Yesterday was the last day of fall, today the first of the winter season. Seems like a good idea to show the last autumn sunset right about now.
I spent most of the week at New Brighton State Beach, enjoying mostly daily walks down the long stretch of sand, and one evening, at low tide, walking along the cliffs to Capitola. It is a wondrous thing to walk below those towering structures and realized that a few epochs ago, they were 60 feet underwater. The seasons change, the planets change, and so life goes.
Sometimes that life is pretty unexpected, like the invitation to make Christmas cookies with my friend’s five year old. The 11 year old wasn’t so interested in the whole thing. Apparently five is the sweet spot (pun intended) for making a mess in the kitchen under the guise of baking cookies. This was his favorite, and you might notice it has an excess of decorations, which is why he liked it so very much.
Another highlight of the week was a trip down to Monterey for dinner with old friends at a local joint. But first, we took a short (and cold!) stroll down to look at their favorite view of the wharf. No filter or photoshop on this one, folks, it looks that good all on its own.
Tuesday was moving down, about five miles down the coast to Sunset State Beach. Lovely beach, yes? Yes!
But there was an unpleasant surprise in store here, despite rave reviews from previous campers I know who have visited here. It’s irrigation season at the farm next door, and an old tractor runs its ratty old diesel engine all night long pumping water. This is how strawberries fields look in California in the winter, in case you were at all curious. Eat Driscoll brand strawberries? This is where they come from.
The nightly serenade is annoying enough that I’m going to try to switch back to New Brighton a day earlier than planned (Thursday instead of Friday) even if it means a one-night stand at a different spot than my reservation on Friday.
It’s the week before Christmas, not a big holiday for me most years, but it is the first one without my Dad. Right about now I’d be on a plane heading down to SoCal and a few days of hanging out with him, driving around and playing late night pool at the old folks home. I miss him more than words can say, so I’ll share one of my favorite pictures of him, from when he first came to Aptos and saw the concrete ship, which he had seen on a TV show a few years before and wanted to see in person. I can’t look at that ship now without always thinking of him.
I’ll close with twilight at the beach where I spent last night trying not to miss my Dad so much. The first year without is the hardest, I learned that when my Mom died, and I’m learning it all over again now.
Be grateful for every second of every day that you get to spend with the people you love. Life is so very precious.