Go to the Beach

Never let them tell you it is too cold.

Aunt Amanda gave Mim a wearable blanket for her birthday and Mim rarely takes it off. Cutest Miss Claus I have ever seen.

We came to my mom’s in Hilton Head for Thanksgiving. George, Mim, and I are taking advantage of the whole week. Linus is with us because he is the Bark Instigator at our condo and we cannot subject our neighbors to that again. A dog babysitter is coming for Frida and Posey to my house. I can’t bring Frida here because she eats pillows. Posey has to keep Frida company. So Linus is being punished with daily beach trips and living it up in Mum’s waterfront home.

The Great Dane is Ruby, my sister’s dog. She is an angel. At the beach she runs towards strangers and if she likes you, she leans in for a long hug. It is a bit disconcerting to see a Great Dane running toward you. It is a bit disconcerting to see a Great Dane at all. Bred for their beauty and size, these sweet gentle beasts do not get to live that long. I cannot judge. I have a bulldog and they are breeding disasters, also. Ruby and Linus are both five years old. This reminds me of a theory that my cousins and I had. The sweet grandmother always dies first. The one that gives you bottles of Coca-Cola and ten dollar bills. The one that pats the couch when you enter the room.

On Thanksgiving morning, I anxiously await the start of the Westminster dog show. It comes on right after the parade. It makes no sense that I love to watch this beauty pageant of misspent funds and unearthly breeding practices. But I love it. When I was a little girl, I read a book about dog breeds. I loved the breeds and their stated personality differences. The little graphs that stated the need for brushing, exercise and sleep. I read over and over again to strengthen my debate points when asking for a pet. The begging of my sisters and I lead us to get a springer spaniel who peed a tiny bit every time she greeted us. I don’t begrudge her this small mess anymore, like I did when I was a teenager with a young bladder.

Yesterday was BeBe’s 22 birthday. She stayed in Atlanta and she is driving up with Dolly today. She is my little Thanksgiving miracle. Her feathery brown curls fluffed under her halo. The little cherub and Tuck only 19 months older would poke her sleeping eye lids and watch her eyes flutter open and proclaim, “Look, mama.” He was surprised they opened without turning her upside down like a baby doll. Tuck is in Santa Cruz. He has work at the surf shop where everyone skips work and claims they have Covid. Tucky picks up the slack and his pay slowly rises. Claire’s family will feed him.

By the end of the day, the numbers for Thanksgiving will rise to 20. But today, I wake up slow with coffee and George playing my songs on the guitar. (He creamed Mum and I at Scrabble last night.) Mim is on the dock with Ficken, my new son in law. They fish without catching anything.

Maybe I got to the beach to humidify Mim’s hair and photography her ringlets.

Hugs will warm us. Water will refresh us. Sea air will awaken us. Sounds will envelop us. The ocean will heal us.

I usually read the book below to my library students. The origin story of the parade and the giant balloons. Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Last year’s best in show.


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