Sometimes I still can’t believe that I can just drive to the beach. When we lived in Washington, the ocean was at least two hours from our house.
One hot summer day back then, I drove the kids to the beach, imagining the memories we’d create, the photos we’d take.
We arrived to cold, foggy wind. I wanted to lay flat on the sand, not to get a tan, but to escape the worst of the fierce wind.
Now, as September ends here, I can just put on a pair of flip-flops and be at the beach in a matter of minutes, no coat required. The tourists have gone home and it’s unbelievably lovely.
Last Tuesday, I walked along a stretch I don’t visit regularly and had the beach almost all to myself. I did encounter a man and woman–and tried to avoid intruding in their moment–until they asked me to take their photo. He gave me his phone and then they posed twice. They went south and I continued north.
* * *
At 8:30 this morning, I was at the soccer field, waiting for the game to begin.
I wore socks and jeans for the first time in a long time. You forget how socks feel after awhile when you live in southern California. In fact, you kind of start to wish you had a reason to wear a fleece jacket.
I had my big beach umbrella with me to shield the bright morning sun. When we first arrived here two years ago, I scoffed at other parents who had giant umbrellas at soccer games.
I arrived so sun-deprived that I couldn’t imagine that anyone would need a giant umbrella at a soccer game.
Back in Washington, soccer season involved huddling under a rain umbrella, blanket covering my lap while cold rain drenched my shoes.
Now, we hide under umbrellas because the sun makes us too warm on the last Saturday of September.
If you’d asked me to predict my future five years ago, this would not have even made my Top Ten list.
Life is like that, isn’t it?