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Beach Baby

By Melissa McQuarrie

263176A1-0B3C-4B57-89DC-09D42FE61D14(So, I wanted to write something profound and thought-provoking, a topic that would get me, say, 159 comments. Or something fun and light and witty. But we’re in the tenth week of summer vacation and I lost my brain somewhere in week three. All I can think about is the beach, since we haven’t been anywhere this summer. Hence, today’s post.)

Noosa Heads, 1968
I’m seven years old, on my first holiday on the Queensland coast, staying with my parents, siblings, and grandparents in a cottage overlooking the sapphire sea. Every morning I put on my ruffled swimsuit and run down to the beach with my red bucket. I let the surf kiss my toes while I scavenge for lavender-and-brown-speckled cowrie shells; striped cockles and cream sand dollars; and black, sea-tumbled stones, smooth as eggs. One morning while I dig trenches in the sand, my grandfather swims out to sea and returns with a starfish, plucked from a rock somewhere, on his shoulder. He feigns ignorance while my brother and I squeal and point at the starfish until he pretends to notice it, then he lifts it gently from his shoulder and tosses it back into the waves. Another morning we find a row of giant stingrays stranded on the shore, shuddering; my grandfather walks among them, stroking their slick backs and shaking his head, while I watch, as still as a sentinel.

Every afternoon I walk to the tide pools with my grandfather, my hand in his; we crouch on the rocks and study tiny crabs, purple sea urchins, spindly-legged creatures lumbering about under their shell houses, little black fish darting among the baby fronds, and once, a deadly blue-ringed octopus lying curled on a rock.

Every night we eat giant prawns drizzled with butter or flaky, white, pan-fried fish. Later, sand-scrubbed and freshly bathed, tucked into bed with my bucket of shells, I fall asleep to the sounds of the surf.
San Diego, 1981
My family and I vacation on Mission Beach, where coconut-oiled, suntanned girls in micro shorts and halter tops whiz along the promenade on skates and bikes. I lie on my towel, toes curled into the hot sand, reading Jane Austen and trying to forget that Reed Van Wagenen jilted me last week. I slather my arms and legs with vaseline and doze in the sun with my straps pulled down while my little sisters duck in and out of the waves. My brother plops a huge piece of slimy seaweed on my stomach, yells, “Alien!” and I scream, then chase him down the beach. We drag the kelp along like a dead eel and stomp on its giant pods until they pop. Later, I stand under the outdoor shower and let cool water run over my sunburned skin. At night I sit on the porch, watch the muscled, white-smiled teenage boys next door try to get phone numbers from a couple of blonde, mini-skirted girls as I listen to Journey on my walkman. I stare out over the moonlit beach, night breezes ruffling my hair and kissing my cheeks.
Maui, 1988
I’m flushed with honeymoon love, lying in a cabana with my new husband, sipping virgin pina coladas (when my husband asked for a “virgin” drink, he blushed). For the first time in my life, I’m wearing a bikini. Every morning we snorkel, holding hands, immersing ourselves in a fairy world of blue and orange parrotfish; silver needlefish and pink snappers; damselfish and pompous-looking puffers gliding over orange, lavender, and milk-white coral, where eels play hide and seek. Every afternoon we nap in the balmy heat, the fan whirring above us. My husband’s skin tastes of salt.
Laguna Niguel, 1990
I take my baby daughter to the beach, sunhatted and sunscreened, where I sit her on a towel and hand her a yellow plastic shovel. She rakes her fingers through the sand, and, whip-quick, stuffs fistfuls of sand in her mouth. I carry her to the ocean and wash her off, watch her eyes widen as waves lap over her toes. Then I dangle her over the water and she squeals. My stomach, hidden under my one-piece, is slack; my back aches. My baby has sand in her diaper, sand in her hair, sand in every crease of her honey and cream skin. I kiss the top of her blond head, smelling of brine and sunscreen, and gaze out over the sun-dazzled sea.
Maui, 2008
My siblings and their families and mine are together on the beach. My twelve-year-old son builds a sand castle with my little nephews; they dig and sift and pour and stack as seagulls wheel overhead against an indigo sky. My brother plants himself in a lounge chair with a book and refuses to move; my husband does the crossword while my sisters and I reapply sunscreen on our children and watch our teenagers run headlong into the surf. My once-baby daughter, now eighteen, laughs with her cousins as they spy on flint-chested boys strutting along the beach. I wear a T-shirt over my swimsuit and a floppy hat, try to cover my spider veins with a spray-on tan.

