When I was a little girl and it was time to leave the beach, my father opened up his plaid thermos and told me to go to the car, with my mother and my sister, while he collected the ocean and put it in his thermos, to save it for another day. I remembered, in my little girl mind, that I believed the power of my father and his thermos and that we owned the beach. It was magical to think that all that I could see at the ocean’s edge, fit into a thermos.
Today, as reported by every newscaster, newpaper and prognosicator of weather, it was stated that it was the “unofficial end of summer”. Let the masses believe that, because I know better. My FHB and I headed to a nearby beach to survey the water and people watch. The wind was kicking around and if I didn’t know the date, it seemed like early August or maybe late July with small crowds of families and couples and beachcombers.
What I am willing to admit is that looking back on my list of things I planned to do this summer, I recognized that “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” to quote John Lennon. Of my list of 13 accomplishments/hopes/desires, I got to about 5 of them and some of them were adaptations or iterations of my original list. I never found my penpal but did find out that Lisabeth Feijoo is a very popular Filipino name and the source of that information was someone who was helping me with a credit card question and she was in Manila. I had asked her if she knew Lisabeth and unfortunately, her answer was no. I did read the complete novel “Moby Dick”. I liked about 360 of the 740 pages. I would recommend the Spark notes but the language is flowery and repetitive. Spoiler alert. The whale dies and so does Ahab.
I never got to the JFK Library, but did see a colorful Matisse exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I tried swordfish and amazingly, I hated it. That did propel my FHB and me into a week of vegan eating including a surfeit of veggies and beans and a delicious dark chocolate cake. I neither tie dyed or created food dyes but the fall and winter are close at hand and I now have the materials should I be motivated. I never got my car detailed but does getting it washed count? I visited Lizzie Borden’s house and the only thing that is haunting me are the daily emails to invite me back. We never made it to the Saint Lawrence Seaway but that was easily surpassed, though not a competition, by a phenomenal trip to Norway and Denmark. I used my passport, but did not get my German one. I saw several Norweigan sunrises and the jet lag contributed to some lovely early mornings.
One of my wishes was to swim in the ocean this summer. The weather and my schedule never seemed to coincide, but today I walked into the warmth of Buzzards Bay. I went in with my flipflops (very rocky terrain) and stood a few feet from the edge and felt the sand between my toes. The waves lapped at my legs and I burrowed my flipflopped feet deep into the sandy bottom. A little bit of heaven. Check it, sort of, off my list.
I collected a few shells like coins in my pocket. I didn’t have a thermos to gather the ocean and take it with me. Once the summer people are gone, I can feel, as I walk back to my car, my father standing on the beach, thermos in hand. I hold my imagination in my heart. Thanks, Daddy, for giving me a wonderful forever gift.