Friday, November 8, 2013

Things Go Better With Waves

Thought for the day:  The cure for anything is salt water— sweat, tears, or the sea.  [Isak Dinesen]

Yeah, without a doubt, I tend to lose my head (and heart) when it comes to the ocean, or any other body of water, for that matter.

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.  [Robert Henri]

I don't know why I love the water so much. I just do. On a very primal level, it speaks to my soul. Corny? Maybe, but it's true.

To myself, I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.  [Isaac Newton]

Yeah, what Isaac said. Plus, it smells good.

Before I get to the gist of this post, about our visit to Florida last month, let me preface it with a picture of someone we had the pleasure of meeting the weekend before we left town.

Blogging pal Mr. Charleston came to our little ol' town that weekend to attend an Italian car show with some of his buddies... and Smarticus and I met up with him there! How cool is that? Spiffy hat he's wearing, isn't it? Not sure who that fat old lady is standing next to him. (She does look vaguely familiar, though...)


Okay, on to Florida... and the beach. Cocoa Beach, to be precise.

Smartacus and I  had a good bit of free time during the weekdays, and bless his heart, he surprised me by taking me to the beach one day. Woo-Hoo!  I didn't even ask...! (And yes, he got a lot of brownie points for being so darned sweet.)

I was surprised at how many swimmers and surfers were in the water. And even more surprised at how warm the water was. Who'd a thunk it? In October!

There's a kind of bird I've always loved to watch at the beach. Sandpipers, maybe? They have such a funny way of scampering across the sand. Their legs move a hundred miles an hour, but their bodies stay stiff and erect, with barely a twitch. Hmmm, maybe they move so fast because the sand's so hot?



A long pier extends across the beach and out over the water. The covered section houses some little shops and a multitude of watering holes. Out at the end of the pier, a bunch of folks were testing their luck with heavy-duty fishing poles.


I'm not even one hundred percent sure what this sign is supposed to mean, but it cracked me up, anyway. Trespassed...?



Here's another shot of the pier from a different perspective. See that building out near the end? Know what it is?




Ta DA! A tiki bar! No wonder those fishermen weren't complaining about baking out there in the sun...





It was awesome being beside the ocean again... smelling it, feeling the water swirl around our feet and the salty breeze ruffle our hair. Well... okay, amend that to ruffle my hair... Smarticus' hair doesn't do much ruffling in the breeze anymore. Hey! He was wearing a hat! That's what I meant. Yeah, that's it...

Anyhow, one of the reasons the visit meant so much to me is because I didn't have to ask. He knew. Know why he knew? He read my book! In Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade, Pearl loves the ocean as much as I do. (Fancy that!) And she wanted her husband to take her to Atlantic City, not because she asked, but because he knew how much she loved the ocean. Get the picture?

    Pearl felt like leaping and dancing her way to the ocean, and it was all she could do not to break into an all-out run. As soon as she reached the sand, she kicked off her shoes and squished its gritty warmth through her toes. Then, with shoes in hand, she continued toward the water, her attention focused on the distant whitecaps rolling into shore.
    The ocean's scent was unmistakable now. She breathed it in and let it out slowly, as though she hated to let any of it go. Salty mist caressed her face, a sun-kissed breeze ruffled her hair, and she walked faster.
    As she approached the water's edge, fleeting imprints of her feet followed her across the ocean-kissed sand. Watery fingers stretched toward her, and swiped a playful lap at her feet. She splashed through it, and with arms lifted in triumph, stepped into the surf.



I really wish that fat lady would stop hijacking her way into our pictures.


Yeah, I wore beach shoes. (That sand was hot!) And my sweet hubby packed our shoes in the car, without me knowing about it. (awww) We both forgot how difficult it could be to plod across the soft sand. The wet stuff, no problem, but that soft stuff... oh heck, maybe we're just soft. But the ocean? It's every bit as magical as I remember.


Before I go, one more picture. A fitting ending, with Mr. C the opening bracket, and this lovely lady the closing one...

