Thursday, October 9, 2008
“a first dream called ocean”
‘Morning folks. Eberle & I are off to the Oregon coast this morning, but don’t despair—there’ll be daily posts during the time we’re gone thanks to the magic of Blogger post scheduler. I gave it a test run earlier this week, & it worked just fine. Things you have to look forward to over the next few days: a new installment in the “Life of Objects’ series; the weekend poem; a post about a 100-year old uke player; & my thoughts on two very famous mystery writers. Should mention also that I won’t be able to moderate comments while we’re away, but promise to check in on those the first thing when I get back.
In case you don’t know, Manzanita is a gorgeous little town on the coast just south of Cannon Beach & a bit north of Tillamook. Eberle & I vacationed there last year, & we’re headed back again to a cozy beach rental (with ping pong table in the garage!) The weather forecast is as good as you can expect for the coast this time of year—looks like the weather may be spotty on Friday, but perhaps will be fine after that.
The ocean has always been one of my great passions. When I was very young, we used to visit my great aunt & uncle, Arlene & Merle, at their cottage on Cape Cod. Merle was a doctor, & I remember him as a very good-humored & kindly man. Arlene was also a kindly person, & also quite talented; she was a painter & also a skilled & versatile musician who played a number of instruments—I can faintly picture some of them hanging on the wall in the cottage. Mostly, I loved the dunes & wading in the water & wandering along the beach looking for shells.
When I was a bit older, my parents occasionally would go camping at Hermit Island in Maine. This was a whole different ocean—tidal pools, rocky cliffs, chilly water even in summer, lobster boats. For a few early adolescent years, Hermit Island became my favorite place in the world.
Fast forward to the last 80’s—1988, when I first saw the Pacific at Bodega Bay in California, on a very delightful excursion with a gal friend. Though all the particulars & associations of that trip are now just a distant memory, it was really that trip that decided my future, because I fell deeply & passionately in love… with the West, & with the Pacific Ocean. Just over a year later, I was living in San Francisco….
While living in San Francisco, I had lots of chances to visit the Pacific, of course. I remember walking to Ocean Beach from Monterey Boulevard on Christmas 1989; I remember the bonfires on the beach & the bike rides I’d take to Ocean Beach on Sundays, cycling thru Golden Gate Park. Eberle & I would go to the beach during our courtship days, & we always try to visit there when we’re in the Bay Area.
We first checked out the Oregon Coast in 05, for a honeymoon stay at a Lincoln City condo. It was late September & rainy, as the coast can be in autumn & winter, but we had a wonderful stay, ducking out onto the beach between the storms, exploring the tidal pools, eating at the wonderful restaurants.
& now we’re off again, with some instruments (including beach ukes—an old Hilo baritone & a Kay soprano!) & some board games & some Lord Peter Wimsey dvd’s. If you’ve never seen the Oregon coast, you don’t know what you’re missing—it’s spectacularly beautiful, & even compares well with the California coast in the greater Bay Area. The forest comes right down to the coastal cliffs in many places, there are lots of gorgeous rock formations & glorious surf, & wondrous tidal pools; & the towns are quaint & trim, the restaurants superb.
We’re looking forward to a break & a fun getaway, & I’m sure we’ll be telling you about it once we’re back. I also have a camera & a notebook packed—a digital camera of course, but no, not the kind of notebook made of circuits that you run with mouse & keyboard, but one made of paper that you run with a pen. Sometimes we’re appallingly low-tech at Robert Frost’s Banjo…
Post title is a line from e.e. cummings’ “here's to opening and upward”
You’ll find the full text of the poem at this link
Pic shows the cliffs north of Manzanita beach