One morning I walk the beach with my youngest daughter, who, at nine, will still hold my hand. Toes squishing through vanilla sand, we gather whorled shells and bits of emerald sea glass, and round, smooth rocks that sit fat and heavy in our palms. We will take them home and place them on a shelf, each one a memory.

What memories do you have of summer vacations? Do you have a special place to which you’ve returned through the seasons of your life?

About Melissa McQuarrie

(Advisory Board) grew up in Australia and California and now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband, four children, and their dog, Daisy. She served a mission in Peru and has a BA and MA in English from BYU. She loves reading, writing, and quiet afternoons. She does not love grocery shopping. Now that two of her children attend BYU and her youngest children are in high school and junior high, she is trying to adjust to this "emptying nest" stage and still wondering how it snuck up on her so fast.

52 thoughts on “Beach Baby”

  1. I love any beach. Weather it's Tillamook, Oregon (freezing and rainy, of course) or the white, white sand and blue, blue water of Grand Cayman. I'll take any of it. I haven't been to the beach this year either and it's my first summer without a sand-eating baby.

    I was just online trying to find some place to stay on South Padre and everything is so expensive. Maybe we'll wait until school starts. Sigh.

  2. I'm going to leave you a comment because you deserve them.

    (I hope it builds to 159+)

    The sea is like oxygen for me.

    And I loved this post.

  3. For me, summer vacation meant sunscreen, inevitable sunburn, slippery and sticky aloe vera, frizzed-out hair and flip flop tan lines, sprinkled with amusement parks, family reunions, beach excursions and fishing trips.

    This was a beautifully-written post.

  4. Mmmmmm. Thank you. What a treat to read this on a summer morning.

    I too love the beach. The Oregon coast (childhood memories) and the North Carolina beaches (momhood memories) specifically. Thanks for giving me a chance to remember.

  5. ohhh, Melissa! Thank you, thank you. I spent part of every childhood summer on the Delaware shore, and I didn't fully realize until adulthood (in a landlocked state) what a gift that was. My kids are deprived.

  6. Sorry!!! I do not do beaches. The ones I grew up with were nasty, dirty, full of stones and with brown water. Since then I have visited beautiful beaches in other parts but just cannot fall in love with the whole thing. However, each year I do the dutiful mummy thing and take my children to the beach because they love it. They love the sand, the sea, the anticipation of going. I could cry at the thought of it quite frankly. My perfect holiday includes amazing cities with history, the theatre, food and shopping. I lived in London for years and consider it the Celetial kingdom of cities, going back there breathes new life into me.

  7. Mmmm… the beach is an ingrained MUST-do for me each summer. I was born near the beach, and now bring my children here every summer, as well. There's something so serene, and almost spiritual about listening to the waves lap on the shore, and watching the gulls swoop and call over head. If I don't get to the beach as much as I can each summer, I feel deprived. I love to see my kids take as much pleasure away from a day on the beach as I always have. Just yesterday we spent the afternoon on the shores of Lake Winnepesaukee, and I took secret delight in my youngest's tears as we tore him away from his digging to leave.

  8. Sorry ocean lovers, but a nice LAKE beach is where it's at!

    Let's just say that my van's license plate is "Tahoe Tuesday." (TAHO2ZD) It is our religion in the summer. And my memories of "going to the beach" from the time I *can* remember are of easing into the cold Tahoe waters and then staying in for hours.

    I spent a summer on Catalina Island in So Cal, but could still never come to like swimming in the ocean. YUCKY. Blech. I DID like falling asleep each night to the sound of the waves mere feet away from my bed, but give me fresh water to swim in any day.

    I have lots of memories from childhood summer vacations of camping in our small trailer. It is the trailer, now 40 years old, that *I* now own and take my own kids camping in several times a year, to many of the same campgrounds that I stayed at in that same trailer when I was their ages. It is filled with many sweet memories and hopefully, it is giving my children many sweet memories, too.

  9. I grew up less than a block from the beach, so every summer afternoon we marched down the hill and plopped in the sand for a few hours. I've actually been working on an essay about it now that I'm landlocked. I must admit, I love the mountains on a summer morning. Especially if there's a cool stream running through a canyon.