The delightful Pixel Peeper and her hubby met Smarticus and me for brunch. We had a blast! Even though we'd never met before, we immediately recognized each other. (Or we thought we did... as we were enthusiastically squealing and hugging, she paused to say, "You are Susan, I hope...")

You know, I'm inclined to say that the people we meet and like online, the people we meet through blogging and feel an affinity for... that's real. Blogging pals aren't just blogging pals. They're not cyber-friends; they're friends.  How totally cool it was to meet two of those friends face-to-face instead of just blog-to-blog.

Oh, are you wondering if the ocean spoke to my soul this time? Nah.. it just waved. (HA! Just kidding.)

Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

P.S. Next Monday is Veterans' Day. To all of you veterans out there, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.


88 comments:

  1. When ever I had an injury or cut, my Grandmother told me to stick it in the ocean,,"Salt water cures everything!"

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    1. Mine, too. The salt water did a great job healing bug bites, which I always had in abundance. (Still do.)

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  2. Blog meets are bliss. And yes, I have made some WONDERFUL friends here in the blogosphere - including some who I cherish knowing that we will probably never meet.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the water front. But can do without sweat. Despite its purported health benefits it just makes me a sad and soggy mess.
    Tears I use to rid myself of toxins (sometimes lots of them). Bodies of water are a benison for my body and soul. (Sorry long comment.)

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    1. I'd be quite happy to do without sweat, but high temperatures give me little choice. However, I prefer to think of it as more of a "gentle glow"... until the "glow" runs into my eyes, and the doggone gnats stick to my face.

      I haven't had a good cry in a long time, although I've been known to tear up at sappy commercials and newspaper articles.

      Never apologize about the length of your comment... I'm always happy to see what you have to say.

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  3. If I'm away from the ocean or another large body of water for too long, I think I feel actual withdrawal pains!!

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    1. Me, too! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

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  4. Thanks for taking me on an excursion to the beach - - I definitely needed it. When I lived in Southern California I vowed that I'd spend the rest of my life by the ocean. And here I am rapidly drying up in the wilds of Texas. Every once in awhile I pick up an armadillo and hold it to my ear. You can hear the ocean roar.........

    Yup, those birds in the photo are sandpipers all right. I used to love watching them scamper on the beach. I'm delighted to know that the pier promotes world peace - - but I'd sure hate to see offenders "trespassed".

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    1. Cowboy, you have GOT to treat yourself to a trip. Even if it's only for a few days, a visit to the ocean or somewhere with autumnal colors would give you a real boost. Although the image of you with an armadillo to you ear DID make me chuckle.

      Ah, thank you. I THOUGHT they were sandpipers. (Remember the song, "The Theme from the Sandpiper"? A little bit corny, but a lotta nice. You might know it as "The Shadow of Your Smile.")

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    2. I definitely remember the theme from "The Sandpiper" - Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. The movie wasn't much but the music is wonderful (heck, I'm not that old.....am I??).

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    3. Nah, you're not that old. You probably saw the movie in reruns.

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  5. I'm in the UK - and I think most of us on this island long for days by the sea sometimes. There's something restorative about the inevitability of it - whatever mood it is in.

    So glad there are still those in America who still have that longing to see the sea. You've such a huge country that many of you live time zones away from it!

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    1. Yes! That's exactly what the sea is... restorative! Sometimes, I wonder if yearning for the water is built into our DNA and part of the human condition. It's certainly always been a part of MY condition, and I'm very grateful that it's one itch I've been able to scratch often during my lifetime. Like fishducky said, I get withdrawal symptoms when I'm away from it for too long.

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  6. "Pearl felt like leaping and dancing..." I remember when I read that whole passage I wanted to be Pearl leaping and dancing through those little waves that ripple up onto the sand.
    When I was very small I heard of Coco Beach and always thought it was named that because it had cocoa instead of salt water.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you could relate to Pearl's excitement at being on the beach. That's exactly how I feel every time we go there.

      HA! As much as I already love the ocean, I'm not sure I could handle cocoa instead of salt water. Then again, if it came with a bunch of those little marshmallows in it...

