Tuesday, June 28, 2016


This morning there was a dog, a big brown lab, splashing around in the creek that runs by the hotel.  It was pretty loud actually.  He had a frisbee in his mouth, and his owner was frustratedly following him at a distance, trying to get him to come.  It wasn't happening.  He kept running away, always out of reach.  As I write these words, another family with another big brown lab is walking to the beach via this creek.  This dog just run  through the creek in the same way but stopped to poop.  Everyone let out a "aw man" and stood deciding what to do.  The father of the group looked around, apparently to see if anyone saw who might complain, and they kept going.  Now there's big brown lab turds in the little creek.  Dogs are gross.

Yesterday I ate salmon tacos at $5.50 a pop in Pacific City, the little surfer town 15 min up the road where big trucks get to drive on the beach.  They were tasty.  Not a place I felt like hanging out though so I headed back to Neskowin and headed to this beach, avoiding the way via the creek.  I prefer to walk through the neighborhood with the cute but empty beach houses.  It was cloudy, so I had my jacket on.  I set up a spot with my towel leaning against rocks in view up Proposal Rock, the big one I've yet to figure out how to climb (though my husband and dog did last year).  I started reading Saba, by Jane Kurtz until I got so sleepy that I had to lay on my side, jacket as a pillow on the rocks, and fall asleep.  A nap on the beach is a wonderful thing.

I've been doing a lot of sitting around staring at waves, like a big cliche of what one is supposed to do while alone for two days at the beach.  I've been hoping it would be a 'reset' button for me for living life well.  My faith has been in shambles for well over a year, and one thought that came to me was about how I owe it to the people who raised me in faith to at least read through the Holy Book from start to finish, the way my friend R has done numerous times.  He's now an atheist.

Another thought that came to me while pressing 'reset' is something about how I've always been led and how I'll continue to be led and how our kids will be led too.  It was a deep knowing, I think more than just my own dumb thoughts.  Am I saying I'm tapping into the divine?  Does this make me crazy?  If so, a lot of other folks are as welll, so at least I'm in good company.  It gives me peace at any rate, and this has its value right?

That father with the dog came back and picked up that big brown lab's turd from the creek.  Good for him.

There's a fair amount of noise in this condo, despite there being so few people here.  I found myself needing to go to bed when I noticed the little girl next door having gone to bed since they'd be up earlier than I care to.  She's cute though.  She keeps appearing at the balcony where I am, her little face peering at me saying 'hi' when I notice her.  I'm reading a memoir about a childhood in Prague, and she reminds me of the girl in this book.  I don't mind her little voice even though yesterday she kept yelling "quit it!" over and over.

Embrace all of it.  Throw your arms around your world.  If you believe you're being led, then what's in front of you? Embrace it.  Whatever it is.

Check out isn't for a couple more hours, but I'm going to head out and drive up the coast.  The long road back home.  There are more waves to stare at before heading inland.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

For Jill, while at the beach by myself

I just "unfriended" my first Donald Trump supporter for telling me I "drank the cool-aid" and "must be pro-death."  She used a lot of "U" instead of "you" which was probably reason enough for the unfriending, nevermind the scary political rhetoric.  She'd been the only person in my list of social media friends who has been actively posting pro-Trump stuff, and I'd kept her around out of curiosity.  But then James Dobson went and said that Trump "got saved" and that we should all pray for him, and I pointed out on a mutual friend's post about this that it's funny how no mention was made of praying for Clinton or Sanders and how convenient was the timing of this newfound rebirth.  So I have indeed drunk the cool-ade of rational thought.

This condo is 1970's creeptastic with olive-colored kitchen counters and a smell of disinfectant.  Not many people seem to be here, but somewhere nearby there is the thumping of a kid's footsteps, which may not bode well for insonmiac me.

I wish I had my dog here.  Neskowin seems to be the sort of beach that folks don't mind if they're off leash.  As a matter of fact, a little terrier is running along the stream outside the balcony.

My friend Susan is on a writer's retreat currently in California, and I might feel the same if I had anything to say besides a recording of this balcony.

Fresh cherry pits spit off the balcony, a cup of Irish tea with sugar and cream, good wi-fi, a charge to my phone, cheese and crackers and a glass of wine for later, a memoir of a childhood in Prague, and the question of a solo hike.  I don't miss my family yet, but I've only been here an hour.  The shadow of clouds moving across the sand and the barking of a dog.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Yesterday after managing to rein in my impatience at two dramatic eruptions of childish dissatisfaction, A came outside to the porch where I was sitting reading.  He sat down on the rocking chair to pick at the healing cut on the bottom of his big toe (achieved at the beach in Lincoln City two weekends ago).

"Mom, you're really good at momming."

"I don't feel that way a lot of the time.  What made you say that?"

"I don't know.  You're just good at momming."

These words are a blessing I will hold dear for a long time.

Tonight, he and his best friend O walked with me to the library.  O is, thus far, less of a reader than A who devoured all seven Harry Potter novels in less than six months.  On the walk back home, A walked and read while O picked at plants and flowers, tasting most of them.  I told A that he should put the book away since his friend was with him, but O's response was, "Why? We went on a walk to the library and now he's reading.  I don't care."  These two boys get each other.

We stopped by the cherry tree I knew about that was in full production.  O scampered up and shook branches to get the fruit to fall down.  I stood in the street to guard my son from passing cars as he collected the cherries that fell, but what happened was the opposite.  A grabbed my wrist and said, "Mom, watch out, there's cars" and pulled me rather forcefully towards the curb.  He felt grown.  He held on to my wrist and continued leaning down to pick up over-ripe cherries, making sure I didn't wander again into the street.

I caught a glimpse of the future, the way future, my kid taking care to keep me safe.  It was weird and endearing and a comfort.  Apparently he too is good at momming.