Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life's a Beach (And One Year Blogiversary)

You know you've perhaps left the regular world behind when a truck turns in front of you that has a shark jaw attached to the grille. Other signs surface, too: throngs of people are walking, not at the strident city pace, but more at a languid stroll; traffic has slowed to well below the speed limit; most drivers' windows are down; and surfboards crown car tops.

At the final turn, as the expanse of the beach opens fully, you are again taken by how the sky and the surf team together and push the horizon almost out of sight.



The sand welcomes each footstep's tattoo. Already, the transformations have begun. A man whose recumbent silhouette matches that of a Volkswagen Beetle proves surprisingly agile when lofted upwards on a kite board. Two women whose bikinis have been overrun by that which they should contain do not provoke stares or giggles. They walk comfortably in the ebb, deep in conversation. An elderly man and woman each grasp a hand of the chubby, copper haired toddler between them, the baby slathered in white layers of sunscreen like mayo on a hamburger bun.

Sea gulls and grackles compete for the title of jester, each group daring the other to more outlandishly bold antics. Their calls blend with the comforting clamor of the waves.

Those waves strain to reach further across the sand, all bluster and fury until their gentle denouement into the shore. Breaking with an unforced, ancient rhythm that began when God Himself first stirred the waters, their cadence seeps into you. Your heart rate calms and steadies, and the herkey-jerky thought patterns of the work world even out in harmony with the majestic pounding under you.

The sun has warmed your body and is now steeping your soul, relentlessly illuminating every dark nook and niche.


Your eyes close and the crisp saltiness of the air plunges through your sinuses, cleansing and opening, inviting in the cool Gulf breezes.

Life is indeed a beach.


This is my one year blogiversary. Thank you all for so graciously reading, commenting, and sharing in my life. I was only going to do this one month...I'm like the guest who comes  to visit and won't leave!









79 comments:

  1. I smiled ear to ear as I read this, Shelly. This is an example of superb writing. It transported me back to my childhood and my favorite place, the beach. The resort towns along the Maryland, Delaware and Jersey shore were my family's favorite summer vacation destinations. All ages, shapes and sizes of people converged to share a common experience. I can still see that distant horizon, the comical little birds scampering along the sand, the shells and the smooth, wave polished pebbles. I can hear the incessant crash of the tumbling tide overtaking the music from a nearby transistor radio playing a rock 'n' roll favorite. I can smell Coppertone and Sea & Ski tanning lotion, taste salt water and salt water taffy. I can feel the brisk sea breeze, the cooling ocean spray and the healing warmth of the sun seeping through my soul and driving out my demons. There's nothing like a day at the beach.

    Oh, when the sun beats down
    And burns the tar up on the roof
    And your shoes get so hot
    You wish your tired feet were fireproof
    Under the boardwalk
    Down by the sea, yeah
    On a blanket with my baby
    Is where I'll be

    In the park you hear
    The happy sound of the carousel
    You can almost taste the hot dogs
    And French fries they sell
    Under the boardwalk
    Down by the sea, yeah
    On a blanket with my baby
    Is where I'll be
    (Under the boardwalk) Out of the sun
    (Under the boardwalk) We'll be having some fun
    (Under the boardwalk) People walking above
    (Under the boardwalk) We'll be falling in love
    (Under the boardwalk, boardwalk)

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    1. Shady: You've captured it perfectly, my friend, and that song should be playing at every beach in America. There's just something about the beach that so completely says home to me. As close as we live to the beach, I should be going much more often. There's just too much to enjoy there that is good and healthy. Thank you for your great comment!

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  2. The sun steeping my soul--love this description!! I know exactly what that feels like. So glad that you are getting some R&R. Next post needs to be the story of that tattoo.

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    1. Nancy: Well, let's say HYPOTHETICALLY there was one. And let's say HYPOTHETICALLY it was in a strategic place...HYPOTHETICALLY it wouldn't be good for me to talk about, all HYPOTHETICALLY speaking, you know, HYPOTHETICALLY, and all.

