Just as a goldie-oldie on the radio can bring your teen age summers at the beach rushing back with the smell of suntan oil, French fries and the salty sea, so can other sights, sounds, smells or objects.
After a couple of wonderful, but long rainy days in El Comitan, my Beloved and I were hankering for some time in town.
We went to town in the early evening and decided on a cold drink, and a light snack.
As we were waiting for our food I snapped the picture you see above.
It feels like an old port on a windy coast after a storm.
It brought back memories of Half Moon Bay or Princeton, California before they became chi-chi.
We would walk on the beach , the wind so strong we could lean back against it and be pushed along. When our faces ached from the cold, our glasses fogged over with salt sea spray, and our hair was full of sand, we would head back to Nancy’s Fish Trap in Princeton, or one of the cafes in Half Moon Bay.
Once we sat in the first location of Main Street Sushi, the weather was wild, windy, slashing rain, it was cold, it was summer. The windows rattled and the wind wailed. We enjoyed a wonderful sushi platter. The streetlights came on, the streets glistened in the rain, the lush flowers and trees were whipped by the wind and their blossoms stuck to the window.
We felt truly alone and isolated like castaways washed up on a foreign shore.
It was romantic.
This picture took me back to that wonderful day in Half Moon Bay.
It was a balmy night, there had not yet been any reain in La Paz, but the clouds over El Mogote created a magnificent sunset.
This is a light on a post on the Tailhunter at street level.
Did you guess it?
Please leave a comment here on the blog ( upper left there is the word COMMENT) telling me whether you knew where the picture was taken, or if you had to read to the bottom.
It was the New Math that threw me, I just never could get the hang of it, and it has traumatized me since 8th grade. And because of that I wonder how you, my darling can be 42 when I am just 35 myself?
Using the nutty thinking of the New Math era let’s look at this: (Me= i) (You = u)
i was born in 1950 u were born in 1970. (u =1970) – (i = 1950) = 20. So shouldn’t you be 20 years old today? You always wanted to be older, but this 42 thing…it irks me.
So my darling today is your birthday. You are an amazing woman, talented and funny, snarky and sweet.
You are the kind of friend everyone should have, and as a daughter, well you are the best.
Since you were very young, you felt the need to take care of me, and called me “Little Mommy.” One day you came home from school and sheepishly asked if you could have some five pocket jeans that were not handmade. You painstakingly outlined your need, and made sure my feelings were not hurt, by saying how much you loved all of the clothes I made for you. You are like that; you think through the problem, see the end result, outline the need and offer the solution. And of course as a kid the solution suited your immediate needs perfectly.
Sometimes the solution was to dye your hair fuchsia.
There was the first Christmas we spent alone in California. You borrowed records (yes vinyl records) from the library and made tapes of my favorite songs. Then you decorated boxes with glitter and packaged them up beautifully. I will always hold that gift in my heart.
You have made my days special (and frustrated and maddened me as well). But I can never forget the “Ice Skating Barbie” doll holding close up tickets to Stars on Ice you gave me for Christmas.
And the times you faxed my picture to our clients and vendors and ordered them to send me birthday flowers. Sixteen flower arrangements arrived at our office! You sweet darling!
Then there was the Valentine’s Day in Fresno, when you had to take two buses in the rain, and came dressed in hot pants, black stockings and your tap shoes, bearing a rose, and sang “ What I did For Love” to me in my office you brought everyone to tears, I tear up thinking about it now.
Once when the internet was just starting, you made lots of online friends (still do). You invited two women that were visiting San Francisco to come and meet you at my house. They said something like “ You know we are Lesbians, will your mother mind?” You answered “ Well only if you smoke!”
Your creativity and generosity of spirit amaze me.
I bragged about how you opened your home in Dallas to some people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
And you have lovingly fostered dozens of rescued doggies.
Your sharp wit, delights and always leaves me searching for a retort.
So back in August 1970, the only day I did not go to the beach that summer, you were born. It was hot and humid, a Tuesday 2:25 p.m., at Patterson Army Hospital in Fort Monmouth, NJ. Soon to be EX-president Nixon had ordered an energy saving program and the air conditioning in the hospital was kept at 82. Even-the-maternity-ward. I sweated for you!
Your annual visit to La Paz is wonderful. We have fun, just the two of us having coffee, eating out, laying on the beach, just being.
The beautiful home and life you have created in Dallas with such loving and interesting friends are a testament to you.
So my sweet Miss Meliss, today, have an extra hot, non fat, decaf, no whip mocha for me. After your pedicure, your swim and later your luxurious bath, turn your eyes and heart to the south and I will turn north and toast your 42nd year.
I love you!
Gorgeous scene, no? It would look good on a postcard don’t you think? As scenes go, it is one of thousands that can be seen in coastal California.
So what makes this scene and this picture so special?
I took it while sitting in the co-pilot’s seat of my son’s Beechcraft Bonanza! It is a beautiful little plane. And it symbolizes so much for him and our family.
A year ago in April, my son, Avram lost his precious youngest son, Thomas to cancer. It was a fierce battle, with hardly a victory for Thomas. And it was a battle we knew he could not win from the day he was diagnosed. We hoped the treatments-the horrific treatments- would buy Thomas time, and maybe new treatments would come along.
