Down the Shore!

Heart in the sky!

The “Week of Positives” may be over but I have more pics to share. This summer, more than ever, “finding the extraordinary in the ordinary” wasn’t just a tagline to my blog.

Growing up in Baltimore, everyone I knew loved Ocean City, MD. It may be have been three hours away, but that didn’t stop my friends and I from making day trips to Chesapeake Bay and beyond. (We’d leave at the crack of dawn and get back at midnight!) Family vacations to OC always included days on the beach, hours in the ocean, French fries with vinegar, popcorn, ice cream, and salt water taffy. Who can forget the smell of salt air mixed with heat-press transfers at tee-shirt shops on the boardwalk? Who can forget collecting seashells? Who can forget the enormous sandcastles spotlighted at night? Who can forget the feeling of summer?

Living in New Jersey, we go “down the shore” whenever we can. Guess what, hon? My mom loved the beach too, and since she grew up in Morristown, NJ, went “down the shore” with her family to Bradley Beach. Yesterday would have been her 79th birthday, so this post is dedicated to her, one extremely Brave Girl.

Surfer at Avon-by-the-Sea.

Barnegat Lighthouse.

Peace in Waves, “The Sea To Me – The Lewis Sisters”

2020 is brand new and I already need sorbet for my mind. The onslaught of bad news domestically and internationally leaves me searching for peacefulness. I came across “The Sea To Me – The Lewis Sisters,” a short video on Vimeo with lovely images and music, which speaks to my love of the beach and ocean.

I hope it gives you a moment’s peace, too.

Happy watching, hon.

Vimeo’s description of the video:

Three sisters, born and raised in Cornwall, Lottie, Monica and Bryony each enjoy their own connection with the water; writing about it, surfing on it, and swimming beneath it. They have travelled far and wide to feed their deep personal relationships with the sea and together, they continue push each other to take on ever greater challenges.

Click here to watch the video. 

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The Sea To Me – The Lewis Sisters (Subtitled Version) from Finisterre on Vimeo.

Epitaph-Repost

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Today is a year since my mom passed, so I’m sharing these beautiful quotes in her memory.

“…we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honour heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honour the Pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you. That’s why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.”
― R.J. Palacio

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

I wear a veil of sadness. My mother’s illness and passing has left me unmoored, so please bear with me as I stand in an ocean, the waves lapping and tugging, lapping and tugging.

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Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.

 

And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.

 

I want to leave you something,

Something better

Than words

Or sounds.

 

Look for me

In the people I’ve known

Or loved,

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on in your eyes

And not your mind.

 

You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands,

By letting bodies touch bodies,

And by letting go

Of children

That need to be free.

 

Love doesn’t die,

People do.

So, when all that’s left of me

Is love,

Give me away.

Epitaph

img_7229I wear a veil of sadness. My mother’s illness and passing has left me unmoored, so please bear with me as I stand in an ocean, the waves lapping and tugging, lapping and tugging.

img_7227 img_7228

Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.

 

And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.

 

I want to leave you something,

Something better

Than words

Or sounds.

 

Look for me

In the people I’ve known

Or loved,

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on in your eyes

And not your mind.

 

You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands,

By letting bodies touch bodies,

And by letting go

Of children

That need to be free.

 

Love doesn’t die,

People do.

So, when all that’s left of me

Is love,

Give me away.

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

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When Hubby and I went to California in October, we stopped at Elephant Seal Beach in Big Sur and saw these fascinating sea mammals.  I could have watched them all day! If you want to read why I Turned Into an Elephant Seal click hereI hope you enjoy the slideshow of my photos, along with…

