Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ocean Kisses

photo of rockaway beach oregon with a view of twin rocks
The ocean kisses the shore line,

no matter how many times

it is sent away.

Sarah Kay, Spoken Word Poet

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shark Boots By The Fire

It's a perfect day when...

… Someone larger and stronger holds your cold, wet hand so you aren’t frightened to jump in the waves.

…your teenage cousin helps you empty out your plastic boots which are full to the very brim with salt water from all that wave jumping.

…you make sand castles with your yellow bucket and purple shovel.

…you get to take a nap with your favorite blanket.

…Mom lifts you up so you can toss the ball at the arcade winning a treasured green bouncy ball.

…appeals to stop at the ice cream shop are immediately granted by a bighearted uncle ignoring your mother's objections.

...a puppy follows you home from a walk to the park.

…you examine all 64 colors in a box of crayons.

…you cuddle up to sleep in the bunkhouse near your sister and brother while your shark boots dry by the fire.

The rhythm of children. Eat, play, sleep. Repeat.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Fickle Miss Emily

Emily G. Reed Shipwreck

Apparently, even the Emily G. Reed shipwreck wanted to see what all the tsunami sirens were about. She reappeared briefly on Saturday, much to our surprise, as no one had seen her for several months.

The strong winter storms over the past few weeks are most likely to blame (or thank). By Sunday, she was resting beneath the sand once again.

I heard several locals refer to "our town shipwreck" over the weekend. Luckily, I almost immediately realized they were talking about the Emily Reed and not me, after a wild night at the Rockaway Tavern.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And They're Off!

Each year we miss the Garibaldi Crab Races, but not this time. No sir, nothing would stop us; not rain, wind or even a tsunami. With the anticipation building, we jumped in the car and headed for the Port of Garibaldi . Banners announcing the event were hoisted above Highway 101 and the parking lot was nearly full.

We clearly weren’t prepared for the noise and excitement, the thrill of the competition, or the incredible prizes (a football-shaped barbeque for the Ladies Cup). The 26th Annual Crab Races embraced traditions rivaling the Kentucky Derby and was nearly as loud when a starting gun was shot off indoors at the beginning of each heat. After calling the race, the announcer reminded the beer-drinking audience not to swear as there were children present.

The fashions worn by the local spectators were stunning. You could tell this wasn’t their first crab race and they had dressed for the occasion. One woman sported a red crab hat which appeared to be eating her head complete with its two huge eyes bobbing above. The classic was this older gentleman spotted returning to the crab track from the outdoor restroom.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Home Sweet Dry Home

Many of you called today, worried about us. Thank you. We are safe, warm and cozy by the fire. In the event of a tsunami, you can always find us at home under this sign.

We encourage all Rockaway Beach, Oregon, residents to join us just a few blocks, uphill, out of the tsunami zone. Bob and I know the siren to listen for and, after watching the videos of the devastation in Japan today, will take it much more seriously.

Sirens apparently work best if there is actually time for a warning. Word on the street here is, "If you feel the ground shaking, THAT IS YOUR SIREN! Do not wait, do not check the news media, head uphill immediately." Also practical advice.

Just one concern, the signs marking the route and area (as above) are often missing or stolen. According to a recent article in the Headlight Herald, a good deal of the highway sign budget is spent replacing tsunami signs. The assumption being there are dorm rooms, garages, man caves and other classy spots festively decorated with tsunami evacuation route signs. In fact, they are the #1 highway sign stolen in America. My guess is the signs would fetch you a pretty penny in the Midwest.

Anyway, if the sign is there, we will be too!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poor Bob, Now She Thinks She's a Duck!

You will almost certainly say I have been spending too much time studying nature after reading this post. I will probably reply, “You can never spend too much time in nature, but you may have a point.” Here is what I have observed…

Ducks work really hard. When flying from place to place, I notice how very hard they are flapping their wings. Constantly. They don’t take a break to glide on the air currents or even look around much at the view. Ducks just flap like mad until they get to water and then they immediately start paddling. No rest for them, no sir.

Eagles, on the other hand, seem to glide effortlessly working with the breeze. Every now and then, they take another stroke or two to keep airborne. They circle and soar, taking pleasure in all of the scenery and still arrive at their destination, without breaking a sweat.

Here’s the crazy part, I think I may be a duck.

All my life, I have worked very hard. I started work in high school as a counter girl at Whizburger. That’s right, Whizburger (stop laughing) where I learned pretty quickly if you aren’t busy with customers you had better be busy cleaning the counters. No leaning on the cash register chatting with fellow workers for me.

I took this lesson to a succession of minimum wage jobs and working my way up to better positions, I was able to support myself. Next, something called the American Dream said it was time to get married, buy a house and work hard to pay the mortgage. So I did.

Two great children later, I found myself starting a business the same month my husband unexpectedly decided he didn't want the American Dream after all and moved out. There was plenty of work to be done those first few years and, as all small business owners know, it just doesn’t stop. So this duck has been flapping pretty hard for nearly 40 years.

Taking a cue from my feathered friends, I have decided it is time to stop being a duck and become an eagle. To simply draw on universal energy to get where I am going, resting my wings and savoring the beauty along the way. I am still uncertain how to make this change, but as I watch the eagles in flight, it seems quite possible for me to join them!