Blogging without a blog

The title stems from my writing while I was on vacation. There was no wifi or other internet connection unless we went to a local cafe that supposedly offers free wifi. Since I don’t drink coffee I had no interest in going there to use it. Besides, it was more relaxing to sit back, put up my feet, stare through the huge bay window out over the beach and sea, and let my fingers roam the keyboard.

I do a lot of free writing, especially at times like these. Sure, I also work on my short stories, but pretty much the same way. Staring out the window, relaxing, and letting my fingers type what my brain signals.

Since I felt like blogging, this is going to be a longish blog, containing as it does several day’s worth of “blog” posts.

3 July 2012: Walking the beach

I love being on the beach by the ocean. Seeing all those waves coming ashore, I wonder where they’ve been, what they’ve seen, what stories they could tell.

I know, I could just as easily sit here typing in the physics of wave motion across the sea, how the wind generates heights, how the scope and bathymetry combine to determine the size and breaking points of waves, and so on and so forth. That’s dry stuff.

Like the mountains, the beach has a hold on my heart. It’s a place where I can relax and enjoy my imagination running free. A place where, for me, man, imagination, and nature meet.

Yet, ironically, I don’t care for long romantic walks on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, though. I do enjoy walking the beach with my wife and family. It’s just a different type of enjoyment. Also, there’s a difficulty communicating. My family is very vocal, to put it lightly. Everyone, from the 4 year old twins to my wife talks constantly. It’s a little hard to make myself heard most of the time. I’ve figured out why, and it’s the same thing that applies in the mountains. Perhaps it’s an excuse rather than any kind of fact, but I believe it’s tied to my being an introverted deaf. Not that deafness is the cause, I know there are deaf out there that do enjoy such walks. Rather, my deafness is a decided component of the whole that determines my level of enjoyment. I can’t hear how loud it is along the beach, for example, so I don’t talk loud enough, even when I think I’m talking pretty loud. Or I literally yell and everyone thinks I’m mad. So, I get frustrated even while I’m having fun with the family. It just leads to feeling left out, sometimes.

I like to watch the waves, see what’s in the sand around me, and the sky above me. I will at times just stop and stare bemusedly at whatever. Sometimes I stand there staring out to sea and I see mighty ships, small and large, the crews on them, their voyages…and I’m lost from the beach I stand on.

Usually when I’m with other people, even just one other person, I don’t do all that. I’m too aware of the other person and the need for at least minimal social interaction. Or the need (and desire) to watch the kids as they gambol in the waves, the back of my mind trying to keep worry under control as I wonder if they’re remembering the dangers.

I often wonder, because of all this, if it would be different if I could hear. Then I could listen and respond, but not have to devote part of my attention to being aware of where the other people are all the time. Then, being who I am, I wonder as well if I’d even be as interested in those far-away tales if I could hear. For I know, absolutely know, that if I could hear I wouldn’t be who I am.

4th of July 2012: On the beach

We spent the evening and night of July 4th on the beach. It was gorgeous. There were fires, large and small, all up and down the beach, people were shooting off fireworks, it was a clear sky and a nice sunset. When it got dark, we were treated to the fireworks from Rockaway Beach, 2 miles or so to the north, and some from Garibaldi about an equal distance to the south, but a little more hidden by a small headland. There were still a couple fishing boats out to sea and one of them, near the horizon, set off several fireworks of their own.

The entire scene was relaxing, much more so than the typical 4th of July fireworks. Usually, that involves a larger group of people than I care for crammed into a smaller space than I like. Can you tell I don’t like crowds? Here, it was just the ten of us gathered around our own fire on the beach, sharing beers and pop while making S’mores, talking, doing sparklers, and watching all the fireworks all over the beach. The nearest people were 30 to 40 feet away with their own fire and no-where along the beach that I could see were people jammed together to watch the fireworks like at home. It was a whole level of nicer and more relaxing.

This is my kind of 4th of July. I still feel left out once it starts getting dark, as my ability to participate rapidly drops then. It wasn’t until after the fireworks were over that the full moon finally crested the hills behind us and I was able to lipread again. Even so, it was a nice time to just sit and daydream.

