Today I had access to my mom’s van (while Ralph braved our local transit to get to work) and I made sure to get us out on another beach roadtrip. This time: Westport and Grayland. Only a few minutes post-breakfast (dining in the car) we first stopped at a taffy shop (with no less than three variations of those douchey “unnattended children will be placed on hooks and tortured” signs, and not that there’s any excuse for that crap, but I want to note we’re talking a candy shop in a tourist town, SMH). That, plus a few patriotic clownhorn bumper stickers, put me off any confectionary I was eyeing, but my kids didn’t seem to mind the sign asshattery; the very kind lady behind the counter made a half-apologetic reference, and anyway it’s the kiddos’ dime and I decided not to give into despair.
Fortunately the rest of Westport, which has a working class/touristy/carny/beachy/tumbleweed-&-shuttered-winders thing going, was quite hospitable. Particularly the outdoors, which the kids evidence an unabashed joy for no matter where we find ourselves. Today we ran around the floats (boat workers and fishermen in general welcome kid presence, probably because they have their own who are highly participatory in their family tradition), bought some smoked tuna for my mother off Float 8, climbed rocks and beachcombed and explored, then eventually the children chose their restaurant of choice, and raved about the food.
Phoenix provided me with a small heartache, reminding me of my late maternal grandmother today, mostly in physical appearance. Her long, increasingly blonding hair (a yearly event with the advent of seasonal sunshine), the masculine-styling wool car coat, a simple pair of good corduroys. And she’s about as tall as my grandma was too, and I have many beach memories of that woman.
But today we built more memories of our own. Nothing fancy, just a lovely trip, and some sunshine, and the sea crashing in my ears. I wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to live away from it?