No one has bought me an iphone yet. Not that they are supposed to or anything, but really I'd be a better blogger if one of y'all would just go ahead and do that. Somehow I just can't seem to bring our trusty rectangle of a digital camera around with me to snap pictures of my world. But then again maybe that's because bathing suits don't have pockets.
Yes, this is day five of non-stop bathing suit action.
And since that's the real reason I haven't clicked a shutter button one single time over the last week you'll have to step into my mind instead.
:: Alabama has a coast. Like me you might not think "Alabama" and "beach" belong in the same sentence but this rectangular-shaped state has a little nub that juts out at the bottom and right into the Gulf of Mexico. With the good fortune of loving in-laws we're currently housed at that nub.
:: The houses down here have names. Lemonade Stand. The Sundowner. Legal Ease. Ours is Beach'in. She's tall and melon colored with white trim and air conditioning. I don't know for sure but I think most vacation rentals must have two plastic colanders and seventeen plastic pitchers - this one does too.
:: I have two bikinis and use both each day. One is black with a white pattern that I never think about, but sometimes my girls point out that the white is made up of hearts and skulls and then I look down and say "oh yeah!" It seems I notice bathing suit patterns as much as I notice song lyrics, which is to say not at all.
:: The other suit is day-glo orange. You may remember it from the oft-googled post titled Bikini Shopping in which I described selecting this suit with my eyes closed. It seems ridiculous that I own this suit as it just never looks right against the backdrop of the Clark Fork river and snow-capped mountains of Montana but then I get here. Day-glo orange was made for the white sands and turquoise waters of the Gulf Coast. Take my word for it.
::Yoga (my love, my dearest) practiced on the balcony of a beach house on the Gulf Shore is a homemade Bikram hot house class. Hello humid steamy air! My hips open up like a well read book under these conditions.
:: There is one happy Nana under this roof. And three happy girls benefiting from (among other things) some Nana shopping. And one happy mama and papa because this Nana takes some serious time selecting new clothing that does not make our children look like slutty teenagers. Echo's new suit has a ruffle and cherries- do I need to say more? Okay I will. Bella's suit is still youthful with full coverage and peace signs. Our girls look like kids. Brown kids with permanently damp hair.
:: But sometimes Xi wears the green suit with metallic polk-a-dots that she picked out while shopping with my parents. And sometimes she slips her long arms around me while the sea breezes lift her hair and her eyes are huge and green because of that suit. She has freckles and wet eyelashes and she looks at me and oh. my. goodness.
:: I swept the floor yesterday. Peach-colored spanish tiles and the dirt pile was entirely sand.
:: I've made a smoothie every day that includes: peach protein powder, shredded coconut, two over ripe peaches, a banana, a spurt of flax oil, carrot juice, soy milk, orange juice, chia seeds and ice. One glass for me. One glass for Nathan. And one glass delivered to my father-in-law where he sits with two Shi Tzu's piled on his lap.
:: One day we went to the beach and erected a new umbrella that would make any vendor at an outdoor market salivate. Sturdy, white, tall - an oasis of shade. Then at lunchtime we left the beach and the umbrella for a spell, to refuel and rinse off and watch Episode Three of the Star Wars series. When we opened the blinds during closing credits... no umbrella. A tropical storm had whipped up and wound down during those two hours, leaving that beautiful market stand umbrella a crumpled pile of metal several houses down shore. Oops.
:: For lunch I made Bella two whole turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, a hard boiled egg, two quesadilla wedges, a stick of string cheese, a pile of blueberries, a pile of baby carrots, a pile of chips, and a cupcake. She didn't even blink, just ate it.
:: When I get to the waters edge I just stand there and let the waves crumble against my shins. I could do that forever.
:: When I sit down at the beach I want to keep my hands free from sand but before I know it they've gone off on their own and have carved a deep trench around my seat. And then the next thing I know I am on hands and knees, elbow deep, constructing a moat and towers and walls and a secondary moat. My children have wandered off and I continue creating a replica of Kings Landing.
:: And now I can't stop thinking of castle construction. What the heck are "keeps" anyway? What was typical? And where can I get diagrams of castle architecture? And am I suddenly on the path toward a role in the Society for Creative Anachronism?
:: Mother and stepmother you will be proud to know I've worn my big hat every day and am doing my darnedest to protect that delicate decolletage.
:: My toenails and fingernails are white, scoured by grains of sand. My once yearly pedicure - of sorts.
:: Nathan is rocking plaid shorts that I wouldn't ever pick off the rack, but as soon as he put them on I was like: Damn!
:: Nathan stopped the car on the drive down here to scamper over to a magnolia tree and pick a blossom. I've seen him do this a dozen times now in our years together and I like the feeling I get when I say to myself: My man stops the car for magnolia blossoms on the side of the road in rural Alabama.
:: Also, after several hours of packing enough food, ice, clothes, sunscreen, beach toys, books, and oddments for seven people and two dogs, after everything was loaded up and the cars were running, Nathan emerged from the house with his mother and a small glass jar with gardenia buds in it. I thought he was crazy because I was thinking practically. And then I smelled the flowers. And then I kept smelling those flowers as I fell asleep each night with those glowing buds on the nightstand. And now I look back on the scene of packed cars idling in the driveway while Nathan did something with flowers, and I say to myself: My man takes the time to gather sweet smelling flowers for our pleasure. He makes that sort of thing a priority. And my man has a mother who knows him so well and loves him so much that she hunts down the perfect little jar to fill with water for his treasures. And she probably has done this sort of thing for 38 years.
:: If I sink my shoulder blades down into the center of my back I can hold a handstand for a long time.
:: No one else's mother is doing handstands on the beach.
:: One night we took a walk on the beach under the glow of a full moon. I pictured a stroll but instead we moved. I want to be able to move like that for a long time. To be supple and strong and healthier and healthier with each passing year.
:: On that walk I counted six beached fish and saw two dudes chatting up two girls by splashing one and teasing the other. The girls flipped their hair. And we saw great blue herons, or sand cranes, or some kind of bird that is as tall as my belly button and narrow and serious. They seemed to be enjoying the moon as much as we were.
:: If I could purr I would.
:: Oh, and also... I am thirty six years old today. It looks like it's going to be an especially good year.
What color would your beach house be and what would you name it? (Criteria: name has to be cheesy, house has to be an Easter hue. Sorry, rules are rules.)