Friday, July 18, 2008

Blessings at the Beach

I've lagged behind in my blogging in the past few weeks, because I've been traveling for business--to Denver and Seattle--plus we took a brief trip up to Puyallup to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday, and then we had our friends visit from Idaho for a few days.

We spent a wonderful week at the beach in late June/early July. Although we were there from Monday through Saturday, it was not nearly enough time.

We stayed at my parents' wonderful beach house at Nedonna Beach (near Rockaway), which we truly take for granted. We've often vowed to get to the beach once a month, but have rarely followed through. It's amazing how immediately I relax once I walk into that house. Just its proximity to the ocean is enough to ease my nerves.

What is nearby is often taken for granted:

"When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." --Cynthia Ozick

We spent our days hanging out on the beach, watching Wimbledon, and spending time together. Wonderful! I have such fond memories of the beach from my childhood, and my children are lucky to be able to develop similar memories.

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on,
long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”
Kieran can rarely resist the urge to take off his shoes and dip into the water...he's always the one we have to hose off when we return to the house!

My parents joined us from Tuesday through Friday. Mom, Nicholas, and I were able to spend a morning shopping in Nehalem and Wheeler. I was determined to find a replacement for my great antique flour sifter I bought in Wheeler years ago (that finally went kaput)...and I was successful, although in a smaller version. My dad went out of his way to spend individual time with each of the kids: taking Kieran mussel hunting, Chris on a bike ride, and Nicholas to the beach with him and Mom.

My parents' presence also allowed me and Mike to give Kieran some much-needed one-on-one attention one day, when we took him for a walk on the beach. Kieran filled a bucket with seashells, much of them broken. Mike was finding it difficult to understand why Kieran wanted the imperfect ones, while Kieran saw all of them as beautiful! I convinced him to just let him collect whatever caught his eye.

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach;
one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.”
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

He also spent 15 to 20 minutes building a dam in the sand on the edge of this little stream going into the ocean, while we observed:

"I honestly think the beach is the only place children actually entertain themselves."
--Donna McLavy

Kieran was determined to have a lemonade stand, because he wanted to earn money to buy the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" DVD. Mom and I should have been billed as the "producers" of the lemonade stand, but we were glad to help! Here is our little artist/entrepreneur painting his Lemonade Stand sign, using the yellow posterboard and paints we bought:

This is his "pirate" impression...

Meanwhile, Chris had convinced us to allow him to take the Wii to the beach. It turned out to be very fun, because although it belongs to the family, Mike and I rarely play it (it's located downstairs in the family room with the TV). My dad and mom enjoyed playing Wii Sports and Mario Kart Wii with Chris. Here are Dad and Chris being competitive:

Kieran, our mucky one, also loved making sand angels and getting himself thoroughly covered from head to toe in sand--this is the life!!

How I wish that we could experience such true joy as adults!

Our little Wimbledon boy!
“It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much. Everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy...Beach Therapy”--Amy Dykens
“The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively,
just like the sea turtles.”--Sandy Archibald
“Play in the sand; splash in the water; get dirty; get wet. The beach is the only place my mom doesn’t get mad about me doing that stuff. Of course I love the beach!”--Dixie Dykens (age 5)
Kieran being a pirate again!
My wonderful four boys enjoying the beach (and sticks!)

Here is Kieran with his lemonade stand...he made $4.50...
not bad for a first-time entrepreneur!!

And to close, finally, with a line from one of my favorite ocean-themed books:
"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea."
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful photos and what beautiful boys! I loved your beachy quotes. Love, Mom