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

  1. Types: There are two types of elephant seals:  Northern seals are found in California and Baja California; Southern seals populate the waters of Antarctica.
  2. In the Sea: Seals spend months at sea diving deep to forage. Southern elephant seals can dive over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) deep and can hold their breath for over two hours, which is the longest of any water-based mammal.
  3. Food:  Seals hunt for squid, eels, octopus, small sharks, rays and bottom dwelling fish.
  4. Lifespan:  Northern seals live an average of 9 years while Southern seals live about 20 to 22 years.
  5. Size:  The largest Southern seals grow up to 20 ft (6 m) and weigh up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg).
  6. Noses:  Seals aren’t called “elephants” because of their size. They take their name from their trunklike inflatable snouts. The seals we saw on Elephant Beach were young males whose snouts hadn’t grown yet.
  7. Staying Warm: To keep warm in freezing cold water, seals not only have thick skin and fur, there is a thick layer of insulating blubber under their skin. Since their skin molts every year, the seals have to find land in order to molt.
  8. Aggression:  Males battle each other for mating dominance.
  9. Alpha Males:  Male seals claim breeding territories and defend them.  They collect huge harems of smaller-sized females–about 40 to 50 females to one male.
  10. Birth:  After an 11-month pregnancy, females give birth to a single pup. In the one month that the pup nurses, mother seal doesn’t eat—mom and pup live off the energy stored in mom’s reserves of blubber.

What did I tell you?  Fascinating! Hon, have you ever seen elephant seals? Have you seen any fully grown with trunk-like snouts? 

Sources: National Geographic, a-z animals

Top Five Reasons Why Myrtle Beach Is Different Than The Jersey Shore

Canonball Jellyfish
Canonball Jellyfish
coral
coral

Top Five Reasons Why Myrtle Beach Is Different Than The Jersey Shore:

1. You don’t have to buy a beach badge to get on the beach.

2. A forest comes almost up to the ocean.

3. Seagulls don’t give you the hairy eyeball vying for your snacks.

4. Everyone says “hi” when you stroll on the beach.

5. There are no signs illustrating what to do if you get caught in a riptide.

Plus:

My youngest daughter and I found beautiful seashells

and

the Canonball Jellyfish are so cool!  They don’t have tentacles and are considered harmless to humans (although I found differing views on the internet).  I wasn’t sure if the one I found beached on the sand was alive, but something fluttered inside when I touched it.  Guess what I did?  Picked it up and put it back in the ocean, of course.  Hon, hope it made it back to the deep sea.

Have you been to Myrtle Beach?

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Full moon in the sunset sky.
Full moon in the sunset sky.

Beach at Summer’s End

Rehoboth Beach, DE, Hurricane Earl

 

Long Beach Island, NJ
Long Beach Island, NJ

In early September 2010, on a family trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Hurricane Earl blew in.  I dubbed Earl “The Equalizer” because the spirit on the beach and in the town before and after the hurricane was one of camaraderie.

Before the storm hit, shops taped and boarded windows but stayed open for business. Hon, the undertow was so strong that if you stood in the ocean-carved channels on the beach, you’d be knocked right off your feet.  So, what did everyone do?  Stand in the channels, of course. Then laugh like crazy and help each other up as the water swirled and pulled.  As wind picked up the night before the storm hit, news crew showed up, but vacationers still strolled the boardwalk eating home-made ice cream and Thrasher’s french fries (dipped in vinegar, of course).

At nine am on the morning of the storm, you would have thought there was a party on the beach. Hundreds of people came out to watch the ocean.  The sand stung your face and the wind whipped your hair, but everyone was friendly and talkative.  Lifeguards, off-duty for the day, surfed.  Luckily, Earl blew on by, the worst traveling out to sea.  The day after the storm, the only evidence that “Earl The Equalizer” had touched down was the still churning channels of water, the strong undertow and the atmosphere of awe.

At summer’s end this year, Mother Nature was quiet on Long Beach Island.  Stormy or quiet, the ocean has so much to say.

Beach Darling

 

The expressive sand allows us to be ourselves. The scent of the salty air delivers childhood memories to the present. The radiant sun warms our souls. The infinite, blue sky absorbs our thoughts. The expansive ocean invites us to cool down. The insistent waves urge us to stand strong and the powerful sound of the surf helps us to clear our minds.  My beach darling and I meditate at edge of the Atlantic.