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  7. Ah, the sea is always wonderful. What nice pictures, quite took me with you. That first picture is priceless! :D

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    1. Yes, it is, whether it's calm or angry, it's always wonderful. I'm glad you liked the pictures, and I agree about that first one. That little fella quite lost his head over the beach, too...

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  8. I love living so close to the ocean ;-)

    I think so blogging friends could become real friends :-)

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    1. Oh, lucky you! I'll bet you do. You should do more walking on the beach... get your exercise and an spirit-lifting at the same time.

      Absolutely!

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  9. I love the ocean, and water in general, as well Susan. There's something inescapably romantic about the vastness of the ocean. The sight, smell, and sound of it. Truly amazing.

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    1. The vastness of the ocean makes me feel the same way as gazing at a starry sky or majestic mountain. All of those things (and more) fill me with a sense of awe, and put me in my teeny tiny place.

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  10. I LOVE the ocean too. I spend most of my life near the ocean and now that I'm away from it, I need a once a year fix--gotta hear the crash of the waves, the taste of salt on my lips, and feel the sand between my toes.

    Loved the photos. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. May you always get that once-a-year fix. It sounds like the ocean defined so much of your life, it's a vital part of you now. I understand the feeling.

      Glad you liked the pics.

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  11. Having always lived near the ocean, I completely understand. There's nothing like the smell of the sea and the sand beneath your bare feet.

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    1. Exactly. And don't forget the sound of the gulls, and the misty breeze. And for YOU, anyway... lobster! I've caught all kinds of fish, plus crabs, oysters, scallops, and clams, but NEVER lobster. Maybe some day...

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  12. Isn't it wonderful when you meet people in person that you've met online -- and they are exactly how you expected them to be? It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    And I understand and appreciate the sentiment of that sign -- but it needed an editor!

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    1. Yes, it's wonderful to meet online friends, and have all expectations met as to how awesome they really are.

      Yeah, really... "trespassed"? Such a big prominent sign, too...

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  13. I've never seen the ocean in person...sounds wonderful.

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    1. Oh, wow. Never? I've always kinda thought love for the ocean was built into our DNA, and that even if a person had never seen it in person, there'd still be an inexplicable draw to it. Yes? No? At any rate, it really IS wonderful.

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    2. Delores, never ever?? You have been sadly deprived of a real pleasure. Make plans to take a trip next summer.

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    3. We were in New York and crossed a bridge to see a house we might rent in Connecticut. I saw the ocean for the first time when I saw the house, which needed to be razed. A few days later, the bridge collapsed and a number of people died. So beware of bridges if you go to Connecticut to see the ocean for the first time.

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    4. Jeez, Janie, you trying to convince Delores to visit the ocean, or to scare her away from it? You sure have some stories to tell, kiddo.

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  14. What a delightful trip to the beach! It sounds wonderful!

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  15. Dear Susan,
    so beautiful quotes and pictures about the sea! Thank you! Wonderful that your husband invited you - so he read your soul (and your book :-)
    Sea is were I feel like 100 percent living - as you write: smell, salt in the air, cry of seagulls - and the rhythm of the waves. In Hythe, a little English town, I said to Husband: "Here I want to sit and look at the waves when I'm old, as that old man over there." (He came every day). Husband kindly reminded me, that I had written in my diary - which I had shown to him - with 14: "I want to grow old in Berlin." Well - here we are - which husband seems to prefer - but I always steal a few weeks away to the sea. Have to - to reload.

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    1. I totally understand you wanting to sit and watch the waves every day. They're mesmerizing, aren't they? Their rhythm resonates within me and makes everything right with the world. I'm glad you have your yearly pilgrimage to the sea. (Maybe you could put a pond in your yard in Berlin to tide you over?)

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  16. I'm totally with you (and Pearl!) on the ocean. I really don't know why I love it so, especially since I can't swim!

    I couldn't help but think how funny it would have been if you had said "No, who's Susan?" when Pixel asked. :D How great that you got to meet in person. And I totally agree about blogger friends.

    Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

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    1. That's funny. I'm not a very good swimmer, either, and in fact, I nearly drowned in the ocean on more than one occasion, but no matter. I'm still here, and I still love it.

      You're right; that WOULD have been funny! Too bad I didn't think of it at the time.

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    2. That would have been funny, indeed!

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  17. I used to live near Cocoa Beach. It always had a kind of 1960s feel to it.

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    1. Oh, neat! It really IS a small world. I didn't notice a retro feel to the area, but I sure did like it.

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  18. Lived by it for years
    Saw lots of rears lol
    A great place to be
    Playing by the sea
    And yeah did the salt thing to
    Worked more often than not at my zoo

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    1. By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...
      There's very few places I'd rather be.
      But as for all those years
      Seeing all those rears?
      Some things I'd rather not see.

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  19. Time spent at the seashore is actually ADDED to your life.

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  20. Wonderful! That lovely lady in your photos looks like she is having a great time. :) And she deserves it!

    "You are Susan, I hope..." Made me laugh. It was just like that when I met my "virtual" friend Di the first time.

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    1. Thanks! Well, I dunno if she "deserved" it, but she sure as shooting did enjoy it!

      Virtual, shmirtual. Especially since you met her more than once. Sounds like a "real" friend to me.

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  21. I stand with you on Veteran's Day, Sus.

    It's wonderful that you're including so many pictures! I especially love the last one. It has a 'hallelujah!' quality to it, Ms. Perfectly-Proportioned.

    I'm glad you described the way sandpipers (?) run. For some reason, it felt nice to imagine it. And thank you (thank you) for all those blue skies.

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    1. (smile) As for Veteran' Day, I knew you would. That's just how ya roll.

      Perfectly-Proportioned? HA! For an eggplant, maybe. I know it isn't all that bad, but I used to be verrrry thin. Now I'm not. C'est la vie. (la vie)

      Yes, Jon say they are sandpipers. Those birds never fail to make me giggle, It always looks like they're in such a frenzied hurry.

      And you're very welcome for the blue skies. Florida had plenty of them to spare. (Georgia does, too.)

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  22. When reading your book, I re-read some of the passage you posted. You write it so vividly, I was there with Pearl.

    Keep enjoying all good things, my friend. (I'm in total agreement about the friend thing. The internet offers many blessings.)

    Happy weekend.
    xoRobyn

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    1. What a nice thing for you to say! Thank you so much. I'm glad you felt like you were on the beach with Pearl. (You probably ditched her when Horny Harry showed up, though... HA!)

      And a very happy weekend to you, too.

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  23. I grew up around water, so I know that's why I'm drawn to it. Now I live in the desert, but the wilderness gives me those same feelings of awe. That warm sand and a tikki bar look like heaven from here.

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    1. I've never even visited a desert area, so I don't know if it'd fill me up like the ocean does or not. From what I've heard, the desert can be quite beautiful in its own way, but I think I'd miss the rhythm of the waves.

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  24. Fabulous post. I could smell the salt air and I was ready to wiggle my toes in the sand. I am so far from a "real" beach in Dallas/Ft.Worth. Growing up in PA - 2 hrs and we were at Ocean City NJ - my dream spot. That's where I want my ashes thrown someday. It wasn't pristine like FL beaches and the water could be cold, but summer after summer we went for a week and it was the best. And as for meeting blog friends - very cool. Indeed, we know each other from our posts and interests and mutual writing craziness.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. I'm familiar with the Jersey beaches, as well as the ones in Delaware and Maryland. You're right; they weren't as pristine as the white sands of Florida, and the water was pretty cold, but I spent a LOT of time there, especially at Rehobeth, and I loved every minute of it.

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  25. The ocean comes up in my poems and stories very often.
    It may have something to do with my unconscious mind.
    I've never met any blogger in person...
    I'm glad to know you had such wonderful experiences. Lovely snapshots.

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    1. I think the ocean makes a perfect topic and setting for poetry and prose alike... but I could be a teensy bit biased.

