Monday, July 18, 2011

Missing the BEACH and all that goes with it

It’s been almost a month since THE WEEK AT THE BEACH.

I miss sound of the surf, the lazy mornings, afternoons and evenings.

I miss the shrimp. We had it steamed, fried, boiled, po-boyed, gumboed, saladed and sauted.

I miss the slowing of time but not the rushing by of days when all-of-a-sudden, it’s time to pack up and leave.

I miss the sand, the shells, the breeze, the salty smell, even the jellyfish surge that made tipping into the Gulf for relief an exercise in watching and wading, diligence and expedience.

I miss the sunsets, the days spent rotating angles with the sun as afternoon moved to evening, evening to dark.

I miss sleeping to the sound of the water moving in its continuous moon-inspired dance, sleeping the sleep of a child after a day in the sun and water, a child without worries.

I miss not having to go anywhere or do anything, but be there.

I even miss the morning appearances of the beach clean-up crews, still bankrolled (as it should be) by BP.

They cruised in early each day, stopping on the beach near our Quik-Shade beach outpost. They’d roll to a slow halt in their sand-worthy Mule-type vehicle equipped with a portable porta-potty, an unusual and glaring sight, likely a requirement of work safety standards but blending in on the beach like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine (Dylan reference).

The crew of two to five brightly-vested, wide-brim capped workers carried small nets and searched for tar balls, any remnant of the April 20, 2010 oil spill mess.

“Everyting’s fine, ma’am,” one of them told me in a Cajun accent, when I was out early with my book and a Screwdriver and asked what they were finding. Judging from their nets, they were finding water bottles, chip bags, cigarette butts and dried-up jelly fish. Once, we watched from our balcony as they dug a series of holes perpendicular to the beach, likely looking for year-old oil sludge layers.

I found the continuing presence of oil spill clean-up workers on the beaches I have loved my whole life both reassuring and unsettling. Grateful for the diligence and glad to see anyone with a job, I just wish it’d never happened.

I feared for our Paradise then and now, noting the SUVs and pick-ups in the condo parking lot and knowing without that oil and the gasoline producers we cursed in the spring and summer of 2010, how would I get to my WEEK AT THE BEACH?

But, I didn’t, couldn’t, can’t solve that problem, not during that beloved and missed vacation week, and not now.

I just miss the beach and all that goes with it.


Picture(s) of the day:
The oil-BP beach patrol on it's morning rounds.
That's our Quik Shade behind it, the best $50
ever spent for a WEEK AT THE BEACH.

     Last Sunset: Rolling in the Quik-Shade

Song of the Day:

Changes in Latitudes, Jimmy Buffett

These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
Nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands,
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane

1 comment:

  1. Lunch is just about over so it's back to the salt mines of Walmart. Now that I've read this I think I was with you for the week at the beach. It's been a few years for me and I thank you for reminding me how pleasurable it is. Remember that your next trip there will be here before you can turn around.