Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life's a Beach

So I want to be sure to point this out - for the first time in 3 years, I lasted a full 365 days at the same residence. Not too bad, huh?

Well….not too bad for me. For all you normal people who haven't had to visit the DMV website every 4-6 months to submit their Change of Address form, you may not be as impressed.

And truth be told, as our lease's anniversary rolled around, we weren’t even planning on moving (no seriously!!).  I was all set to stay where I was at, completely satisfied with the home that Spanky and I had made. It wasn’t until one night when he was cruising Craigslist that he happened upon a listing for an apartment that listed “Fabulous Ocean Views!!!!”

(OK – I said we weren't planning on moving – doesn’t mean we weren’t taking a little peek here and there)


So I look at the website, and lo and behold it’s a building I recognize from our walks along the beach. We must have walked past this building dozens of times, thinking “if only we could live there…” So to make a long story short, a few weeks later everything we owned was in boxes (cats included) and being shipped off down the road to our new home at the beach.

Now, before you think it’s all sun and games where I live, there is a drawback - and it's one I never even thought of when weighing the pros and cons of moving.  It's the friendly neighborhood foghorn.

Yup…the foghorn. And not one of those big “Whhoooooeeeee – Oooohhhhmmmm” types you hear in the movies that might be kind of cool if you heard it go off.  Nope.  It's this whiny little “whaaaaaaa” sounding thing. And it goes off every 20-30 seconds.  It goes off in the morning.  It goes off at night.  If it's even remotely a little hazy out there, "whaaaaaa" goes the horn.

As the days with the foghorn went on, I was beginning to question our decision to move.  I mean, at the old apartment we had the soothing buzz of the LAPD helicopter at night that helped me drift off to sleep.  I shared a water heater with 12 other units - so I had developed a great appreciation for hot water.  I was just about on the verge of seriously throwing everything back in the boxes and running back to Mar Vista when I decided I just needed to escape it for awhile.  So I went for a nice long walk far, far away from the foghorn.  And as the sound of the ocean soothed my frayed nerves, I remembered why it was I wanted to move here in the first place, put the negativity out of my mind and started really taking a good look around.

It amazes me how the ocean never stops moving.  I mean, it may become more animated or slip into a lull - but whether you're there or not, it just keeps on going.  There's something soothing about knowing that constant is always there.  Meanwhile, there is a lot of sand on them there beaches. And I realize that seems like a stupid statement – but seriously. A lot. And it gets everywhere. For example, without taking a header off the two inch tall sidewalk, how did I get sand in my hair...and in my shirt....and in my....  Wait.  Now I know that's just wrong....

Next, for the record, in the movie "Finding Nemo" seagulls are funny. But in real life - seagulls are the rats of the ocean. Again – I realize this is probably an obvious “duh” – but they really are kind of creepy and kind of everywhere. But I discovered there are grey seagull things. And I have to admit – they’re a lot better than the white feather ones. They’ve got these cool little tufts of feathers on their head that make them much more friendly looking. They also seem a lot less territorial…a lot less “mine mine mine” and a lot more “hey man…welcome to the beach….hang out for a while.”

We have a lot of divers at our beach. On my walk I came across one diver fin. Just one. Flashbacks of the movie "Jaws" kicked in. I wonder what happened to the rest of the diver and really hope he made it back to shore all right.

Along my stroll I had a lot of time to think about where I really was. And I have to tell you – I finally had to stop, look out at it all and pinch myself to believe where I really was. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this in a bragging “Muah ah ah, look at me” type of way. Really. You have to understand that when I first found out I was relocating to San Diego many years ago I dreamed of living at the beach. I didn’t care if I was in a 500 square foot box with a door – as long as I had a clear shot of the water, it was going to be heaven. I had this clear picture in my mind that I would wake up each morning to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and that I could come home each evening to have a glass of wine on the patio watch the sun set across the water. It’s not to say I was ungrateful for where I ended up; let’s be honest, I was thankful to just be in San Diego. But as time went by, and the further inland I got, the more I tucked away the dream that I’d someday breathe in the ocean air first thing in the morning.  I did the math.  64 months ago I left Tucson for California.  And here I am, walking on the sand, smiling at the waves, inhaling the sweet smell of salt and looking up at the balcony to our home.  And then it dawns on me…I had walked back to the apartment and didn't even notice the foghorn still going off in the distance.  Hmmm.  It doesn’t seem quite as annoying any longer. Now it’s almost like a reminder that I’m closer to home than I was before.

I guess sometimes you have to go the long way around when it comes to making your dreams reality.  But looking around - it really can all be worth it.

Here's to another 365 days.