I used to go to the beach. On vacation. I got up early and I spent as much time as possible over the week with my feet in the sand. I read. I took walks as an excuse to parade my teenage bikini-clad body back and forth. I ate dinner and went back to the beach again at night to look for shells. I filled grocery bags with shells and had plans to wash them when I got home and make something spectacularly crafty.
Then in my mid-twenties I moved to the beach. “Beach days” were good days. Locals don’t camp out on the beach all day nearly as often as they should and a solid beach day was a good day. I stopped my car at a beach access and took a long look at the ocean nearly every day.
It is the only way to justify your outrageous mortgage payment. I no longer collected shells. In fact, I grew to hate the beach motif. “How do you like living in the Outer Banks?” people would ask me. “It’s fine unless you want to buy some place mats that don’t have a lighthouse on them.”
I have had my fill of sand between my toes. But “going to the beach” is more than just sitting in the sand. We trucked it down to the ocean a handful of times. Enough to get some sun and some sand in our swim suits. We rode waves. We peed in the ocean. We put on sunscreen religiously.
We went to the beach. But I am at peace with my decision to go to the pool just as often. So we could just sit. And relax. And not pack up the entire house.
And I find an even greater peace with our decision to spend one entire day at the outlet malls. Ahh, Delaware. Where the beaches are wide…. and so are the outlet malls.