Monday, April 30, 2018

Let the Countdown Begin

Getting into the beach groove here is as easy - and ultimately comfortable - as putting on an old pair of shoes.

The last to wake up, I ate breakfast on the porch watching the morning sun sparkle over bottle green water, then walked north to check out the Southern Shores beaches. I could count on two hands the number of people on the beach along the way.

A shame because the weather was glorious, a real switch from yesterday's breezy cool.

The day was spent on the beach reading, first the brief "Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School," followed by Art Buchwald's 1993 memoir, "Leaving Home." I grew up reading his columns in the Washington Post so I was curious about how a Jewish kid from NYC wound up being a humorist in the nation's capital.

Lots of foster homes, an entrepreneurial spirit and a stint in the Marine Corps was apparently enough to do it. His self-deprecating style makes every anecdote he shares seem both hilarious and vaguely relatable, which is laughable given how he was friends with so many politicians and celebrities while I have nary a famous acquaintance to my name.

The little plane that flies over the beaches pulling a banner for a local company seemed a bit forlorn today, the banner dragging precipitously low, even considering the scarcity of people on the beach to see it.

Go big or go home, buddy. Drag that thing like you mean it or just stay in the hanger.

When I wasn't reading about Art losing his virginity to a hotel maid after his shift ended, I was stretched out on my beach towel napping like I hadn't slept 9 hours last night. The thing is, you don't even have to be tired, it's just the sun and the sound of the surf and next thing I know, I'm waking up with a crick in my neck.

Later, in line at the Food Lion, I wound up behind two guys I immediately pegged as locals.

The first, a surfer dude-looking guy with long blond curls and a very tan face, ended his transaction with the cashier by saying, "Thanks, my dude," and offering up a half-hearted peace sign. The second, shorter haired but just as tan, needed no more than a six pack and a steak, but informed the cashier he was crabby after a long day doing roofing.

My guess is that they come for the questionable glamour of OBX  life, then when life becomes mundane they end up just another clich├ęd middle-aged man shopping alone at the grocery store.

I might just be over-thinking that, though.

I haven't done a single thing today that I haven't done here scads of times before, yet that's the beauty of it. With the entire house open to the ocean, we're all just letting the sound of the surf reset our souls to full-on relaxation mode.

As for gratitude for my unfolding beach week, I can't even say, "Thanks, my dude" because I  orchestrated the whole thing myself. The best part is when I booked this trip week last Fall, I had absolutely no clue where my life might be by now.

So instead I'll say, thanks, Adjustment Department, for making everything dovetail so beautifully. I finally got this.

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