Enjoying the simple pleasures of living on the coast
The thought of walking with your girl on the beach should be enough to entice inlanders to bust a move to the coast. Think about it: a beautiful winter night, cloudy and cool with a mist settled over the beach. The lights glow softly over the beach houses as a couple boats twinkle in the darkness seaward. My regular girl (and wife) has opted for the warmth of our beach house, but Rosie, our golden retriever is up for a walk. And so am I.
In the summertime Rosie will make a straight line for the water, eager to cool off or chase a sandpiper or seagull. You would think that she would at least test the water in the winter deciding if the water is too cool to flop in. Somehow she knows without dipping a paw: it is cold. Instead she instantly focuses her olfactory attentions to the high tide line. In the winter, that is where the action is – clumps of marsh grass hide curiosities worth checking out. When I walk near the water, my semi-obedient retriever follows faithfully – bored, but obedient. So, even though the tide is low and I would rather walk down by the whooshing surf, I accommodate my walking mate’s wishes and walk the tide line.
Breathing in the brisk sea air, it strikes me that I am glad to be alive. Breathing in the potpourri of seaweed, marsh grass, and occasional jellyfish, Rosie, I think, is glad to be alive too. Each to his or her own.
After a mile or so, I do an about face, as a light rain begins to fall. It is in the low 50s, I think, but a fleece jacket is enough to feel comfortable. Heading back I look for familiar house lights in the darkness. My favorite oceanfront house on this seven mile stretch of beach is distinctive and serves as a beacon for the beach path that will take us back home. Even though I know I am not far from home, being on the beach at night without another human makes me feel as though I am in a remote area – a nice perk afforded to those who live by the sea.
Our beach path presents itself, and we walk by my favorite house – it is a beauty, even more so with windows shining. I have thought about looking up who the owners are, but I decide it is better they remain anonymous. I will never own an oceanfront home like this and it adds to the romance for me.
A block or so in from the beach, Rosie and I walk down the street through a tunnel of live oaks and take a right turn toward home. The street has puddled from the light rain and I coax Rosie through the water to wash her feet of sand. I’m happy with the result but Rosie does not congratulate me.
We walk up to our beach home and shake ourselves off before entering. I silently thank my wife for saying yes to moving to the coast.