We got away this weekend. Away from chores and projects and the temptation to be productive to a cabin on the coast. Beautiful took a half day and we drove through the snow on highway 30 to a tiny one bedroom, two room house that I lived in with my parents and little brother when I was eight. There was snow on the roof and buoys hanging from the trees marrying the winter weather with the nautical theme perfectly. The house was as small as I remember but as amazing as ever. The strawberry patch in the front is gone and the tall trees in the back had mostly been cleared but the sand dunes and adventure are still around the corner.
Like the snow earlier this week, I was looking forward to walking through memory lane with the fresh eyes of my two boys. We walked to the estuary that we called Little Beach and crossed on to the expansive sand bar created by low tide. The boys and I had boots but Beautiful needed to ferried across on my back. Primo darted out ahead splashing in pockets of water and picking up every large stick he found. Segundo was a little more apprehensive choosing to stay close to our legs. We slid down cliffs like my brother Mark and I did when we were kids and I even got Primo to hurl himself off a dune with the same excitement I had thirty years ago.
Beautiful and Segundo headed back to the cabin while Primo and I trekked around the corner to the wide open, shell littered shore of the Pacific ocean. It was grey and cold and the water looked dangerous but the beach held enough mystery and magic to keep us engaged for hours. We built forts from drift wood, wrote names in the sand, and scoured the beach for an unbroken sand dollars losing track of time and space until we both realized we were hungry and ready to trek home.
I have looked forward to bringing my boys to this formative space from my childhood and hoped that they would be as lost in the magic as I had been. I was not disappointed. We had a great weekend away even though it was cold, and cloudy. We found the adventure under sea shells and over sand dunes and we stored up that treasure of concentrated family time. We will pull these memories out often and polish them for a while as we relive and revive them in our hearts.