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"Let's go to the beach," I tell him.
The day is blustery, rain sideways.
The sky, pavement, and buildings
In shades of gray.
City center sign, traffic heavy,
Road grime sprays the windshield.
Four-lane freeway goes on,
Passing cities and then towns.
It narrows to a curvy high way.
Wintry northwest valleys,
White Cascade mountains loom,
Their crevices in blue.
The forest pungent and musky,
Lavished with fir, cedar, hemlock, fern,
They lend a rich, deep green, verdure.
The woodsy floor thickly carpeted.
Moss bed cushion white tailed deer.
The black bear hovers in hollow logs,
Awaiting Aries wake up call.
A white clapboard farmhouse
Stands tall on a grassy knoll.
Bare willows, linear poplars, surround it.
A spacious porch wraps around, friendly, inviting.
I envision summer wicker stored safely away.
The bench swing moves slightly in the breeze.
A white picket fence cordons off the yard,
Separating it from barren pastures.
A Pershing workhorse stands statuesque.
The maple tree above his head is barren
Soaked mossy limbs drip moisture on his shiny back.
His expression morose, nostrils shooting steam.
We drive into a small berg.
A gift shop selling chain saw sculptures,
Redwood burrells, Indian baskets, salt water taffy.
The store, itís architecture lodge-pole,
bird faced totems flank the entrance
And a lone gas pump, old, rounded at the top.
We freshen up at the Dairy Queen.
We are close to the ocean now.
I can smell it, feel it, I breathe deep then stretch.
Back on the curvy road a sign,
Seaside Oregon, 20 miles.
Our radio stations rasp static.
I switch it off, grinning, anticipating.
My husband knows I am excited.
He glances at me, brown eyes smiling.
The ocean swells are spectacular,
White caps spray, my lips taste salty.
The windy chill invigorating,
Icy rain quenches my upturned face.
My hat blows down the beach.
Sea lions bark from their black craggy rock.
Gulls squawk gliding on the wind, wings spread.
Whale pods pass working their way south.
Shiny gun- metal gray sand,
Each wave scribbling a foamy design.
Sand dollars show off their etchings.
I turn into the wind arms outstretched.
My husband with my hat in hand,
Takes my picture.
The harbor is full, tethered fishing boats rock back and forth.
Advisory flag up, whipping vigorously.
Nets and crab pots clutter the sides of the dock.
A Bearded skipper,
heavily clad in rain gear and wool stocking cap,
Yell instructions to his crew
on board the deck of the Gracie Anne.
Their weathered faces an epic.
I remember these brave men,
Growing up in a coastal town,
Lumber, crab, shrimp, oysters the only industry.
I played and fished off the docks.
I know their vernacular well.
I return to regenerate my soul.
I am tempted to stop a certain captain
And beg from him a seafaring story.
But I knew he would give me a growl.
We play on the beach, go to the aquarium,
Then later, go dancing.
We watch the sea from our room,
Hotel lights turn the ocean black and white.
The lighthouse perched on the horizon
Is turning its massive globe.
I know that we must leave and that is okay.
We live in where the evergreen grow.
I am most thankful for them in winter.
Spring is nearing. We will return.
I have to. There is no choice. I would die.
We hold each other tight as a goodbye to the sea,
Then we sigh and reluctantly pack our bags.
Down the road, toward home,
The horse looks as if he hasnít moved.
His expression the same.
This time we drive straight through.
I nap most of the way.
I hear the radio, seventies rock.
Late Sunday afternoon, traffic light,
Cumulous clouds tower,
Sun streaming into a perfect fan.
The sky cornflower blue.
We are in the driveway now,
I get out stiff in the knees.
That night we both slept hard
And awoke to a blaring alarm.
Ignore it I whispered,
His breath in my hair, I feel him relax,
"If you have the chance to sit it out or dance, I just say Dance." writen by Mark Sanders recorded by LeeAnn Womack