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked the pics. Happy weekend!

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  26. It was so great to meet you and Smarticus! I bet the waitress thought we were friends from way back.

    And you are so right about getting a whiff of salt air, catching a breeze, and listening to the soothing sound of waves. About ten years ago, I had a very stressful job - worked six days a week and couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I went an entire spring without taking a single picture of a dogwood or magnolia bloom, that's how bad it was. And then we visited Myrtle Beach and I got my head straightened out at the beach: I found the courage to quit the job and ended up finding a better one.

    Love the Isak Dinesen quote at the beginning of your post!

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    1. We really enjoyed meeting you guys, too. You're probably right about the waitress. We sure never ran out of things to talk about, did we?

      Wow, you didn't take any pictures? That must have been some major stress, but I'm glad the ocean worked its magic on you. Its rhythm is kinda like a massage of the psyche, and works out all the tight spots.

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  27. I love the water. I've lived here more than four years now and have yet to go to the beach. Go figure. I guess I don't wanna go alone.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Oh my goodness! How ever can you resist the draw? I'll bet your dog would LOVE to take a walk on the beach with you...

      Happy weekend!

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  28. aw… great picture of the kiddo.. HAHaaaa …. great blog meet and I like your lifted in triumph picture … yes I agree I have to go to the ocean at some point … just can't be away too long…. thinking about going to Port Aransas in January. love my dolphins playing.

    I talk and squeak with the animals… you ever hear Rod McKuen's ~ My Friend the Sea?

    http://youtu.be/t1EvRKV5Q00

    sigh … listening to it now ...

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    1. Oh, yeah, you've gotta treat yourself to the opportunity to see the dolphins play again. (Um, that dolphins with a little d...) I love watching them almost as much as watching manatees move in slow motion. (For some reason, I can really relate to them...)

      I have several of McKuen's poetry books, so I'm familiar with the poem, but that's the first time I ever saw that video. Wow! I LOVED it. Thank you so much. It's wonderful.

      Another wonderful is the CD I'm listening to right now. It's called "Endless Ocean", and it plays classical music against a background of ocean sounds. Heavenly. All is right with the world when "Moonlight Sonata" is playing, and the waves are lapping behind it...

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  29. I Istiani Hello, I am very happy to read that article here.Kesehatan
    Nganjuk
    Resep Masakan

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    1. Hello, Istiani. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's very nice to meet you.

      Delete
  30. Ta DA! A tiki bar!

    I have no real idea why but when I see a tiki bar I feel as if I have found a small piece of heaven on Earth.

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    1. HA! Why am I not surprised...? Reminds me of a friend of ours, who camps out at the Irish pub when his family goes to Disney World. They have their fun, and he has his.

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  31. Your water pics came at just the right time -- the mess that is now my kitchen will be worth it when it comes time to sell here and move to eastern NC this spring!

    Thanks for getting my book, Lovely Lady. I'm still somewhat in a state of shock at how well the launch went! I've also got your book, but my Kindle's toast so had it sent to the Kindle download on my Mac. And Happy Veterans' Day to your family. Hub's giving a speech tonight at the VFW for the USMC Birthday. It's a reflective time!

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    1. Cool! How wonderful to be moving to NC! Lots of beautiful things to see there... including the water. I hope you love it there.

      My pleasure. (How could I NOT buy your book?) It's terrific your launch went so well. Here's to much continued success.

      Very neat that your hubby will be speaking at the VFW. My hubby is a lifetime member, but we've never been to a meeting. Happy Veterans' Day to you, too.

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  32. Hi Susan,

    I'm with you on this one. Okay, not actually there but there. The beach allures and the reflections in the waves from the glowing orb above brings me a sense of tranquillity. That magical place where the sea and the sky embrace.

    Thoughts from afar on Veteran's Day.

    In peace,

    Gary

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    1. Nice, Gary. Poetic almost. I think the ocean kinda brings that out in us, don't you?

      Peace and tranquility to you.