  10. Ooo Strollerblader, I must disagree. There is NOTHING like the ocean (at least for those of us raised to love it!).

    When we moved to Chicagoland I expressed my concerns about being so landlocked. I am a Cali girl, born and raised. I found many people consoled me with, "Oh, you will love Lake Michigan. It is just like the ocean."

    Having now visited Lake Michigan, I wonder if the people who told me that had ever visited an ocean. It's nice, but it simply is NOT the ocean.

    Lake beaches are better than no beaches, but there is nothing like the calming majestical power of ocean water crashing against the sand.

    I have fond memories of beach houses and beach visits. I miss that in the summers here, and feel, like Kathryn, that my children are somehow deprived.

    Yet I can understand those who grew up differently. Don't we really love what reminds us of the happy times in our childhood? Mine did not include snow, and I tell you, I am a terrible mom for fun in winter. Just as Kay takes her children on the obligatory outing to the beach, I take mine sledding about once a winter, if my husband can be there.

    I know many who leave the mountains they grew up with, and never get over how much they miss them. Me? I could them or leave them. It's the California weather and beaches that I miss dearly.

    Thanks for a well-written post. Off to Travelocity…

  11. Thanks for your comments and kind words, ladies! (only 134 comments left to go until I reach my goal—lol). Kay, I can see why you don't like the beach—I, too, have visited some ugly beaches—I try to forget those. And my two oldest children, who both visited London this summer, fell in love with your Celestial city.

    I think Australia has some of the loveliest beaches in the world, and, since I grew up there, I grew up loving the beach. But I also lived near a beautiful wide mountain river as a child, so I can relate to Strollerblader's love of lakes and streams. I agree with Kristin that we love those places that remind us of happy childhood moments, and both the beach and rivers take me back to those magical times.

  12. I'm going to try to help you generate 159 comments by stirring up some controversy. Where is the controversy in this post? It's well hidden and only a bitter, nit-picky woman in a very bad mood would have the nerve to be so rude as to even mention it. Today, I am that woman. I loved the post, loved the pictures it painted in my mind. I'm wishing I could take my family to any of the places you've described (and I can't, so maybe that's where the bitterness is coming from), BUT why on earth did you (and any other Mormon woman I guess) feel like it was okay to wear a bikini once you were married???? It drives me nuts! Every girl turns 21, gets married and buys her first bikini! What is that??? 'Now that I have a temple recommend and a husband I don't have to be modest?' Melissa, I love your posts, your thoughts, and your wit, but I don't get this thought process that many Mormon girls have. Since I can't ask those closer to me than you to explain for fear of offending them, would you mind doing it? Thanks.

  13. Carrie, I did feel a little sheepish when I read your comment. Chalk my bikini (and it was really more of a two-piece, not a "Baywatch" babe string bikini)up to a momentary lapse in judgment. When my daughter saw photos from that period, she was scandalized that I wasn't wearing a one-piece, so I have already felt guilty for wearing that swimsuit. I did give it up after I had my first baby and have worn modest swimsuits ever since. I was actually 28 when I got married and an RM, to boot, so I don't know what I was thinking…..I'll have to try to remember back that far. 🙂

  14. I thought it was rather sweet that you had a honeymoon bikini. Now that I'm old and stout, I have a bit of wishing I had. I did almost buy a bikini around my fifth anniversary, so I can at least say I've tried one on in a dressing room.

    What sweet summer memories. My own favorite summer memories growing up in L.A. was when we'd drive to the beach as the sun was setting over the horizon. No danger of sunburn, lots of fun running up and back through the surf. Once I got married, there was a lot of my husband playing guitar on the beach after dinner, me wearing a sweatshirt. I love the wind at the beach; there's nothing like it.

  15. Australia has stunning beaches, though only a few are safe to swim off year round! I grew up in the Snowy Mountains (in Australia) so snow-thawed lakes are my childhood affiliation. The ocean was just rude when I met it, stinging my eyes and poking grit in my mouth just to vex me. The summer memories are probably further annoyed by my being forced fed fish. Everyone else in my family loved it, loved to catch it, fought to eat it. I always caught fish and tried to let them go before anyone noticed =) I didn't want to eat more fish!

    That being said, I LOVE running along the beach. The therapy of the dancing waves lulls my soul to peace. I live in a place where dolphins and whales are weekly occurances, so that adds a little serenity too.

