Tuesday, July 22
(The photos in this post were taken in early evening; thus they’re dark.)
Beach time is different than regular time. It rolls on waves, rides on breezes, and stalls in the glare of sun on hot sand. Hunger marks its passage. I prepare a sandwich and drink, throw some pieces of deli meat to the crew, and return to my book. Standard Beach Time resumes.
I’m reading Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. I chose this book because I like stories that follow a family through generations with some history thrown in, and, of course, the kindle ebook was really, really cheap.
I’m halfway through it.
It starts with the grandmother living in “Old China.” Her feet are deformed from being painfully bound. Women are treated like property, demeaned and brutalized. The story covers a succession of rulers and occupiers, including the Japanese, one power-hungry group hardly distinguishable from another, as is the case now all over the globe and throughout all history.
Then along comes Mao.
More atrocities only now we’ve got government mind control, famine, starvation, uprooting of families, paranoia, and a lot of other very bad stuff. I must say my admiration for the Chinese has grown. They’ve had their tribulations and yet they keep on keeping on.
I’ll continue to slog through it.
I am learning the gist of Chinese history and I hate giving up on anything when I’m already halfway. Obviously, I need to get a better grasp of the concept of light summer reading.
The water is a welcome break.
From the book as well as the heat. Spike and I stagger across the hot sand to cool off in the reservoir. Bridget makes one, perfunctory prance-about and then retreats to the underbelly of the Best Little Trailer to await her next meal.
I stir up enough interest in the crew to join me in a walk on the beach.
Spike and I splash at the water’s edge, happy, side-by-side pals — both of us ankle-deep. Bridget is leader, marching ahead of us on dry land, a wiggle in her butt with every step.
I savor the silence beneath the sound of waves breaking and an occasional outburst of squawking gulls. Bridget, Spike, and I track wet sand inside the BLT and we don’t care one bit.
Wednesday, July 23
Another day, another 3 million Chinese people starve. (Not funny.) The morning warms up quickly, a sure sign of the heat to come. What a scorcher! Nearby water saves us.
By mid-afternoon we’re nearly catatonic in the lethargy of extreme heat . . . me dozing in the lounger under the awning, Bridget and Spike flat out on their sides under the BLT.
We’re revived by every delicious dip in the reservoir. Except for Bridget, of course. If she were a person, she’d be a pre-Civil War Southern belle, sipping a mint julep on the veranda, watching everyone else actually DO stuff.
Around five o’clock the wind starts!
Gusty, capricious, wild and crazy wind, swirling sand and dust 30 feet high across the sandy beach. I match the power of a persistent gust, valiantly hanging onto the awning until the danger passes. Dark clouds threaten rain. Lightning flashes above the distant hills.
I crank up the awning and toss the crew’s bed and pallet under the BLT. The flying sand is blinding.
I chuck Bridget and Spike inside and close the door.
The rain never comes, the wind subsides, and a magnificent sunset appears as encore.
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