Saturday, May 22, 2010

I go Down To The Sea

Because it is in my blood.

When I smell the air, heavy with the same salt running through my veins that keeps me alive, I feel a certain peace that only the ocean can make.  I also needed a whole lot of these...

Mostly slipper shells.

I needed  a whole lot of these to place in the drainage creek that runs off the vegetable fields into the pond, that happens to have deficient calcium levels.  Which probably isn't making Fred, the enormous bullfrog who resides there, happy.  Slow leaching from the shells will replace the calcium without shocking Fred and his buddies right out of the neighborhood. I should mention that Fred is camera shy. I know exactly where he takes his morning sunbath.  He allows me near enough to see his enormity and always, just as I raise the camera, he lets out a loud croak, jumps about a foot in into the air while doing a full turn, then a perfect swan dive back into the pond. In about a half a second flat.  Bullfrog Olympics at its best.  I'm thinking Nanny Cam...  Anyway, after collecting the big ole smelly bag full of shells, along with a fair amount of seaweed just for good measure, I sat for a long time in the sand, just loving being there.  High tide was arriving, waves crashed against the rocks, while crabs scurried around looking for the last good eats before the tide pushed on in.

The reason I was down at the shore on Wednesday to begin with was since my son installed the tie (tye, ty, Thai, ti [?]) rod on my car, with the necessary alignment to follow, I could get the thing down to the dealership to have the recall part replaced.  And I am certainly  not going to be that close to the ocean and not go there, never mind killing three or four birds with one stone.  

The only problem was I was driving this...

This is not my car...

It is a loaner the dealership gave me to drive while they were fixing mine.  Probably not a good idea on their part. I asked them for an old truck I saw just sitting there doing nothing with a dealer plate on it, but they said, "Oh no, you don't want to be driving that old thing."    No, I'd like to own it but never mind, I drove off to the beach. 

When it was time to hike the three quarter mile back to the car, I grabbed the shells and headed off, past this.

Nice, huh?!

 Threw the shells in the trunk and headed off to visit with my daughter and watch my grandson's baseball game. Have I failed to note we by-passed spring, summer has arrived and it was 91 degrees? 

 My daughter has never lived within a stones throw of the nuclear power plant in the area.   I wonder if any of the other kid's families have.  My grandson is of average height and weight for a kid his age, falling dead center in the fancy chart the pediatricians use these days.   The teams are all grouped in age brackets.  I mention these things because of this...

My Grandson In Green Jersey.

Its definitely a "Whats wrong with this picture?" classic.   The kid looked like he was the jolly green giant compared to all the other kids his age. He could have been Herman Munster crashing around the bases.  I asked him later if he felt a bit strange, his reply was, "No Grandma, I just have to be really careful not to trip over them."  I told him maybe he should skip football in the fall.......

After the game we walked to the cars, and much like a typical twelve year old, he had to inspect the car I was driving.  It was all cool until he said, "How come your drivers seat is so dirty?"   Oops.  Well I had been sitting in the sand and seaweed for quite a while, in fact the seat of my pants was still damp.   "Ah, I'll go to your house and clean it, no big deal."  My cell phone rang on the way to their house but I don't use it while driving, so when we arrived at my daughters house I checked the message.  It was the dealership. They didn't have the part in stock and would have it Friday afternoon.  Goody, I get to go back to the beach. Yay.

Later that evening my daughter made up the couch for me and we all went to bed early, "School night Grandma." It was absolutely gorgeous the next morning, unlike the day before when I had left the farm and it was 41 degrees. This morning it was already 75 degrees and not yet eight o'clock. I took coffee out to the deck.  While staring off into space and at nothing in particular, I noticed my eyes had fixated on spots all over the red loaner in the driveway. Yuk, thing was covered in seagull poop. Oh well, have to run it through the car wash before returning it.  It was then that I noticed an odd smell...

Sort of smelled like a septic tank back up, but there was no septic tank here. Maybe a sewer pipe break? My eyes wandered back to the trunk of the loaner and as it dawned on me what I was smelling a tidal wave of horror washed over every inch of me, one inch at a time, through all six feet of me.  I raced inside to get the car key, flew to the trunk, took a deep breath, held it, and opened the trunk.  Hot, contained air immediately rose out of the trunk along with a rotting sea life odor so strong it nearly bowled me over.  Rats.  Forgot all about the bag of shells. Stuff had been cooking in there since yesterday.  Somehow I don't think the dealership will appreciate the smell of the sea as much as I do. I put the bag of shells off to the side, and instead of going back to the beach, I spent the remainder of the morning twisting little bread bag twisty ties into one long enough piece to hook between the trunk lid and the body of the car. My plan was to drive the twenty-six miles to return the car, with the trunk lid ever so slightly flapping in the breeze, hopefully airing it out some.  

I stopped a few blocks before the dealership to remove the twisty ties and shut the trunk.  They were busy, everyone wanted their car fixed before the weekend. A worker flew up to the loaner while I was putting my stuff into the trunk of my car. I said, "Um, you  might want to let that thing air out in the back lot a while, I collected stuff at the beach and it still sort of, well, reeks."  He opened the trunk and took a step back. "Don't worry about it, it'll dissipate in no time."  But he drove it to the back of the lot with the trunk wide open.

Today, work, spreading my hard earned shells through the channel I made that directs the runoff into the pond.

The moral of the story is; if someone tells you they prefer to drive an old truck with so much bondo and primer on it one cannot tell what the original color of the truck may have been, let them.


  1. Haha...that's the sort of thing I would do. I am not okay with nice things. I just don't trust myself with them! But hey, at least you got to make your seashell creek!

  2. hmmm. I don't know if you would get away with it here in Hawaii. Too bad about the car. Sounded like a beautie.

  3. I think you and I could be good friends. This sounds like one of my days when I used to live in California. I was laughing my head off reading your post. I stumbled upon you reading Jerry's post. I liked the name of your blog.

    I miss the ocean so much living in Nevada. I used to go stay in Laguna every January with my Mom and daughter. For various reasons, we have not gone the past two years.

    There is something so magical about the beach. I always feel energized after a visit. My home in NV has rocks and shells I have lugged around with me on each move. Beachcombing is one of my most favorite hobbies. I told my husband when he retires, I want to get a metal detector and walk the beach with it, looking for treasure....

    I think it is time to schedule a trip. Thanks so much for the great post. I will be following you...

  4. Thank You for the compliments. And I do so love California. Not quite hot enough for me to want to live there as opposed to visit though. I ah, may as well admit, I truly do have a metal dtector, had it for years, for odd reasons but my daughter used to find a lot of stuff on the beach. I found an eagle penny on the surf under six inches of sand once. If you get one, get the waterproof shaft sort. Well worth the money!

    And Jerry's blog is great, its like a new comic, can't wait till the next issue comes out!!!

  5. Hello!

    Thank you for the comment on my blog! I read this entry of yours and it made me laugh. I am one of those people: I don't care what my car looks like as long as it goes forward and occasionally back, I'm happy! :)
    Love your blog and your style of writing! I will be back for sure!

    p.s. I just bought yarn today (First time since Nov.09! Yayy! Successful yarn diet!)