Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gray Day at the Beach

Saturday, the famdamily and I spent the day on the rocky Oregon coast. We started in Florence and worked our way up to Newport's waterfront historic district.

For a native Oregonian, the weather was perfect. Sixty degrees or so, breezy, raining and foggy. Gray waves. Gray sky. Gray seals bobbing in the surf. Lovely. Sandy kid, sandy dog...both tuckered by the time we got home. We all stayed up past bedtime and had a late dinner of wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Good fishy. I highly recommend it.

Easy to cook, too – I don’t understand how anyone messes up cooking salmon, but I've eaten some bad salmon at restaurants. I usually bake it with a sprinkling of steak spice on top (20-30 min at 400 degrees). Last night, when the fish was done, I added a sauce of melted butter mixed with lemon juice and garlic powder. Any suggestions on how anyone else prefers to prepare salmon?

My 5-yr-old daughter found two boys her size at the first beach, Heceta Head Lighthouse State Park. She chatted with them for a few minutes, and they gave her a whole sand dollar they had found. I have never found a whole one in 36 years of looking. My little charmer flutters her eyelashes at boys she just met and they give her something rare and valuable…as hubby says, "I feel sorry for her boyfriends."

Kidlet got knocked down in the waves. Spooked her a little, but not too badly. Hubby was escorting her back to the beach at a run and they both got swamped. Most damage was water in Daddy's boots. I brought plenty of dry clothes for her, so she was warm by the time we headed north.

We ate lunch at Mo's and bought candy next door at the little shop with saltwater taffy displayed in a dingy. I bought yummy fudge. And yes, I ate the whole square myself on the way home. Someday I'll finish my children's book series set on that waterfront, the trio of stories about Mo, Sally, and Ginger.

We hit a second beach on the way home, and this time she found a large puddle to play in, away from the surf. All the fun of squishing your boots down into the wet sand, none of the risk of being drawn out in the Pacific's nasty undertow. She was soaked again, of course, but had lots of fun. It's a good thing I packed hot chocolate – those cold little hannies needed it!

I enjoyed the break from hovering over her, fully aware of the danger involved in playing in the surf on our coast. While she squelched happily in the puddle, I closed my eyes and listened to the roar of the surf. Opened my eyes and gazed across the layers of incoming waves. Rolling, breaking, criss-crossing unpredictably. The Pacific holds power; anyone standing next to it is a fool to believe otherwise.

Now to harness that in my writing.