The Place is the spot of our special place on the ocean. I grew up spending time there in the summer and even at Christmastime. Everyone who comes to the Place falls in love. It’s the beach. No one is there. You can walk forever. The tide could be in or out, the waves could be rolling in or it can be calm and as flat as glass. It can be sunny, cloudy or completely pouring with rain. However it happens to be, it’s perfect. Since it’s in Washington State, west of Seattle, it’s cloudy most of the time and rains for much of the year. But, rain or shine, it’s our piece of perfection. It’s my absolute favorite place to walk. The reason is simple — there are very few people. The beach has homes on the shore, so there’s limited beach access. The one area, by the mouth of the Elwah River, has very few places to park. And, really, unless you have a place there, it’s not worth it to go to this particular beach because there are other beaches in the area that are far more convenient. But, for the lucky few who live there, it’s heaven on earth.
I loved the beaches in Hawaii when I lived there, but I always compared the two. I loved swimming in the Hawaii waters because it’s warm and lovely when you’re in the water. And, when you’re in the water, you have to swim way out because most swimmers hang out at the shore break. To be alone means swimming through the break and out into open water. One thing that became very apparent when I lived in Hawaii is that I’m not a fan of people. When I’m walking the beach, I like to be alone or with one or two others.
My favorite person to walk with is my dad. We spend hours walking the beach when I go home. And he calls me when he’s on the beach when I’m not there and I can picture exactly where he is. Sometimes he sends me videos of eagles or maybe a baby seal. It’s amazing! My dad walked the beach with his own dad every single week. He’d go with my grandpa on his day off of work. They would walk, talk and find treasures. I have to say, my dad was the lucky one in his family. He had those unforgettable moments with his dad. My grandfather died very unexpectedly when he was 71 and my dad didn’t live with regret that he hadn’t spent enough time. His siblings weren’t that fortunate. They were younger and never got that kind of time with their dad. And they also didn’t have a special place to go and reflect and remember. Even to me, there’s a piece of my grandfather on that beach. I think of him fondly every single time I’m there. Even when I’m inside the Cabin, I think of him playing Christmas music on his trumpet there one Christmas Eve. That was the year we made it simple, and ate clam chowder. I don’t think we have had or will have a better Christmas Eve than that one. And that’s okay. We don’t try to recreate it, we just smile and think of how happy it made us just to be there.
So, find your place and your people. Appreciate every moment.
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” ~Wylan
“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~Jacques Cousteau