Still reading...

Yup, I'm the slowest reader in the world. Resisting the urge to jump ahead has been difficult. Sometimes I have to cover half the page with my hand so my traitorous eyes don't scan ahead. Have not been reading anything else on the internet and am thus far insulated from spoilers, although every time I hear the book mentioned on TV, I run screaming from the room. Nearly read a review on it in the paper, but realized in time that it was about to give away the ending.

Who knew reading one book could be so stressful?

Tonight our church held a going-away party for a very good family. We sent them off in grand style, with a big broo-ha at the local pizza digs and a bonfire at the beach. I relished the chance to dine in the bay, watching out the window as the boats go up and down the harbor, munching on my local love - a cheese and spinach and oyster pizza. Smoked oyster on a pizza are a rare and beautiful thing, and I recommend it to anyone.

Then it was down to the beach for the grand challenge of making smores over the bonfire without getting sand in them, burning outstretched hands, or impaling nearby onlookers with sharp metal prongs. Little kids running everywhere with torches of flaming marshmallow. The beach was a strata of age, with the old farts up by the rocks on lawn chairs, the movers and shakers sitting on blankets further down, and the children frolicking like sandpipers along the water's edge. One ingenious soul managed to toast twelve marshmallows simultaneously by using the prongs of his lawn rake, truly a sight to behold.

My family came equipped with our 4th of July fireworks, which we had intended to set off inland on the 5th, but dry weather and grass fires made for an unexpected fireworks ban. With no better prospects, we tossed them into the fray of the goodbye party, thus ending it with a spectacular show and many near-kid-fatalities. (But that's okay; our church has a lot of them.)

No, no, I'm a terrible person and I'm kidding. No one was hurt, but the kids kept insisting on flinging themselves bodily at the sparkling fountains the moment they went out, whereas I was taught as a child that every seemingly "dead" firework may still contain a smidgen of unexploded gunpowder, sitting there hot, ominous, waiting for you to drop your guard and lean over it with outstretched hand before
BOOM!
Fingers and body parts everywhere! I'll admit, I probably had more fear associated with fireworks than I should have, and every time my dad went to light one would wail, "Daaaad! Nooooo!" as though he were off to battle. That fear is now gone as an adult, but manifests itself in the half-hearted warnings I was throwing at the kids.

"Careful now, kids. There might still be some gunpowder..."
"Do this one next! Do the 'Exploding Killer Rebel!!' Light it in my hand!!!"
"Oh... All right..."

I'm not fit to be a parent yet, I suppose.

There is nothing quite as relaxing as an evening at the beach, especially my home beach. The sun sets in pink and gold as a rolling blue cloud bank edges in, the waves slurp at slap at the jetty stones; the seagulls crying swing low overhead while the bass-toned fog horn echoes across the water. Slowly the lights of the bay appear, and then a ship crossing the bar, coming home with the catch of the day. The fire is cracking, popping, growing stronger against the darkness, and then, over it all, the first visible ray of the lighthouse flashes by. There is something so perfect in that combination - wave, horn, seagull, light - a song of the sea that envelopes your senses, so that even after you have left and come home for the night, it is still there, still pulsing, like the brightness of the full moon after you look away.

Sand in my hair, waves in my memory, and oysters in my fridge - could life be better?

2 comments:

Monster Library Student said...

Lovely friend!

Enjoy the book...I am rereading it as soon as I get a copy back!

tizzy said...

Oh the beach, i love the beach. I miss the beach. Oysters? You might be on your own there, but that soudned like a wonderful evening.