• Poppy Grady

Poppy on the Coast

Who says you can't go to the beach in January? The best days at the water are off-season. This is a picture of the little cove beach exactly 5 minutes from my house (walking). I took it this morning when I had the dog out for a walk. (Though, I like to say she takes me for walks).

When the tide comes in, the beach disappears. When the tide goes out? Pure bliss. The sand is soft and the water is shallow for yards before it gains depth.

And as I sit there in my beach chair, I watch sailboats and tankers pass by in the distant deep waters. Okay, scratch the sailboats in January.

The point is I pinch myself regularly that I'm lucky enough to live here. (change that to smart enough to find a gem of a house!). I was living my own version of Beachfront Bargain Hunt when I found the place.

Living just a few steps from a marina and a beach (it's like a little peninsula so marina in one direction, beach in the other) has taught me some things about coastal life:

In the summer, things get loud. What I hear: Tons of traffic heading in and out of the marina. Motorcycles, bicyclists, joggers, walkers, boat motors on the water, the clinks and clangs of sailboat masts, boat horns, seagulls, kayakers, the ice cream man, kids playing, and wind. A lot of wind. Do I mind any of this? No.

What I hear in Winter: More wind. Lots of wind. Winds that make you sit up and wonder if you should evacuate. Wind that makes you call your roofer on the reg. Wind that you just know is tearing all the paint off the house.

But also, when you live at the coast, there is foot traffic year-round.

It's a destination, isn't it? No matter warm or cold ... Where should we walk? Let's walk to the water and back. Where should we bicycle? Let's ride around the water way and back. Where should we park and eat our Dunkin' Donuts croissant sandwiches and cold brew (because in New England we still drink iced coffee on cold days)? Let's go park by the marina and watch the seagulls drop clams on the rocks to get them open and eat.

One good whiff of that fresh, salt air and your meditation is done for the day. Just like that.

Want to know one of my favorite sounds? A distant tanker horn as it passes through our waters on it's way up to a deep water port in Providence. I can hear it as I'm just being busy about the house doing this or that. The TV can be on, perhaps I'm cooking. Doing anything. But you hear it. That deep bellow. No mistaking a boat horn, especially a large tanker. I love that noise. It's a little reminder as I'm busy in the house -- it's saying, "Don't forget, the ocean's out here. Here's a reminder." It makes me smile. And I mean that. I literally smile every time I hear it.


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