A few weeks ago the kids and I drove up the coast to my favorite vacation spot in the world...my grandmother's beach cabin in Salmon Creek. It's a quaint little fishing community, or at least, used to be, but now is a very quiet collection of mismatched cabins and more sumptuous beach-side homes. My great-grandparents built the cabin in the 1920's and would come from the city to beat the sweltering summer heat. At one time or another, family members have lived at the cabin making contributions to it's internal and external architecture. So, we reminisce...the door that Uncle Tim created--a collage of oddities glued to it's structure; the ski benches created by Uncle Steve; the abalone shells adorning the weathered back fence--all victims of Uncle Charles' diving prowess; the placement of kitchen dishes and table clothes--a constantly evolving product of my grandmother, mother, and various aunties. I am immersed in memories, some of the best of my life.
I like to make this yearly escape simply to BE...to be amongst the tangle of wildflowers, serenity of tides slapping the same dunes I climbed as a child, the constancy of walking through the village to the beach and seeing the same homes year after year, joyous reconnections with family as they stop by with fresh fish, strawberries, games, and warm hugs. No electronics. No cell phone. No internet.
Each year I am thankful that my children have been able to share my paradise. Digging holes to China and trying to get there before the incoming tide triumphed. Rolling down the dunes into the moderately warmer Salmon Creek until one is encrusted with sand. Picking our way through tufts of dune grass and ice plant as we return home on the back side of the dunes. Late sun streaming through cabin windows bathing us in a rosie glow. Dune golf with tennis balls, all an inspiration of Uncle Steve. Kayaking up the creek until the underbrush prohibits further exploration. Black and white Gilligan's Island and Loony Tunes. Chase and Blackjack with Uncle Steve.
Once groceries were obtained from town, we didn't move the car until someone, a week later, felt that salt-water taffy from Bodega Bay was a must. And then we started the old girl up a week later to return home. No running around. No agendas, No site-seeing. That's my idea of a vacation.
Oh, and I made jewelry...a gillion new Magpies to share with you! The next week or so, I'll be posting my beach-inspired creations.
My little ChickiePie, Julianna.
From the top of the dunes looking down at Bodega Bay Beach.
A bird in flight over the reeds edging Salmon Creek.