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Suburban Island

When at the Beach
Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004, 12:30 a.m.

QUESTION: Where's your mood ring?

WHAT I LEARNED: It helps to have friends in high places.

I had fun at the beach last Thursday and Friday because I did nothing - except some stuff that really wasn’t officially something. I did not check my email. I did not bring my computer. I did not check my voice mail messages. That is all something stuff. I did do nothing stuff like walk around the boardwalk, listen to the ocean, and hang out with my mom and my daughter. Nothing stuff is better than something stuff when you are at the beach.

The trip to the beach was a chilly sunny escape from reality. We were expecting rain but the sun never stopped shining – except in the P.M. of course. My mom says she especially prayed for the rain to go away and come again some other day. She has a connection with the Blessed Mother you see – Saint Mary being her Godmother and all. The reason for this is my mother’s untimely arrival into this world – she couldn’t wait to get started and arrived decidedly and dangerously early. Because my mother came into this world prematurely and they were worried she might not survive, they needed godparents pronto. Where are all the good Godparent candidates when you need them? As it was, they rustled up a proper Godfather but could find no one to take on Godmotherly duties on such short notice. So, who ya gonna call? Well, Saint Mary of course. She likes kids and is very maternal. And so my mom got the really cool Godmother while the rest of us are stuck with regular people in the Godparent capacity.

Getting back to the sunshine – when my mother heard of the gloomy extended forecast, she put in a request with her Godmom to take the sunshine issue upstairs. I guess it worked because we got lovely sunbeams shining down on us both days even though the weather report said our two days at the beach were supposed to be rather cloudy and damp. There’s nothing like a sunshiny day at the beach to lift your spirits – even if you are dressed in your winter clothes. Evidently, it pays to have connections.

I love the beach – sunshine or not. At the beach, you can get your mom to drink lattes even though she doesn’t like coffee. At the beach, eating pretzel wraps filled with chicken cordon bleu or potatoes and cheese tastes as good as dinner at the Ritz. At the beach, you can buy another pair of flip-flops for summer and sunglasses for your kid – again. At the beach you can find a lighter for your son that has a flame that turns from green to red and says Bike Week 2003 on the front of it even though he is forbidden from actually using the lighter. At the beach you can go to the Harley store and buy a government surplus top from a chick with blond braids and a red bandana who could beat your ass if she wanted to but has a nice chat with you about said top instead. At the beach you can buy mood rings for everyone and wear them home without feeling silly. At the beach you can ponder the life of hermit crabs and buy large boxes of salt-water taffy without regret.

We are all back from the beach now but I can still hear the echo of the surf between chores and work tasks. And I bet if I checked in with my mom right now she’d be wearing her mood ring and wishing she’d bought a Bike Week 2003 lighter too.

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