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  33. First of all thank you for following me - I returned the favor.
    I liked the Veteran cartoon on the bottom.
    And I love the water too - I love to listen to waves - I even have a sound machine I use at night.
    Love, sandie

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    1. Hi-ya. Not sure, but I think we signed on as mutual followers a couple months ago. Could be wrong. (Wouldn't be the first time!)

      I've never listened to a sound machine, but the sound of waves would be amazing. Closest thing I have to that is a CD called "Endless Ocean", which is classical music superimposed over the sounds of the surf. Reeeeally nice.

      Take care.

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  34. You're not corny. One of the things I miss the most here in London is the sea. London is landlocked. That's why my favourite city in the UK is Brighton. I could just spend hours and hours, sitting on its promenade looking out to the sea. I love it. Brilliant post and quotes. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. It's nice to know how many other people all over the world are in love with the sea. John Masefield definitely wasn't alone.

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  35. ah, ocean fun over there and only 10*C here :)

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    1. BRRRRR! I guess that means you're a "cool dude" whether you want to be or not!

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  36. Yes, infinite thanks to all who have served.

    Gorgeous pics, Susan! Water is the one thing I missed living in Atlanta. I'm a much better person when there's water nearby. It has a calming effect I apparently require. Growing up in a brutally hot climate, I used to think it was the heat that made me testy. Now I think it was the lack of water. Actually the Pacific was less than 80 miles away as the crow flies, but there was this big obstacle called the Mendocino Forest that required circumventing, and the detour doubled the distance. No similar worries with Boston's Northshore. :)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Ah, so it sounds like you're on the side of saying it's possible to "miss" water, even if you've never lived around it. I agree! I'm glad you've got plenty of it around you now. After all, gotta keep you calm.

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  37. Oh what a fun post as you embraced the ocean and met your online friend for real. I like the funny sign about peace, we could post some of those where I live, on the west coast. The photo of the boy bending over and a boy's head in the sand is a hoot and a half.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. I reckon you see a lot more surfers on the larger waves of the Pacific than we typically see on the east coast, but I have a feeling your surfers and swimmers already know how to get along. (Y'all are laid-back, right?)

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  38. Looks like it was a wonderful day at the beach! I love the beach, but I'm also a guy who burns easily, so I'm the guy stretched out under the beach umbrella reading a book while my wife and stepdaughter are slathering oil onto their skin and baking in the sun.

    And I hear you about the pictures! Every time someone tries to take a picture of me, some goofy-lookin' old guy jumps in front of the camera and makes a stupid face.

    Although it is funny how he always seems to be wearin' the same clothes as me...

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    1. It was terrific! I tend to burn, too, and am incredibly grateful I haven't had a serious problem from all the blistering burns I've had in my lifetime.

      HA! Yep, it's really annoying how those old folks keep insinuating themselves into our glamour shots.

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  39. Great post. What a wonderful trip!

    The Tiki bar reminds me of Carol Kilgore's Under the Tiki Hut blog. :)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was.

      That's funny... it made me think of Carol, too.

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  40. Hi Susan .. gosh what a thoughtful man Smarticus is .. and great you met up with two blogging pals - and I agree .. lovely people.

    Oh the call of the sea .. having Cornish roots (or nearly) it always calls me .. and the Channel is always nearby here, sometimes from a dizzy Down - strange world I live in .. when I go up the Down to leave town?!

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Yes, he is, and I realize how lucky I am.

      Masefield isn't the only one who heard the call of the sea. It's call is magnetic.

      Cheers!

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  41. It's wonderful that you got to meet two blogging friends in person! Beautiful beach photos, and I love how your hubby surprised you! I especially enjoyed the photos of the lovely and talented author who lives life to the fullest.

    Julie

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  42. Hi-ya, Julie! Yeah, it was totally cool to meet Mr. C and Pixel, just like I know it would be a blast to meet you some day. Thanks. Well, I try to live life to the fullest, but sometimes I overdo. (Like... urp... I really should've only had HALF a sandwich for lunch...)

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