Sunday, October 12, 2014

So Long Summer

I said goodbye to summer a month ago.  Then it came roaring back, with some fall issues attached.

Now the news said enjoy your last day of niceties, because the rain will be here to stay tomorrow.  Ok.  If you say so.

Foggy this morning.  Fog means sun once it burns through.  Unless you live on the coast.  The fog can last all winter, when its not raining or windy.

I used to live on the coast.  I grew up on the coast of Oregon.  I thought 72 degrees was a heat wave back then.  Now 72 degrees doesn't cut the mustard.  72 degrees feels like winter coming now that I live in the valley.

We did all the wrong things as kids, I can see now, according to the news and the safety police.  We dared the waves to knock us off the end of the jetty in a big storm.  It was Oregon sport to clamor out to the jetty ends and lean forward in the wind with our arms straight out and let the waves slam us.

We made rafts out of driftwood.  I remember when the tidal current took us once.  Towards the open sea.  The raft we'd built was sound, but our parents screamed from the beach to jump and swim.  My older brother was the last to do so.  They yelled at him to take off his jacket.  I still remember he didn't do that and his awkward leap into the estuary current and my heart pounding for him.  I remember that gold jacket.  He was a good swimmer and made it easily to shore.

We dammed up creeks running through the sand to the sea.  We dug deep holes and buried each other.  We put messages in bottles and threw them as far out as we could trying to get them beyond the waves to give them a better chance to head off to countries and peoples unknown to us, in the days before computers and google maps.

We beach combed for agates and petrified wood and entire, not broken, sand dollars and Japanese glass fishing floats.

We made whips of washed up kelp and drug them behind us, leaving snake like trails in the sand on the beaches we walked barefoot.

I haven't been to the coast in a long long time.  Unless you count the two trips to Astoria, to the affordable clinic, with cats needing dental work.  I was too tired on both trips to be anything more than barely functional.  Too tired to enjoy anything more than a good nap in the sand.

When I used to take cats clear down to the Coos Bay clinic, sometimes I'd spend the day at Sunset Bay beach.  But mostly there too I simply slept on the sand, exhausted from the roundup and the drive and the drive to come back home the same day.

I'd like to go again, to the beach.  I remember going years back, and cresting the Coast Range, headed down, car windows open and feeling a surge of excitement the moment the air smell turned to salt and sea.

It doesn't seem right if its sunny on the beach in Oregon.   It's windy, that's how it is.  My skin grew up scrubbed red by blowing sand.  Or its fog so thick we called it pea soup.  You extend your arm and your hand vanishes.  Like that. Or it's storming and we liked that best.  Lots of Oregonians head for the beach when the big storms come through, to be part of it.  That's how we are. It's in us to do that.  Denying it is no good.

So today they say is the end of all things summer.  Tomorrow begins the long gray.   Shall I take off for the beach?

There it likely is sopped in and foggy for the day.  The distant fog horns will moan and mingle with cries from circling gulls in air dense with water and salt and history.

The Maple is turning.

Funny Face showed up this morning, begged wet food, which I gave him, and hissed at me, which is normal.  He must be ok.

Shady is doing well after dental surgery but still a little tired.


  1. Love the shot of Miss Daisy, looking like the empress of all she surveys. There's nothing quite like a senior female ruling the feline roost.

  2. Miss D is the queen of all things.
    We bow down. I bow down. She gets away with whatever she wants to get away with too, as the queen.

  3. Miss D is spoiled rotten and I am not ashamed. Queens must be tended to. Or else.