Ahhhh . . . . Summer. You’d think after all this time I’d be jaded, too caught up with adult life to care that the days were longer, the evenings warmer, but I’m like a school girl when it comes to this particular season. Summer never feels like summer to me unless I spend time near the water–Lake Tahoe, yes, but especially the beach. The ocean’s roar, the steady but gentle wind, the smell of salt in the air, are sources of great comfort. Some of my earliest memories are of camping at the beach with my family. We’d pack up the Winnebego on Friday afternoon and head for the coast–up to Santa Barbara or Pismo Beach, maybe down to San Diego. My dad would haul out the fishing poles while my sister and I dug for sand crabs. Dinner was fried fish, fried potatoes and corn. Toasted marshmallows for dessert. Bedtime to the sound of the tide creeping in.
For the past three years our friends, Alison and Jun, have invited us to spend the night at the house they rent in Stinson Beach. It’s always a good time: dinner the first evening followed by a day of serious lounging. I brought a book with me this time, waded through the sea of grass, and planted myself in one of the Adirondak chairs overlooking the shore. I believe I read six pages before I fell asleep. A nap in the middle of that day–that’s something I never do at home, but out here, without TV, or errands to run, or bills to pay, it’s easy to slide into a different mode. You’d never guess we were less than ten twisty and wooded miles north of San Francisco.
It’s two o’clock. We’ll pack up in a couple hours. I haven’t seen Chloe since we arrived yesterday afternoon. After hours of boogie boarding and a horror movie marathon, she and her gang of school friends dragged sleeping bags out to the beach and slept under the stars. Last I heard, they’d ridden bikes into town for burgers and Mango Tango smoothies.
So, I guess this means summer has officially begun. I’ll take a little bit of this relaxed feeling back to the city. I hope it’ll carry me through the rest of the weekend.