    Give me mountains and lakes any day, over any beach, anywhere!

  16. I thought the swimsuits were a great parallel to the stage of life–the ruffly suit of girlhood, the awkward trying-to-get-a-good-tan teenage stage, the bikini being an expression of new sexuality in young marriage, and the one-piece and t-shirt that come along with age. I laughed at the spray-on tan, because I've done the same thing.

    Carrie, I haven't picked up on any bikini trends among the newly married (but again, I don't live near a beach) but I would guess that it is an outward expression of just-discovered sexuality that comes with marriage. I would imagine that lapses of judgement on several fronts are common in those heady days. I would also imagine that the bikini stage is short-lived, especially once stretch marks and mommy bulges appear.

  17. Melissa, that is exactly what I was trying to capture with the bikini detail in the post—that heady honeymoon stage. And I haven't noticed that trend in the young brides I've seen, although I haven't seen a lot of them in swimsuits. And you're right—the bikini goes right out the window with the first pregnancy. Stretch marks plus two-piece swimsuit=not a pretty sight.

  18. This was yummy.

    I grew up going to the beach every year. It hurts I miss it so much. We have yet to introduce our kids to the ocean. Sigh.

  19. Beautiful!
    I cried when I read of the meaningful relationship with the grandfather.
    Most of us can relate to the progression of lack of reason for vanity.

  20. Melissa,
    I bought and wore a bikini on my honeymoon.
    (Hello, it was a honeymoon.)
    I have never put it on since.
    (My husband disagrees with my decision…)
    I loved this post.
    There is no controvesy in it,
    only beautifully captured memories.
    Thank you for sharing them.

  21. This post reminded me of "Gift from the Sea" in it's loveliness. It DESERVES 159 comments! I'm ready to savor a book from you, Melissa! I'm also ready for some of those giant prawns and flaky fishes every night, yum.

    As far as the bikini goes, I'd have to say that I'm a lot more offended by what I see some of the youth in daily (sleeveless, tight, sheer, low and high-cut outfits) than a newly-married on the beach in a two-piece.

    My husband is the beach-loving surfer of the family. He grew up in La Canyada, Newport and Balboa Island. He KNOWS beaches. The beaches I remember fondly are from my childhood and mission. I remember running on the soft sand in my wonder-woman swimsuit (a one piece), and the endless selection of seashells on the beaches in Lisbon.

    Then at the end of my mission in Bulgaria, I served in the resort town of Varna, on the sea. I would watch the hypnotic waves roll in and back and somehow that calming pulse would draw out my anxiety and fill me with peace. It was the perfect setting for gospel discussions as if the sea would only tolerate truth. So though I'm not a huge fan of sand (in my hair, suit, car, or home), I do love the sea.

  22. Oh, I was also going to mention that when I was little on the beaches in France that there was always an abundance of topless women suntanning. As a child, I just assumed they were all absent minded, breast-feeding mothers.

  23. Melissa, don't be sheepish about the bikini! If I had your figure I'd wear one too, esp. at age 20. Or maybe even more so now as I near 40, clinging desperately to my last shreds of hotness.

    And besides, back in the day, the LDS anti-bikini faction hadn't even been formed yet.

  24. Your post reminded me of the yearly trek cross country to Harker's Island, North Carolina. My mother's home. She would cry every year as we crossed the bridge to the island. While there we would take my grandfather would take us in his motor boat (a tiny one of many he built) over to Cape Lookout and play in the most beautiful creamy white sand and surf till we were thoroughly tired.

    Sometimes we would take the same boat to a little cabin he had built near the shore of a tiny little uninhabited island and sleep there for the night. Inside there were bunk beds that were three high and hurricane lamps for light, a little galley type kitchen, and a toilet you had to fill with water to flush. Outside was the most fun item for the grandchildren, an old fashioned pump you had to prime and pump for water. The water was fresh but it sure smelled a lot more of sulfur compared to the mountain spring water I got straight out of the tap in Utah. Next to the pump was an old fashioned bathtub. I was assured the tub had been often used just never by me for modesty reasons.