      (I actually reworded that sentence so it can stay HYPOTHETICAL!)

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  3. You write so wonderfully, Shelly! I could just smell that ocean air!

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    1. Dr. Kathy: It is intoxicating, that air!

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    2. Yes! And also happy first anniversary! I'm so glad you're blogging! I love to read your posts!

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    3. Dr. Kathy: Thank you for your very kind words!

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  4. you make me yearn for that salty taste on my lips!!!

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    1. Annmarie Pipa: There's nothing like it!

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    2. and happy blog anniversary too!!

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    3. Annemarie Pipa: Thank you!

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  5. Dearest Shelly,
    What a beautiful post about beach♬♬♬ I could feel how you love your beach from your fabulous writing. Oh, it tenderly cuddles and hugs your soul. Just take a look at it while driving is enough for me to get a bit comfortable feeling(^_^)v
    Although we lived half an hour drive from the sea, my father loved taking us to the sea and we enjoyed gathering of clams and all!!!
    I can even smell the ocean air now from your beautiful description. Thanks for reminding me of my beautiful old-time memories with family♡♡♡ They are really precious for us when kids and I thank my parents for their efforts leaving me these lovely experiences.
    Please enjoy being there to be refreshed if you find time, my friend.
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako

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    1. Orchid: What beautiful, lovely memories you have, my dear friend Miyako! I love that you were able to spend such special times there with your family. We, too, are close to the beach, and I hope to go more often this summer. It is a wonderful place to spend time with our loved ones and create memories. I hope you get to go to the beach again soon! Love to you~

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  6. Loved your description of the beach; I was especially moved by the elderly couple walking with the toddler between them, lathered in sunscreen from head to toe I would imagine. How they must have felt with that precious cargo they were holding hands with. enjoying its excitement of the beach and the sand, but concerned about safety, would he bolt from their hands and take off, would he get sunburned, did they cover every inch of his skin, etc.

    I hope you are at the beach and enjoying it in person :)

    betty

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    1. Betty: They were truly a precious sight to see. We do love the beach, and live only about 40 minutes away, so it's easy to take quick trips over. We'll be going again next week. Thank you for your kind words!

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  7. So glad you decided to linger in Blogland - I love your writing and am so glad you are having a great get-away at the Beach!!

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    1. Sweet Tea: Thank you so much, Debbie! And thank you for the shout-out on FB on the last post. You have a lot of people who read your statuses because I had a lot of visitors from FB~

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  8. This was lovely, Shelley, and reminded me that I need to get myself to the beach. Soon. My daughter will be here Saturday, and I'm hoping we can have a beach day while she and the girls are here. So much to do to get ready for them!
    You are like the guest that everyone hopes will stay forever. I get such pleasure reading what you've written, I can't tell you. I hope you'll stay a long time.

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    1. Karen: You touched my heart with your very kind words. Thank you! I really hope you get a great beach day with your daughter and the girls- nothing like those days!

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  9. I actually exhaled deeply as I read this. The stress of the day left my body and I melted into your words. Beautiful. What a beautiful, beautiful post. *sigh*

    Congrats for the one year anniversary. I feel richer for having got to know you and for having read your writings.

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    1. Crystal: The beach is one of the most relaxing places for me-always will be. Thank you for your kind words. It was, after all, your blog that finally gave me the impetus to start one of my own, so thank you especially for that!

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  10. Lovely post Shelly, and happy blog anniversary ^_^
    Have a great day!

    Eva

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    1. Eva: Thank you, my fellow beach lover!

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  11. Happy one year Blogiversary, dear friend Shelly! It seems like I have known you much longer. I will always remember how you found me first and became a loyal friend weeks before I was compelled to reciprocate. When I look at your rapidly expanding roster of followers I am very happy that so many people around the globe are finding you and benefiting from your friendship and wisdom.

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    1. Shady: You have always been such a faithful blog friend and have taught me much about how to be a good citizen in the blog world. Thank you!

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  12. What a beautiful poem, Shelly. Indeed you have written a poem. It is as though I were there on that beach, too.

