Friday, February 26, 2010


After reading yesterday's blog on facebook (I multi-blog), my friend, Amy, by way of comment, told me I needed to get out more. Today I took one of the dogs for a walk and hoped that it would work as well as the Think Tank. It didn't. However, you get what you get. I did think a lot about my relationship with the outdoors since I was out there. The sun and I have never been friends. I courted it up until the summer of 1985 when I got a miserable sunburn. I peeled three times. I never could tan. The cycle was always the same: burn and peel. After that I broke up with the sun; a girl can only take so much, and I'd reached my limit. Sunscreen 40 and I were now best buddies.

On my dog walk I realized that I really didn't care much for outdoorsy things. I mulled that around a little bit. It occurred to me that I didn't have friends who did outdoorsy things either, or if they did they weren't doing them with me. Hmmmmm. In contrast, as a kid/teenager I loved camp. That didn't really make sense. It was outdoors. Note to self: spend more time later thinking about camp because it deserves a blog all its own.

When I first moved to Florida, I was determined to go to the beach every day. We lived about twenty minutes or so from Fernandina Beach. I am really not a water person as in "likes to swim" in it. However, I do like to walk the beach and/or sit under an umbrella and read a book. I knew that the exercise was good for me. The air was good for me. My doctor had stressed that the Vitamin D (as in sunshine) was good for me. That translated into I had to make nice with the sun. I was a good sport about the whole thing. I bought an easy chair to carry, what I thought was a good beach umbrella, and set off for my first beach day. My parents were working.

It turns out that I didn't have a good beach umbrella. Did you know that you can't just buy a big ole umbrella and shove it into the sand? It was a very good thing there weren't very many people at the beach that day. The wind caught that umbrella and it went tumbling down the beach end over end until it got stopped by a lady bending over to do something. I am screaming at the top of my lungs, "EVERYONE LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! UMBRELLA ON THE LOOSE! BE CARE..." And then it was all over. It was a very fortunate thing that it wasn't the pole side that hit her bottom. If that were the case, this might be a very different blog; it might be coming to you from a jail cell.

Turns out beach umbrellas need an anchor thingy. Who knew? It's windy at the beach, and you have to anchor them down really well so that the wind doesn't pluck them up, and they don't end up implanted in someone's rear end. As it turns out, I was never strong enough to get the darned thing anchored down properly. I always ended up needing help from some man. If luck had been on my side, he would have been cute, single, heterosexual, working, and age-appropriate. That never happened. Not once. After a month of going every day I would have settled for single, heterosexual, and working. Still no luck. And then I met Bruce. I should have passed that by and kept going to the beach. You keep at something long enough and you're bound to catch a break. Coulda woulda shoulda.

I was going to tell you why I kept going to the beach. I almost got there before I sidetracked myself with the umbrella story. I love the sound, smell, and feel of the ocean. The vastness of the ocean offers perspective for my problems; it gives me another lens to view them through, and it gives me hope that all will be well. We all know, in theory, that there are many things bigger than we are, but seeing those things up close is reassuring. I know that I could walk out my front door right now and look at the sky and it would also qualify as boundless. However, it isn't the ocean. It doesn't sound, smell, or feel the same, and while it does drop water on me, it isn't fooling me.

So, for now, my shower remains my Think Tank. It is my place to clean out the cobwebs and restore mental order. It isn't as pretty as the ocean, but it has water, and I leave it smelling nicer and feeling better. Plus, there's no sand and I don't have to worry about flyaway umbrellas!


    I am surprised to find no comments here. Obviously you did not have the big following then that you have now.

    Yeah, I can definitely see why the "Bagels Loose On Sunset Boulevard" story reminded you of this one.

    I grew up at the beach but spent most of the time in the water, body-surfing. However, we did lay out on the sand too, and got burned and then tanned. (Yep, I could tan and did.)

    The funny thing is that none of us owned or ever even borrowed a beach umbrella. We'd go to the beach with nothing but big beach towels. We'd stretch them out on the sand (most often near Lifeguard Station #26 on Santa Monica Beach near the Venice border) and then get in the water and body-surf for maybe an hour or more. Then we'd maybe lay out on the towels for half an hour before getting back in to body-surf again.

    Wow, I was in really good shape in those days, body-surfing for like 4 hours or so. Sometimes we'd walk up the boardwalk to get a hot-dog-on-a-stick and a lemonade and then go back to our spots near Station 26. Those were the days when Summer really meant sumpin' to me. Now it's just blasted hot and I'm at work.

    Wish I could go back to those years - I'd appreciate them now even more than I did then.

    I've been to Florida once and saw no surf at all, just flat water with breaking ripples that only a minnow could body-surf. I don't think I'd have traded beaches wid ya.

    "Mickey Mouse", eh? Don't tell me, let me guess:
    You'd been to Walt Disney Woild.

    Our E discussion got me to wonderin'. So about 30 minutes ago I shaved off my goatee for the first time since, like, 1992 to 1994. Hokey-Smoke, do I look younger! I hope I don't get "carded" at the liquor store later today.

    And now begins the arduous task of regrowing my goatee...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Yeah, all of these early blogs NO ONE read. I don't think I had any followers yet. Hahahaha. It is sad because I think I used my best stuff early on.... ah well.

    You better take a picture of you minus the goatee and send it to me before you work on regrowing it. I mean it!!!!


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