    Speaking of modesty… I have some old photos of my mom when she was a teenager in a striped bikni top and what we would call "boy shorts" playing in the water under the peer. I think that the pictures are beautiful and a happy and appropriate depiction of her youthful exuberance in a simpler time. I also have a couple of pictures of her at Girls Camp in the 60's (she was born in to an active LDS family). The modesty standards are much different now than then. Everyone was wearing shorts that fell just a little bit above the knee she even has a picture from the door of the cabin of all of the girls kneeling (I'm sure posed) down at their bedsides for prayers and they all are wearing little shorts and either t-shirts or very wide strapped tank tops. I stayed for a summer with my aunt Jenny in North Carolina as a teenager in her un-air-conditioned house and it was hard to even sleep with a sheet on. After that I totally understood the apparel worn in that picture.

    My girls just got back from camp where they had to have pants to the ankle and shirts with sleeves over their shoulders. There was even a rule about not rolling up their sleeves. There P.J.'s also had to be long legged and long sleeved. I'm sure part of that was for warmth at night but also I think it was due to an increased sensitivity to appropriate dress and modesty because of the time that we live in.

    Modesty is relative in circumstance, activity, culture and time. I thought that your inclusion of the bit about the bikini on your honeymoon was wonderful and totally appropriate.

    We happen to live in a time, place and culture that is saturated with boundless inappropriate sexuality. I don't think that you wearing a bikini on your honeymoon has any part in that.

    Thanks for sharing your beach memories with us.

  25. Thank you again, ladies, for sharing some of your memories on this post. I loved peeking into your childhoods—Dovie, that was lovely. I also meant to tell Selwyn that I once visited the Snowy Mts. on a family holiday—it is beautiful there.

    And thanks for the bikini support :-). I guess times were a bit different then, so maybe that's my excuse. I do lament with Dovie that our culture is saturated with inappropriate sexuality. And Kathy Soper, I feel a little nostalgic for my short-lived two-piece days, back before I had four children and saddle bags. Ah, to be in one's twenties again…..

  26. I grew up in Wyoming, far away from beaches. But oh, did we ever have mountains! It wasn't until I moved to Sweden where there were literally hundreds of miles of beaches within a short distance of my home that I learned to love the ocean and beaches. So much so, that whenever the temperature rose above 60 in the summer, I took my kids to the beach, regardless of the sun shining or not.
    A trip to Israel cemented my love of the ocean when I enjoyed the gloriousness of the Mediterranean Sea. Many of my happiest summer memories as a mother revolve around the beach. So thank you for reminding me of those lovely memories.

  27. oh how i loved stumbling over the tree roots on the pine needly path down to our town beach (on a lake) with my boys yesterday. It reminded me of summers at my grandparents and trippy down those same sort of paths to the pocono mountain lake docks where we wnet to visit my grandparents and swim and sail and canoe.

  28. Loved your post! All it was missing the smell of the tide and and the deep sleep that follows such a wonderful day. We just took our kids to the beach last week and as always we questioned, Why don't we do this more often? Beach = Love, Peace and Happiness!

  29. My favorite vacation was going to Israel. I left part of my heart there and long to go again. As I walked through the Garden of Gethsemane, entered the empty tomb, visited Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Mount of Transfiguration, and sailed on the Sea of Galilee, I felt great reverence and love for my Savior. I love to think of those sites when I read the Scriptures.

  30. Beaver Mountain, twilight, with the fire and the good smell.

    Seattle, on the ferry crossing to Bremerton, windy and cool and fresh. And the best crab legs I've ever had in a little cafe in Oak Harbor.

    I think my favorite summer memories are of my kids, sleeping out on the tramp, lighting sparklers and sitting on our lawn (before the trees became too big to see) watching the city fireworks with all our neighbors and eating gobs of hot buttered popcorn.

    The first few summers I had "Camp Grandma" reminded me of those times and fill me with so much joy as I remember my grandkid's getting to know each other and have such a good time here. Water balloons and popsicles.

  31. Going to the beach today. Hoping for sun, yesterday was buckets of rain.

    I grew up in California, an hour from Santa Cruz. Yes. I miss it. We live in NY and the beaches are nice, but so much colder in their demeanor.

    Lovely post.

    About the bikini. I was a little surprised, but realized I might have done the same thing for a honeymoon (if we hadn't gone skiing). And I also loved the bathing suit progression as a visual element showing the passage of time.

    Here's to more modesty in our culture-especially our LDS youth-and to improved sexuality in marriage behind closed doors.

    Lovely post. Thanks.

  32. Merry Michelle,

    Your asumption as a child about the topless women as absent-minded breast-feeding mothers cracked me up!!! Thanks for an early morning laugh (up early to breast-feed my baby)!