    Oh, please. Stick around; you are not a guest overstaying a welcome-- you are one of us!

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    1. vanilla: I've always had difficulty writing poetry, and thus don't attempt it anymore, so your words are gold to me- thank you!

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  13. Happy Happy One Year! I raise my glass to you and glad you found me..or I found you through Jamie!

    We have a lot of lakes and rivers here in Minnesota..not the same as an ocean but still..have you ever heard a loon call?

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    1. Christine: I'm so glad to have found you, too, in this amazing blog world- thank you!

      I have actually heard someone talking about a loon call, but not heard one. Now, I am going to Google that so I can hear it!

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  14. The rain is painting the world outside my window grey and damp and cold. Yet I felt it all fade away as the surf pulled me into your sunshine and sand, for a moment the gulls drowned out the sound of tires on wet pavement. You are so gifted Shelly, truly so. If you have found/nurtured/grown this gift here in blogland, we are all better for it.

    Happy "one," I'm honored to know you. xo

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    1. Chantel: I am truly honored by your words, and in fact phrases from your last post were still turning over in mind even yesterday. Thank you, friend!

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  15. Happy Blogiversary!! I feel as Shady said, like I've known you much longer than that. Thanks for sharing yourself and your stories so wonderfully. I'm richer for knowing you, mi amiga! :) (I don't know if I wrote that correctly, it just seemed appropriate for La Tejana!)

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    1. Nancy: Thank you so much for stopping by again with your terrific wishes, mi buen amiga! It means the world to me. I only thought about adding the one year anniversary blurb after the first comments had already been made, and I appreciate more than you can know that you would take the time to come back by. I count myself a wealthy woman with friends like you~

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  16. Happy Anniversary! Glad that you stuck around for the entire year! This is a beautiful piece. The ocean is my escape. When I lie on the sand I melt into it and generally am lulled to sleep by the sounds around me. Now, I want to get there!!!!

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    1. laughingmom: There's nothing like that surf, sand, and sun! Thank you~

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  17. Happy Anniversary, Shelly. You post are always fresh and enjoyable. Love you so much :)

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    1. Izdiher: Thank you so much, my friend!

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  18. Happy blogaversary! A lovely evocation of the ocean to one landlocked Londoner.

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    1. Jenny: Thank you, my lovely British friend~

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  19. Life is a beach - if you remember it is - sometimes I forget. So congrats on your one year anniversary and may you have many many more. sandie

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    1. Sandie: So true! many thanks, friend~

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  20. Loved this and the saying life is a beach but sometimes for me it maybe a beach but it is a beach that has tsunami aproaching........lol

    Happy blogaversary to you Happy blogaversary to you hope you are around for many more

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    1. Jo-Anne: You crack me up! Thank you so much~

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  21. Your writing is so lovely. Happy Blogiversary!

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    1. Lydia: You are so kind- thank you!

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  22. Happy Blogiversary! I'm so glad you decided to stay on Blogger. You are such a great writer and friend. I love the beach and ocean. I wish I lived on a hill overlooking the sea. Maybe one day! I love the smell, the feel the sound and the look of the seashore.

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    1. Belle: You have been my friend from the beginning, Belle, and you don't know how much that means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  23. Happy Blogiversary to you dear one! I've been taking a blogging break of sorts, but wanted to be sure and give you my congrats. Your blog is such a lovely read, full of inspiration and warmth. Enjoy the beach...it's one of my favorite places in the world. Perhaps I'll be back soon...life is rather busy at the moment.
    Much love...

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    1. Sush: I have missed you! I know you have many happy events in your life going on and I look forward to when you will be resuming your posts! You are a dear friend and I thank you for your constant kindness to me~

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  24. Congratulations on your one year Blogoversary! Life is indeed a beach!

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    1. Romance Book Haven: Thank you so much!

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  25. Dear Shelly, congratulations on your anniversary. I'm so glad that you continued to write after that one month passed because you write so well and your posting always make me stop and think about my own life and the wonder of it. Peace.