Not having the audio interaction everyone else does, I don’t have the same experience at events like this. To me, the fireworks are nice, but I can see stuff just as good any time I go up in the Owyhees. I don’t get all that “Ooooooooooh! Did you see that one?!” or “Look!!!” or “That was beautiful!” For me, the Fourth is strictly visual. Along with the rare boom felt in my chest as someone sets off a particularly loud firecracker. Somewhat frustratingly, even my wife of many years really doesn’t understand why I’m not as interested in this stuff. Every time I explain it, she gets it, but the next time such an event comes along and I want to stay home instead going with them and being crammed into an area with hundreds of other people she…doesn’t quite get it.

6 July 2012: Ooooooooooh stiff and sore

I think I’ve done a month’s worth of walking since we got here. My calves are sore. I’m finally getting over the tops of my feet being sunburnt. The bed here isn’t exactly the best, it’s an old king with a nest in the middle. Love the size, but my wife tends to hog the middle so I roll into the dent and sleep kind of bent. I sure sleep good, though, I’m just sore and stiff each morning until I get going again. Then I’m fine until late evening when these old muscles start complaining about being forced out of retirement. Heh! Heh! Groan! I can’t keep up with the grandkids!

When I told a co-worker where we were going, she wished us luck with the weather. So far, we’ve had blue skies every day except the first one. That’s better weather than they had or that an interpreter had up at Seaside two weeks before I left. Both had rain, wind, lots of clouds. It rained once after we got back and again another morning until we were ready to head out then it was nice and sunny. Perfect weather just like every time I’ve gone to the beach that I can remember. We had cold weather for a lot of one vacation, but it was offset by a couple beautiful days. But we’ve never been cold, wet, and miserable. Cold, yes Wet, yes. Miserable, never.

I love going to the beach. I was actually thinking of retiring here or seeing if I would be allowed to be a remote worker and able to work from home. Until I saw the prices of the houses around here. They’re not bad prices, but they’re more than I expected. I’ve got two years to go before I can seriously look at doing this, though, and I imagine the prices will go nowhere but up.

We head home tomorrow. I can honestly say I’m not looking forward to the end of this vacation, but it will be nice to sleep in my own bed again. Three adults, a 10 year old, , a 6 year old, two 4 year olds, and two bathrooms. I’m going to miss all this, the aches and pains always being offset by all the fun the kids are having. The five granddaughters have their issues from time to time as sisters do, but it’s been amazingly peaceful and fun. Having our private access to the beach means we’ve spent at least part of every day on the beach so far. And we’re going to again today.

Just had a text from one of my nephews. Computer question that seems to be indicating his system is fried from a power spike while he was out camping. He was nice (!?!?!?!???!) enough to mention the temps there were 100-plus. Here, it’s much nicer…only going to be 67 to 72 here today. Fahrenheit, of course. Definitely not looking to go home to that heat tomorrow!!

It’s been kind of nice not having internet access except through my phone. I’ve used it to check on the tides, look up where things are, and find out some history behind things around here. I’ll be glad to have internet access for my laptop back even though I haven’t really missed it.

Well, spent the day, literally, at the beach. We headed out about 11 or so, and started trickling back just before 6 with everyone here by 6:15. We’re going to have dinner then later head out to the beach for the sunset tonight for some final photography of the family, sunset, forced perspectives, and whatever else we come up with. We flew three kites today: a large biplane that really tugged on the string, a Sky Clipper flying ship kite, about 3 feet keel to mast top with a hull about 3 feet long, and a parafoil, 24” by 20”. That parafoil was the hardest to get aloft but once we put the 18 foot tail from the ship kite on it, it behaved. The ship didn’t need a tail at all, and the biplane had a spinner tail. Sat around, took pictures, build sand castles, ate snacks, drank some pop and beer, laughed, talked, and enjoyed just being there.

And that’s it for blogging while away.


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One Response to “Blogging without a blog”

  1. Anita Says:

    Bill – sounds like a great 4th of July that I would like – by the ocean, and no crowds.


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