    Off to Misquamicut, RI beach later.

  33. I love the beach! All of the descriptions in your post were lovely, lovely, lovely. I also like the swimsuits as different images of you growing up and different stages of your life, and I like the different images of things you found on the beach and kept as memories. Now all I want to do is go to the beach!

    Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  34. Also, about bikinis–no one ever talks about sex in LDS culture. At least not in my young women's classes in Provo or in my student wards at BYU or, really, anywhere else. Among lessons given to single young adults it's always some oblique reference or else a pointed statement like "DON'T LOSE YOUR VIRTUE. SEX IS BAD." That kind of a thing. As a result, young adults–at least the vast majority of the ones I know–know next to nothing about sex or about how it fits into an LDS context. Thus, LDS culture = fail at talking about sex. So it makes sense that young honeymooning women are apt to wear bikinis, since all of a sudden it's like, hey, sex is suddenly okay now, so watch me seduce you with this bikini. Make sense?

    Not that I have noticed a trend of honeymooning bikini-wearers. Maybe I don't spend enough time around that particular group of people. Anyway. This is probably not the place to talk about sex and the awkwardness of LDS culture/single young adults. It does amuse me, however.

    The end.

    Still a wonderful, wonderful blog 🙂

  35. Emily, Kylie is my daughter. I have just tried to have a conversation with her about sex and the LDS culture but she covered her ears and ran out of the room. She assures me, though, that I have not failed as a mother and that I have adequately taught her about this subject…

  36. I just got back last night from a week camping at the beach with my parents 🙂 I grew up in California, first in San Diego and then about an hour north of LA. When I was in Jr. High/High school we lived less than a mile from the beach, so I went almost every day. In the summers we'd swim or lay out on the sand; in the winter I'd sit and watch the waves. For me the beach wasn't a special occasion but an every day thing. My husband grew up in Hawaii but is not a big beach lover. He has very sensitive skin that doesn't tan, plus he doesn't like sand much. We both would love to live near a beach though, but have ended up making our home in Utah. Whenever we can save the money we go to Hawaii and visit people, making sure to spend a lot of time at the beach. My parents now live in Las Vegas but are starting a tradition of driving to California one week each summer to camp by the beach. It was refreshing and fun to be there, even though swimming in the ocean is not my thing anymore (the area where we used to live has cold, rough water). I hope my kids will love the ocean but feel sad that it will be an occasional treat for them. Such is life.

  37. Great beach essay! I loved how it made me feel!

    Ah, the beach, the ocean, the sea. I've been there twice today. This morning on a board out with the rolling waves (despite the several great white shark sighting at my favorite surf spot this last week). I just returned from my second beach trip of the day with my kids splashing in the shore, looking out at the jumping sea lions (shark?), and searching for ocean treasures.

    Growing up in the water I have within me a longing for the sea when I am away from it. There have been about 6 years of my 36 years that I have lived away (4 in Provo at BYU and 1 and a half in Washington on a mission). I guess you could describe that feeling of longing like the wanderlust feeling you get while returning from a great vacation and on the plane ride home planning your next trip because you can't wait to do it again.

    As for the bikini, I am a good Mormon girl, return missionary, married in temple, etc, and I have worn one all my life on and off (GASP!!!)I have had some one pieces that I have felt sexier in than my sporty two pieces so let's not judge the two piece too harshly folks! As for it having to do with my sexuality, I've never really thought too much about it… You'll have to ask my husband!

  38. Love the comments about the bikini. I wish people would talk as much about watching sports on Sunday! I think it is important to teach our daughters modesty but at some point it has to be their choice what they wear. If girls need to wear a one piece suit, boys should have to wear t-shirts!(LOL)

  39. Thanks for the motivation! My friend and I decided at the last minute to rent a beach house together on the Texas coast and we're leaving this afternoon.

    I'll wiggle my toes in the sand for you!

  40. I'm catching up on a few of the blogs I missed this summer and I LOVE your wanderings through the beachy seasons of your life. I think I feel about mountains the same way you feel about beaches. I didn't grow up with mountains, but we would take summer vacations to visit our cousins in Montana and my uncle, the career forest ranger, would take us hiking in the mountains. I now love living at the base of a mountain range, but I know I won't be here forever. Your post made me look out the window and cherish the sun rising behind Timp this morning. Thanks!


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