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    1. Dee: Thank you for stopping by even when you may not be feeling 100%. I also thank you for your very kind words, my friend~

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  26. So glad you never left! Happy blogiversary!

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    1. Missed Periods: I'm all the richer for it- thank you!

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  27. Congratulations on your blogiversary, Shelly!

    Reading your post is like taking a mini vacation for the mind. Thanks to your wonderful way with words, I could so easily imagine every lovely thing you wrote--and even the things I don't really want to imagine -- "...whose bikinis have been overrun by that which they should contain..." ;-)

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    1. Super Earthling: Thank you for your sweet words! About the bikinis...I was trying to paint an accurate picture, but do it in a nice way...there's just no real way to say some things nicely, though.. :)

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  28. Congratulations on the anniversary!

    Great post!

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  29. I love what you write and I hope you don't stop.. one day it will be a book to delight the souls of many.. You are so special, and you have a gift with words. xxxx

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    1. Crystal Mary: You are always so kind to me, my friend. Thank you- hugs and love back to you!

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  30. Happy Bloggiversary! So very happy that you have found your happy place here in blogland. I'm also so happy that I found your blog. I really enjoy visiting you!! Enjoy and celebrate!

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  31. Simone: Thank you, friend! I so appreciate your kind words~

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  32. Happy Blogiversary, Shelly!! I'm sure glad I found you here. You are one of the best storytellers around and your blog is always so uplifting. Even in sadness, you share so much wisdom and I always leave here feeling inspired. This post drew me in and made me feel I was actually at the beach. I miss being close to the water.

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    1. Jenn June: Thank you so for your sweet words- they touched my heart! I love having found such good blogging friends like you!

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  33. Hi Shelly. Sorry I'm late, but many congratulations on reaching your first Blogaversary!! Well done. I loved reading about your visit to the beach. You described it all absolutely perfectly. It really is so refreshing for the soul, isn't it?! Enjoy!

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    1. Thisisme: How kind you are- thank you! I do believe the beach is the perfect tonic for whatever ails us~

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  34. A big beach lover here, it is so good to have moved back east to be nearer to the beaches. Several times we went down to South Padre, that might be in your neck of the woods, I am not sure. I loved South Padre but it is a distance from Dallas. About three weeks ago we took the plunge and made our reservations for North Myrtle Beach. Your writing is beautiful as always in this post.

    It seems just like yesterday I "met" you online, here on your blog. I am glad you come here often and not just for the month as you had originally thought. Congratulations on your blog's first birthday! ♥

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    1. Cindy: I remember I "met" you very early on and I was so happy to find your blog. Yes, South Padre is one of our very favorite beaches and within driving distance for us. It's one of the prettiest beaches in Texas, IMO.

      Thank you for your kind words!

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  35. Happy blogiversary!!!! It's addicting and fun though isn't it? SO glad you stayed longer than a month!!! SO glad I've "met" you--I so look forward to your posts, I save them for when I have uninterupted time to read....sometimes they sit and wait for me for days....

    Love the beach thing....so want to be there, you help bring it to me!!

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    1. Jamie: One of the best things about blogging is I've gotten to meet you and count you as a good friend. You all will have to come some time and we can all go explore some beaches!

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  36. Shelly - CON-BLOGULATIONS!

    I enjoy your writing so much and I am so glad you decided to "extend your stay."

    Enjoy the beach!

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  37. This is imagery so real you can see it in 3D, a pattern of words to inhale, thoughts that uplift the tired heart like the man on the kite board. Your writing is a telescopic lens that allows me to see your Texas shoreline from the Piedmont of North Carolina. I was there on your beach, giggling at the little mayo covered baby buns.

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    1. Jenny: I love that we have the parallel of our beloved beaches- what a lovely idea! Thank you for your kind, sweet words, and welcome back!

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  38. That was beautiful, Shelly!! I am so glad you decided to keep going after a month. Your words are beautiful and funny, too. Loved the Volkswagen analogy!

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