It was 54 degrees today, and a little drizzly. I made arrangements to see two of my old friends from elementary school. From fourth through sixth grades, I attended the local elementary school. While my family moved away, one of my sisters still lives here and I've been lucky to keep in touch and occasionally rediscover other old friends. Today was one of those rare days where there were no demands on my time. I could sleep in, drink coffee and do my hair. I painted my toenails and put on my cute flipflops and a pretty tank top with a light sweater in case it was chilly. I left 104 degree heat for this and packed a little light.
I met my friends, C and B, down at Linger Longer Bay. They brought their children with them. C has one little girl, and B has three little girls. It was a gaggle of girls between the ages of 8 and 13. We walked onto the beach, where it was chilly and windy, and I stuck a toe in the water. Long ago, when we were girls, we swam on days like this. The water felt warm by comparison. If the air temperature was 54, then water must have been about 60 degrees. All but the littlest kid jumped right in, splashing and screaming while the rest of us sat on the rocky shore and caught up on old times.
B works at the local store, in our little seaside town. The population is about 350, and since it's on the major road, a lot of traffic comes through in the summer to camp, enjoy the scenery and most importantly, drive on through. "People ask me what we do around here for fun," said B.
C answered, "You told them about hiking in your yard, or playing in the bay or fishing or gardening and such, right?"
"Yeah," said B, "But it seemed to confuse them more. They say 'but what about going out and having fun?' They just don't get it. This is fun."
I was trying to listen, to keep up, but I'd lost feeling in my pretty painted toes. I was shivering uncontrollably. After twenty years of being gone, two in Las Vegas and twelve in Oklahoma, it's safe to assume that I am no longer acclimated to the cooler climate. Eventually, the chattering coming from my teeth scared the bald eagle that was flying overhead. B asked if we'd like to just move our party to her house. Yes, I'd love to come over to your indoor, not freezing and seasalty home. Yes, please. The girls continued the high spirited, high pitched noise level.
B and C are both life-long residents of our tiny town. Usually, when someone thinks of the Northwest, they think of log homes and multi-millionaires, giant and sparkling houses built into hillsides with water views and pristine vistas, with yacts in the harbor. They might think of Bill Gates, the Seattle Symphony, and Pike Place Market. Sophisticated stuff. These days, the Northwest invokes images of that annoying, sparkling vampire. I don't know anyone who has one of those gorgeous homes or even one with a yact and I sure as hell would shoot any vampires that sparkle or otherwise go emo on my ass.
I went home and we had leftover spaghetti for dinner. I had to put on a wool vest and drank hot tea to keep warm. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew talked about fishing and camping and what we did with our days. They teased me about my cold toes and frozen hands. I guess tomorrow we will have a seafood dinner- whatever my brother-in-law caught and smoked, and some crabs and oysters. The tourists who come through town, who ask what there is to do- they just don't understand. It's not their fault that they lack the experience of real living on the coast. How do you explain how the other half lives?
|This is my vacation face|