Beach Dreams

Photo by J. Howerton

My sweet partner, J., took this photo a few years ago when we were visiting my hometown. He blew it up and had it mounted as a wall hanging for me the following Christmas. I decided to put it on our bedroom wall in the spot I see as soon as I open my eyes each morning.

This is the time of year when I get really tired of Pacific Northwest gloom. It’s the time that I typically start making our summer travel plans. My son has been telling me for the past few weeks how badly he wants to go to Florida and see his grandparents and go to the beach. I’m not making plans at the moment because of Covid. My parents are elderly, so I would want to quarantine for 10-14 days before seeing them, and right now, that’s not an affordable option for me.

It’s making me sad.

The last time I was “home,” was October of 2019. This is the longest I’ve gone without a visit since I moved here 22 years ago. It sucks. I acknowledge how fortunate we’ve been to stay healthy, and I feel perfectly ok having this little pity party about not being able to travel home quite yet.

The beach is the place my soul feels most at home. I miss it. I miss my friends and family who live so far away. (Hell, I miss my friends here.) I want to eat good key lime pie, and swim in the Gulf, and watch my son play in the sand. I want to hear the cicadas at night and feel the hot humidity on my skin. I want to wake up to a thunderstorm and watch the dolphins play in the bay.

For now, though, I’m bundled up in my sweater, heat running in the house, watching the clouds outside – and pouting. But thanks to someone who loves me, I woke up with a Florida sunset in my eyes.

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