Me and the Sea

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I have a strange dichotomy with the sea. Seas = beaches. Beaches are hard to find when you grow up in landlocked states like Missouri. If you want some sea, you have to go and find it.

When I have found it, I have stared and contemplated for long periods of time (what felt like little eternities), soaking it all in.

No matter the weather, these bodies of water mesmerize me.

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I become very aware that I am in an otherworldly place, someplace else that is not my day-to-day. Perhaps the sea is my “somewhere over the rainbow.” The rhythmic sounds of the waves, sometimes gentle, sometimes harsh, lull me into a state of inner peace where I am much more easily able to put away my cares. My favorite nature sound is listening to the ocean to help me get to sleep when I’m feeling anxious or experiencing insomnia.

Despite my love for the beauty and tranquility of the water (this is where the dichotomy comes in), I don’t feel the need to live near one.

Some people require being in close proximity to bodies of water. My mother is one of those people. She takes her pleasure from the lake(s) she lives close to; I truly think it grounds her.

But for me, I prefer to keep the specialness of the sea apart from my daily life. In addition to seas and oceans making me feel as if I’m on vacation, which I enjoy preserving, I also do not possess skin genes that allow for high doses of sun on a regular basis. In another life, perhaps I’ll have gorgeous skin that browns like a turkey at Thanksgiving. But in this life, I have pale, incendiary skin, suited for shade, air conditioning, and computer work.

When forced to be outdoors for any length of time, sea or no sea, I swath my skin in high doses of SPF sunblock, the better with which to help me be an outdoors(wo)man for a few hours.

Me and the sea are tight. I can’t wait until the next time I’m near one, so I may dip my toes into the frothy water and drink in the salty air.

Until such time, I’ll remember the sea fondly with previous memories and look through others’ eyes who have captured it in places I will probably never go.

The Lonely but Beautiful Path

This post was in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea.

I’ll bring the cream.

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Photo courtesy of Mikael T on Flickr.

I grew up with a father who worshipped coffee. He still does. I absolutely attribute my love of the rich, bold tasting brew to him, since I may not have given being a coffee drinker more serious thought if it hadn’t been for his influence.

He took it so seriously that I thought one must be a cool person if s/he is a coffee drinker. And I still hold this opinion. But we know I am a total coffee snob.

Anyway, my dad took his coffee with cream when I was a kid (well, half ‘n half). On Sundays when we’d go to church, he would bring a carton of cream to share with others during coffee hour (the hour(s) adults would stand around and talk about grownup things), because he wanted his coffee doctored just so. I always thought this was a strange practice, not understanding what was at stake, of course.

I didn’t know what “powdered creamer” was or that it has nothing whatsoever in common with the real thing. I was ignorant of what delicate texture cream gives to a hearty cup of joe.

As a grown woman who has strong preferences on just about everything, especially what food and beverages I consume, I can safely attest that given the same set of circumstances, I, too, would be hauling my own cream to a weekly function where there is coffee but nothing with which to doctor it.

I have brought my own cream to work on many occasions, because otherwise I cannot drink coffee at work. Coffee and cream go together, plain and simple.

At one of my previous jobs, my employer actually provided milk and cream in the kitchen in the fridge. It was even stocked for us. Do you know what a luxury that was? Picture Forrest Gump saying, “Magic cream.” (Instead of “magic legs.”)

Seriously, best. thing. ever. My cup runneth over with cream. I had my fill of coffee those three years, perfectly blended just the way I liked it.

As I was doing some dishes in the not too distant past, I got to daydreaming and thought about whether I would ask my staff to keep cream in the fridge for me if I ever made it to a top position in management or public office or something. I really think the answer is yes.

Certainly, if I were a pop star, my rider would explicitly state that a small carton of very cold heavy cream would need to be in the fridge in my dressing room, in addition to a pound of my coffee bean of choice.

Thanks to my father, I totally GET the utter importance of having one’s cup of java doctored to one’s exact preferences. And it makes total sense why he would get so understandably upset when he would forget to bring it to church.

“God BLESS it! I forgot the cream!” he would cry out in the car.

Diva or no diva, when it comes to coffee and conversation, I try to plan ahead. Thanksgiving, brunch at a friend’s house, or even church, should I someday join one. I’ll be the woman who states loud and clear, “I’ll bring the cream!”

For the Chewster

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Talk about a hiatus. In the time off that I haven’t written, President Obama was sworn in as our 44th President, American Idol started back up again, my love for CBS’ The Big Bang Theory has grown to epic proportions and I’ve even managed to acquire and build two very important pieces of furniture for my apartment (a bed frame and a bathroom shelf, respectively). Lots of progress!

But on a more somber note, I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago from a former boyfriend. We were together for a long time and in the last year of our relationship, he got a dog named Chewie.  A mix of Yorkshire Terrier and Miniature Pinscher, he was the sweetest little thing, with an endless playful and affectionate energy. When I got back from studying in Paris in June of 2004, we house-trained this little guy and he took over our hearts.

Is he photogenic or what?

Is he photogenic or what?

I was shocked and saddened to get the news that Chewie  suddenly passed away on Saturday, March 7th. Dave was driving down the highway with Chewie in the back seat when he suddenly let out a loud yelp and then…silence. By the time Dave could get the car pulled over so he could get back there to check on Chewie, he had died. He was turning 5.

We don’t know what happened, be it a stroke or some kind of heart condition (I thought maybe he was stung or bitten by something – brown recluse?), but he was gone in an instant.

It’s incredibly weird to me that he isn’t running around and being his wonderful, loving self. I easily thought he would live to be 15. Dave buried him at his parents’ farm, where Chewie loved to scamper and play. I was blue and teary all that weekend; I can’t imagine how the first couple of days without him went back at Dave’s place.

Chewie passed out

Chewie passed out

I haven’t seen Chewie since 2005 but I never forgot about him, and it was always a source of comfort to me that Dave had him and took such good care of him (and vice versa). To have him suddenly yanked away was such a shock, even from my distance.

Favorite things about Chewie: he only barked when the doorbell rang, even if it was the Domino’s Pizza doorbell on TV; he loved hopping on his hind legs to show you how excited he was to see you; he was always happy to curl up next to you while you slept; he loved Tug of War; nothing was funnier than watching him sprint.

Chewie was the first dog I ever loved – the dog that made me fall in love with dogs. (At least little ones.) He will always be a part of me. I could think of nothing more fitting than to dedicate a post to his memory.

To Chewie. You are missed. You are loved.

Chewie: March 2004 – March 2009

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