I’ve been blogging, off and on, about trying to live my life as though I’d already won the lottery. So much of it really seems to be about attitude, after that initial wave of rampant consumerism, of course.
While I would love to live in a huge, lottery-bought house on a magnificent stretch of private beach, I find that I really get a lot out of just taking an hour or so (sometimes even less, if that’s all I have), and just enjoy the sight.
It’s especially helpful after a string of days where I feel like I’ve been chained to my computers and my desk. A little like Sir Paul said in “Band On The Run”, “Stuck inside these four walls, sent inside forever, never seeing no one.” Well, I do get to see Lisa. And the kids. And various dogs. And even the cat. But you get the idea.
As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the ocean. And while I’ve lived in a lot of places (check my Pinterest board if you want the details, almost every single one of them has been in a state that touched the ocean. And all but one of those was the Atlantic.
I was never Mayor of the Atlantic, though. Probably because there was no Foursquare at the time.
For me, there is just something soul-soothing about the ocean. It’s kind of like the way Danny Glover described the Grand Canyon in the movie of the same name.
“You ever been to the Grand Canyon? It’s pretty, but that’s not the thing of it. You can sit on the edge of that big ol' thing and those rocks, the cliffs and rocks are so old. It took so long for that thing to get like that, and it ain't done either! It happens right there while you’re watching it. It’s happening right now as we are sitting here in this ugly town. When you sit on the edge of that thing, you realize what a joke we people really are. What big heads we have, thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much. Thinking that our time here means diddley to those rocks. Just a split second we been here, the whole lot of us. That's a piece of time so small, it ain’t even get a name. Those rocks are laughing at me right now, me and my worries. Yeah, it’s real humorous, that Grand Canyon. It’s laughing at me right now. You know what I felt like? I felt like a gnat that lands on the ass of a cow chewing his cud on the side of the road that you drive by doing 70 mph.”
I couldn’t find the clip on YouTube, so that’s pretty much from memory. It may not be one hundred percent accurate, but you get the ‘gist of it.
I have some great memories of the Ocean.
I can remember catching a glimpse of it, as a kid, at Ocean View Amusement Park in Virginia. You could see it, for a moment, when you rode the “Skyway” cars. You could see more of it from the rollercoaster.
Much more recently, there was a trip to Virginia Beach with Lisa. We were sitting in the hotel restaurant, and the sunrise sparkled on the water, shining like diamonds.
Another time in Myrtle Beach, many years later, I brought my new family back east to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, siblings and their attachments and kids. I went out on the patio of the condo where we were staying, and leaned against the rail to watch the waves. Moments later, all on their own, my new daughter and son came out to join me. That was a really nice five or ten minutes.
I should add that we were both adults at the time. At least chronologically.
And just north of there, in Delaware, I stayed in a hotel that was so close to the water, when the tide came in, I literally felt like the waves were breaking right outside my window.
On a clear day, and there are a lot of them, you can see the ocean from our kitchen window. But it’s a thin, shiny, kind of squiggly line on the horizon. Comforting to know it’s there, but a letdown if you were buying the property because it said “ocean view” and that’s what you got.
By the way, you can't really see it in the picture, so don't hurt your eyes trying.
But I am extremely fortunate that, within about half an hour, I can be parked next to the ocean.
Not only is the geography of the beaches on the Pacific much different than that on the Atlantic, the music associated with the beach is also very different.
In my first few trips to the beach on the left coast, I expected to hear the Beach Boys being piped in. Back east, especially around the Carolinas, where I spent most of my life, beach music is different. It’s a lot more Motowny than “Surfin’ Safari”, more Drifters than Jan and Dean.
They both mean the same thing to me, and that’s what I was listening to as I ambled along Sunset Cliffs Blvd, overseeing my constituents and basking in the glow of my new mayorship.
So here’s what shuffled out of my Beach Playlist…
First Class “Beach Baby”
Bruce Springsteen “Girls In Their Summer Clothes”
Sly and the Family Stone “Hot Fun In The Summer Time”
Seals and Crofts “Summer Breeze”
The O’Kasions “Girl Watcher”
Eddie Cochrane “Summertime Blues”
Janis Joplin “Summertime”
Rivieras “California Sun”
Jan and Dean “Surf City”
As I wish I had some of those hot, salty Thrasher's fries, I wish you some beach in your day, or whatever else gives you that just-won-the-lottery feeling!
P.S. – Hi Marvin! It’s all there – the falling star, McCartney (from “Band On The Run”) and even some steak!