Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the Sea

Morning to the West

Living on the sea is a special experience. Waking up to watch the sun rise over the waves is a surprise each morning, and watching the fiery sunset each evening is spectacular. We are staying at the very beautiful home of my inlaws, and until the last couple of days I have been focusing on appreciating the marvelous kitchen, but with less pressure ( which I put on myself) to arrange for meals, I am enjoying my surroundings and paying more attention. This is important because the home we are staying in is for sale, and it is unlikely we will ever be able to celebrate Christmas as a family here again. Every morning and afternoon and evening is our last, and I am also not sure we will be able to arrange for my parents to travel such a distance again. My father will be 90 in February, and since travel to Ecuador is impossible for him, and any travel at all is stressful, this is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate a unique time in a gorgeous place.

I have been pushing to arrange for a walk along the beach for days now, and today my father and mother and daughters all agreed to brave the cold (it was warmer and much more pleasant today than the last few days) and venture forth. We discarded our warm jackets once out on the beach, and my father immediately took off his shoes, as did Maya and Tara. It felt so good to feel the warm sun on our faces. The sand on the beach is fine and white and soft and I am not sure I have walked in such wonderful sand before. The walk was exactly what we needed. We stopped for ice cream and cappuccino along the way and picked shells ( I brought a bag along this time) and took long breaks to soak up the sun. It was too cold to swim, although Tara plunged in again (I am not sure how she does it). When we returned from our walk no one wanted to leave the beach or the sun, so we stayed for hours.

I lived in California for several years, on the beach, listening to the tide coming in and going out and I decided then that I lived in paradise and would never leave. I left anyway and I must have forgotten that feeling, or perhaps I got used to it and stopped appreciating it. Now I have that feeling again --- that there is nowhere else to live but next to the sound of the ocean against the shore. Eric loved growing up in Florida and I wonder sometimes if he would rather return home than live anywhere else. Of course that is not an option for us, at least for now, but I understand his nostalgia for this place now.

Maya and Opa Loving the Beach

We are gearing up for bigger celebrations ahead. My sister will arrive Thursday with her husband and children to bring in the New Year with us. We are planning an event for New Years' Eve and again a few days later for my father's 90th birthday, which is in February, but we will not be able to return home to celebrate on that date. I am hoping to have as many of Eric's family and mine join the party.

Beach Art

I had my first attempt at ten pin bowling today. I have never bowled with the big huge ball that we used, and I was awful at first but gradually improved and am feeling more confident now. I had gutter guards up, which appeared to help improve my aim (I was too embarrassed to have my ball redirected by the guards) and I enjoyed the evening far more than I expected. In truth we were all quite awful at bowling and I was not the absolute worst player tonight.

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