Me at Stinson, about 7 years old
I need to be close to the coast. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in the middle of a lot of land. South Dakota. Nebraska. Even Colorado. Somehow it just feels wrong, just too far from the edge.
Some of my family lives in Florida. I’ve visited, and can never get used to the sun rising over water and setting over land. I’m just a West coast girl, and the sun needs to set over the water, ok? I spent three weeks on the East side of Baja once and couldn’t get oriented the whole time.
I was raised in San Francisco, middle daughter of three girls. Both my parents loved the water, and all of us were swimming like fish by two years old. When we were little summers were spent mostly at “the club”, a tennis and swimming club north of the city. (Watch me, mama, watch me!) When I was about 6 my parents built a house at Stinson Beach, at Seadrift, a private community on a kind of peninsula.
Me, late 70’s, Stinson Beach
Wow, we had some adventures there. I could tell some stories, for sure. Lighting fires in the salt grass. (don’t worry, they went out) Playing games that involved rabbit pooh “surprises.” (Didn’t you ever play “open your mouth and close your eyes and I will give you a big surprise?”) A frantic rescue (by my dad) of Johnny the neighbor and I who had helped ourselves to a plastic dingy that was on the beach and were heading out of Bodega Bay on the tide. An encounter with a sea lion while drifting along on my rubber raft.
Me, 1980’s, Pacific Palisades, where my dad lived.
When I moved to Washington State and got married (yes I skipped a huge bunch of chapters here) I lived for about 5 years at Bay Center. It’s a tiny community right on the water, with oysters and hunting being the main life sustaining enterprises. Oh, and also sturgeon. They would hang them like washing on a line behind the local tavern, and sell the dried meat like jerky. In Bay Center we lived right on the water. The tide went out for almost a mile and the sand would heat up with the sun…when the water came in it was like bathwater. An incredible place to live where most of the waters are ice cold. I am so glad the kids had their preschool years there.
Son Adam with his “surfboard” in the San Juans, around 1990
Fast forward the kids and I living in Seattle in the late 70’s. We’d go to the San Juan islands or Kalaloch on the Olympic Peninsula whenever we could. One time I walked the beach in the early morning at Kalaloch and found the most amazing Japanese glass ball. (below) I left it by the pond at our place on the Key Peninsula when we moved to Mexico.
Me with the glass ball I found with the Kalaloch Lodge in the background, around 1986
So all these thoughts came to me tonight as I was lying in the chaise lounge upstairs listening to the muted trumpet playing and watching the sun go down. The cloud in front of me changed from gold underside to pink to grey. Then the underneath part of the whole sky changed to pink. We can’t see the water from here but we are about 4 blocks in and you really feel the proximity to the ocean even when you sit and look up at the sky. Five frigate birds rotated slowly for a long time…then I blinked, and they were gone.
My home, Mazatlán
I love living by the ocean. I think it must be in my blood.