Oliver and I spent a few days at the beach last weekend, for the first and only time this summer. I had grand ideas of slathering myself in sunscreen and pitching a chair on the strand all day with a stack of reading material. Then I realized how much of a hassle that is. It’s hot. I’d have to shave my legs. I don’t swim in the ocean. And I don’t particularly like sand. I’ll take a pool over the beach any day. Plus, the older I get the less I really care about a tan.
Sunbathing hasn’t ever been the relaxing part about being at the beach — rather, it’s the quiet mornings on the porch with coffee and a book, or festive afternoons on the porch with cocktails and appetizers. It’s watching Oliver roughhousing with his Scuncles (that’s his Scottie uncles) in the backyard. There we have not a care in the world.
The weather didn’t cooperate either, so I didn’t feel guilty about hiding indoors or under cover during sunlight hours. We were awakened one morning during a pretty violent thunderstorm near 6 a.m. As lightning sparked and immediate thunder cracked, then rumbled and shook the windows, I was considering how dangerous it might be that I was laying in a metal-framed bed. And I was sad that such a rocking thunderstorm couldn’t come during waking hours. It would have been an awesome show ’round about 5 p.m. That storm ushered in cooler, but overcast, weather for most of the weekend, at least during the high-noon, prime sunbathing time.
We did take a mini-excursion one day to the next beach over just to explore, visit a family friend and have lunch. I’ve spent every summer for all of my life in that area, and I don’t think I’d ever been to that island before. It confounds certain members of my family, but we don’t go to the beach to travel around. We go to sleep, to eat and to sit. I’m totally okay with that. It’s vacation!
Oliver and I also took walks around the block and walks on the beach to admire the sunset. Miraculously, he seems to have gotten over at least one of his phobias: sand. As we strolled, he was happy as a clam to frolick all over the beach, smell new sea creature things and warily look toward the other people and dogs coming our way. By and large he was well behaved — he seems to feel as free at the beach as I do. That’s my boy.
Oliver stretches out his whole body to cautiously sniff at something new.
Happy beach bum.