If you were to measure summer in number of excursions great and small, then we would be the champions of summer. We would win gold medals. We would receive lucrative contracts from cereal companies. I know that was the plan and all, but I forgot about all the gearing-up time it takes, and then the gearing-down, and how the washing-machine goes non-stop in between, and that dogs often get carsick, and smell particularly dog-like when lodged in a small vehicle. The next thing you know it's the end of August and you're finding shoes in your trunk. We have traveled from here to Canada to the coast and the river and back again in the last month alone, much of it spontaneous. The lazy days of summer are not particularly lazy. I say this every year. But that doesn't mean they are any less spectacular. Being able to travel with my husband in this way, to visit friends and family after a few years absence is a miracle.
But as it turns out, I am no longer a road warrior. The morning of my birthday I woke up sick. Really sick. I did not pack appropriately. It was (and is commonly) 30 degrees cooler in Newport than any other place along the Oregon Coast. I would have known this if I had bothered to GOOGLE ANYTHING, but, you know. the flu does things to the brain. I tried not to shake my fists at the universe and enjoy what little time we had. Aaron knew this somehow, and oysters and champagne on the beach turned into oysters and champagne in bed. Walks on the beach in the whipping wind were followed by hot baths. He let me wear his hoodie. And borrow his socks. The place was pure magic, but I was a mess.
It was still dark when I sat staring at the digital clock on the motel nightstand that final morning. 4:30 am. Even the canine crew showed no signs of stirring. I could either toss and turn and wake the whole room up, or take my hacking elsewhere. So I layered up and grabbed the camera on the way out the door. I know at some point the sun rose. And I know the tide came back in. Clam hunters in muddy waders made their way up twisting pathways to their trucks. I may have been the only non-fisher person, not to mention woman, up at that hour, wandering around the docks, inspecting crab-pots. I sat by the ocean for who knows how long. And I don't remember feeling sick, not even for one second. I took a hundred photos. You can find a few of them here.
This story has no moral really, except to say that things don't always go as planned. I could rename my whole blog just that. Entire trajectories can be thrown off by something as big as a job loss or something as simple as the flu. And I'm okay with that. Because as it turns out, things can be better.