There just wasn’t enough time.
When Avram announced that he had decided to leave his flying club and buy his own plane, we were thrilled for him. He said that one thing he learned from Thomas is that life is short, and he was not going to put off his dreams any longer.
Two years ago, we had flown with Avram in one of the small planes owned by his flying club. We were flying over the Santa Monica pier when we were ordered out to sea because President Obama was aboard Air Force One and it was entering our air space, we had to make way. We circled for a few minutes and were given the all-clear to return to our route During that same visit we joined the LAPD air support team on an actual shift in the police helicopter. We were warned if there were a big event like an O.J. chase, we would be in the helicopter until the event was over.
No crimes that day, just a false alarm at the local bank. But we did do a “beauty pass” of the HOLLYWOOD sign, which I blogged about two years ago.
So back to this past July. Avram took us from Camarillo airport to Morro Bay and we circled the famous Morro Bay rock.
He banked hard so I could get good photos. My Beloved in the back seat said he felt as if he was going to fall out. I kept the wing in the picture so you could see I really was flying through the air in a light plane.
I loved every minute of it, even when on the way back the sun, and motion of the plane combined to put me to sleep. Good thing Avram was not also lulled!
After we secured the plane, we ate lunch outside at the Camarillo airport, a place where the rich, the famous and hardworking people with a love of flying hang out. We watched planes come and go, and felt very nostalgic. Small airports still have the romance of flying.
Beach, just seeing or hearing the word takes me away to a place of salt, sand, sun and peace.
I grew up in New Jersey, and Fort Hancock on the end of the sand spit called Sandy Hook was where I spent many a summer day.
The only day I did not go to the beach in August 1970 was the day my darling daughter Melissa was born. That was August 17th.
When we were kids growing up in Atlantic Highlands New Jersey, we lived a few blocks from the Sandy Hook Bay beach. My mother did not drive. So she gave us each an inner tube to carry, lined my brother, Merrell’s wagon with an army blanket, plopped La Princessa Patti ( my younger sister) in the middle and surrounded her with our lunch, our towels, change of clothes and beach toys.
Off we trekked to spend the day at the beach. And we loved it. Every second of it. And of course we collected shells and lots of other flotsam that washed ashore. My mother, as mothers do, had to limit what we could carry home, so we were told to only collect perfect shells. Otherwise we would have carried home every fragment, shard and sliver of shell.
Now I live on the beach in La Paz, Baja California Sur. I collect shells of every size and color. For years I was addicted to collecting what we call jingle shells, gorgeous fragile, oddly shaped shells that range in color from pearly white to yellow, golden yellow and vibrant orange.
I love the gorgeous spiral curves of the inside of shells that I will dub “snails” anything that had a creature inside that spun their gorgeous homes.
These gorgeous yellow and white striped shells came from El Mogote, the sandbar that forms the La Paz harbor. We were wading and started to see these gorgeous shells lying on the bottom. We fulled bag after bag with them, and had to float the bags as we walked back to our chairs.
My friend Mary and I spend hours in the winter collecting shells, and we are always surprised what we find. And certain days big shells attract us and that is all we will pick up, others it is small to tiny shells. And always oddly-shaped shells. Mary makes the gorgeous shell wreaths pictured in this blog.
I take credit for inspiring her.
We would collect the shells and take them home to pile around the house, or stored them in jars and otherwise drop them and forget about them. There was no mother to tell us to only pick the perfect ones, or to only take home five.
Then I decided to see how many household objects would look better adorned with shells. Out came the glue gun, and nothing was safe! I glued shells on mirrors, picture frames, I wrapped a yogurt container with fabric then glued shells on it. It was to hold a roll of toilet paper in my outside bathroom.
Soon Mary and I were having shell contests.
But she has created the most amazing objects, including seashore Santas, modeled after the Victorian Santas that are so popular. But hers were standing on a base of sand, garbed in pieces of Mexican cloth, and some palm bark. Slung over his shoulder was a bag of shells.
Mary’s work has evolved into gorgeous wreaths. I am proud to say my small wreaths pictured here are the prototypes of Mary’s ongoing work. She gave them to me for my birthday a few years ago.
Now when I need a gift, I call Mary.
Her wreaths grace the homes of friends and family all over the US. They are in Denver and Dallas. One large wreath made just for her, was the centerpiece at my sister’s wedding in Amagansett. And there is the all black one. Mary dyed all the shells and turned her fingers black, they stayed that way for weeks. From Minnesota, to Idaho, South Dakota, California and New Jersey, someone I know and love has one of these wreaths. And a few years ago, one of Mary’s shell wreaths went to Paris with Madam Francine Cousteau.
Francine was here to dedicate the Jacques Cousteau memorial at Centro Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR).
And here is the wreath that is always on my dining room table it is really very big abut 12 inches in diameter. Take your time, look closely, and you can see hundreds of different shells, a sea star, and some broken shells with gorgeous shapes. If you would like to know more about Mary’s shells contact here here Mary’s Shells: bigfishes2@aoldotcom