had Mondays and Fridays off all month. What is my problem? And oh man, this is awesome.
I'm at White Rock beach, by myself. Feet are up on a log, butt is planted on a lawn chair, bag of books and a bottle of water are beside me. This is heaven.
Yeah sure, OK fine, being the only "only" on a beach filled with families and lovers kinda sucks.
For about 5 minutes - and then the smell of the surf, the warmth of the sun and the ease of not having to cater or consider anyone else's needs overwhelms me with joy.
This? Is lovely."
Hour hour later:
"With miles of empty beach on each side of me, I seem to be the centre hub of a beach-destination circle. RIGHT behind me, like, 2 inches behind me, is a foreign family speaking their language loudly and with animation. I don't understand why they have chosen that exact piece of real estate.
And just over there, a few feet to my right, are three moms and their assorted young children who are still at that stage of needing constant parental attention. "Mommy!" Mommmmmm!" Mommymommymommy"
And to the left of me? Dogs. Oh heavens, the dogs. I stopped counting at 100, but good grief, does every single dog have to stop by my chair for a visit? Is it the beef gravy I dipped myself in before I sat down that has them going crazy?"
One hour later:
"Hahhahaha. Oh that God.
Today's prayer from that book I read from as soon as I sat down was this:
"Oh Thou whose divine tenderness doth ever outsoar the narrow loves and charities of earth, GRANT ME TODAY A KIND AND GENTLE HEART TOWARDS ALL THINGS THAT LIVE. FORBID THAT WHEN ALL THY CREATURES ARE GREETING THE MORNING (AFTERNOON) WITH SONGS AND SHOUTS OF JOY, I ALONE SHOULD WEAR A DULL AND SULLEN FACE."
Sweet, sweet irony.
Every dog has been by my little space. And sniffed. And tried to make themselves comfortable at my feet. What the heck. There is no other dog-magnet on the beach like me. No one else is being blessed/bothered by these hairy, wet, smelly 4 legged creatures.
Along with every dog, I have every dog owner come over to my space to yell at their unleashed dog about bothering me. Good grief. Just take your dog and go. No need to discipline it right in front of me.
Every small child within hearing distance is in desperate need of a nap. Whiny, crying, over-tired children are RIGHT HERE. Beside me. Needing their parents to pack them up and tuck them into their cribs.
And the people right behind me? Have told their kids to play over there, right in front of me. So now, instead of having them talk to each other behind me, they are yelling to each other on either side of me.
And those folks on my left, they are tired. Snappy. Impatient. And their kids? "Mom! Come LOOK! A jelly fish! MOOOOMMMM! Look! LOOK!!! Mommmeeee, see this? MoM!!! Watch me! Mom? SEE WHAT I DID? Mom? Are you watching? Look I threw a rock. Look at this rock! I found a cool rock! I found a black rock! MOM can you see this round rock? Mom! Watch the splash!! Mom! A ROCCCKKKKKK!
I have a feeling I have a dull and sullen face on.
I think an IPOD would go a long way to making this beach experience more Holy. How can a person pray for a kind and gentle heart towards all living things and then get annoyed two seconds later for all the living things that share the beach with her? I am such a loser. I am going to try harder."
One hour later:
The tide is on it's way in, pushing everyone up to shore.
"You don't mind if my wife and I share this log with you, do you?" said a voice from behind me.
"Uh, no." I replied.
"See honey. She doesn't mind."
And the log, which had been my footstool all afternoon now became their back rest.
Honey came closer, with her two weiner dogs in tow, talking baby talk to them.
Oh be careful how you pray.
By 4 pm I was feeling so hemmed in, I decided to leave. It's hard to think, read, pray, be holy, when people keep screaming for attention.
Surprisingly, even with all the interuptions, I did manage to finish this book:
Reflections on the life of David.
I love David most of all the Bible guys. I used to think he was whiny. But really? He was just REAL. Good intentions and poor follow through sometimes. I'm looking forward to chatting with him in heaven.
I decided to do another "first for the summer of 09" and spend the night at the cabin. So I took the scenic route out to the valley, stopped for supper along the way and wrote this list while I ate: (After I finished Leap, I started reading "The Right to Write" and my first assignment was to list 100 Things I Love. That was easy. Dogs and shopping didn't make the list. Here's what did:
(I listed THINGS, not people.)
4. Ocean breezes
7. Croc flip flops
8. Old, soft pajamas
9. Feather pillows
10. Down-filled comforters
13. Praying with my kids
15. Smell of fresh cut lawn
16. Pumpkin patches
17. Wind through a weeping willow tree
18. Wind through a field of tall grasses/wheat
19. Frozen Caramilk chocolate bars
20. Answered prayers
21. Playing Board games
22. A well-crafted sentence with interesting words
23. Having my house full of happy people
24. Exploring a city with my kids
26. Brick houses
27. Smell of sawdust
28. Holding a baby
29. Good Friday services
30, Thanksgiving weekend
31. (after the process is finished, I love) Learning new things.
32. Holding hands
34. The blue of the ocean and sky in Greece.
35. Being there when my kids have finished a day of snowboarding
36. Playing Yahtzee at Christmas in a place decorated by my mom
37. Saturday night church services
38. Grads in prom dresses
39. Brown eyes
40. White tops and blue jeans
41. Coming home
42. Cream Soda
44. Witnessing acts of compassion and kindness
45. Purdy's raspberry cream chocolates
46. Feeling not ugly
47. Getting a pedicure
48. Being in the moment
49. Maple trees in Autumn
52. Citrus blossoms
53. Walk n talk
54. Getting into a "made" bed
55. Having a clean house
57. "Sleep in" days
58. Driving with the window open
59. Bales of hay in fields
61. Taking a flattering photo
62. Writing something that moves the reader to tears
63. Homemade strawberry jam
64. Shooting stars
66. Mexican blankets
72. My green lawnchair
73. Watching a fighter jet do a fly by
74. Phone calls from my kids
75. Bubble baths
76. Cotton candy
77. Friday night weddings
78. "Girls Nights"
79. Room service
80. Palm trees
81. Tanned legs
82. Displays of God's power
84. Talking with my mom
85. Being creative
86. The sound of rain
87. A good hair day
88. Feeling loved
89. Online Scrabble
90. Mango gelato
91, Planning and dreaming about vacations
92. Seeing God's hand on my kids' lives
93. Feeling at peace
94. When things don't break down
95. My dad's hands
96. Being single
97. Funky reading glasses
98. Stretchy shorts and tank tops
100. Getting comments on blog posts.
After I finished both my list and my dinner I drove up to the lake where I discovered there is no hidden key. And I didn't bring mine from home.
I'm sitting on the deck in the dark, blogging about my day on an ancient, borrowed laptop using someone's wireless connection.
This? Is lovely.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. It's only a one hour drive back home.
2. I have a bladder the size of a watermelon. Last time I saw a bathroom was twelve hours ago.
3. Shannon's staying at our place for the next couple days. Fun.