I Will Always Love You, Beach

It’s only February, and I am in shorts and a t-shirt, wandering the seaside and soaking up the sun. The tide is high and the waves are only a foot or so tall, but the surfers keep flocking to the beach. These calm days are incredible, making me once again wonder why I took a five year Idaho break. My own private Idaho was a hellish snowscape, followed by a few weeks of wonderful weather, followed by blistering heat and a losing battle against knapweed and the slow collapse of everything related to my house. Damn, the previous owner (and builder) certainly had a love for low grade pvc and creative wiring, didn’t he? If I had to, I would move back. I would be miserable and slowly fade to nothing, but I’m sure I could do it.

Most sunny February days are windy and viciously cold by now. Today is a treat, however. I’ve thrown open the windows at home, opened the blinds, and am now considering frightening the beachgoers by exposing my dead-fish white belly to the world. The only thing stopping me is my fear that they might try feeding me a bucket of krill and rolling me back into the waves.

We aren’t perfect, but at least we sometimes try. Some asshole has left a plastic bag in the sand, another has let his dog crap in the sand and not cleaned it up (here’s a hint, dude: Use the plastic bag lying there next to your dog’s crap). I am willing to pick up the bag, but I’ve had enough adventures in dog feces for the day, thanks to a Pomeranian with diarrhea this morning (a story I won’t go into at this point, as it is rather disgusting). The tide will need to take care of the offending pile.

The warmth, the sea and the sand are much more appealing, and that is what I focus on. Still, I would prefer not to be walking alone today. I am a contradiction, joy and melancholy. So much of life is contradictions, isn’t it?

I wish I could break myself of old habits, but I still scan the parking lot, searching for a vehicle that will not be there. I know I would have to turn around and head home if it was, as I am not strong, even now. When do I start feeling grown up rather than just grown old?

I lose myself to music on the hike back, and when I get back home, I find my children, whom I expected to find sitting in darkness playing video games, washing dishes and straightening up the kitchen. Maybe I am not as terrible a parent as I think. Sometimes I like having my expectations dashed. Or maybe they have learned that it is easier to surprise me with a sneak cleaning attack so that I will ignore them when they return to the Wii once I wander back off into the sunshine.

Tomorrow it will be time to go back to work, time to go back to being an adult, time to go back to being a parent. But for today, I am going to enjoy the sun.

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