I Go Down to the Beach….

DSCN0319 me and sab in bathing suit copyrSometimes you forget what’s important in life, when the struggles of life consume you.

Lately, I’ve been busy with our ‘healing’ coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances, and all the stuff that goes along with promoting it — social media, networking, just to name a couple of things.

I feel like I’ve been missing out on the fun stuff in life.

Like the fact that I’m going to the beach two times in less than one month, and how lucky I am.

How great my editor at AAA Midwest and Southern Traveler is to send me on these dream assignments.

How I should appreciate every stinking minute of every stinking new experience.

The lyrical words were playing in my head when I awoke this morning.  They’ve also been accepted for inclusion into Well-Versed Literary Works 2014, for which I’m grateful.

I give you –

Ode to Sunset Beach

I go down to the beach today
to play
and cast my worries away.

I go down to the beach today
to remember
my carefree childhood of yesterday.

I go down to the beach
to savor
glistening rays,
tempestuous waves,
and nature’s folly.

I go down to the beach
to gaze
at lovers embracing,
six seagulls pacing,
and toddlers named Molly.

I do down to the beach
to pray
for sea turtles’ gestation,
Bird Island’s preservation,
and new found friends.

I go down to the beach today
because it moves me
with a wise silence,
and physical magnificence.

I go down to the beach
because I can.

I go down to the beach
because I am.

© Copyright, Sheree K. Nielsen, 2013



Backfire on the Beach

Just about every other year Mom’s side of the family would make the trek in July to a familiar spot in the Southeast United States — Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  This would be the first time hubby and I joined them.

During the day, we’d bask in the crystal waters and bake our Midwestern ivory skin in the hot sun.

On the Fourth of July, the family pulled together their culinary skills.  A cookout was inevitable with all the regular holiday fixins’ – BBQ’d burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw, and a red white and blue cake (with sparklers).

After dinner and cleanup, we gazed upward as the sky turned a cornflower blue to a blue violet hue.   We collected our beach chairs and loungers, and drug them to a comfy spot on the sand in anticipation of the spectacular show awaiting us.

The stunning view of fireworks lit up the night sky — Destin in one direction, and Seaside from the other.  There were rosettes, stars and fish designs high in the atmosphere.  And the colors — neon green, gold and cranberry red.  Phenomenal.

My second cousin, Matt, brought his own fireworks — four grocery bags worth.  He said he’d ‘got a good deal’ for the whole shebang by trading pizzas for them.  He used to manage a pizza joint back home.

Well, I wished I’d brought a protective suit to wear.  No tellin’ what direction those noisemakers were headed.  Satellite launchers and cone fountains dive- bombed the beach.  No ankle, eye, or armpit was safe.

I laughed hard.  And wished I’d brought a Depends!

After the display (which took close to two hours), we collected debris from the beach.  Grabbing a cold beverage from the cooler, we settled into our chairs.  The adults watched as the kids spun sparklers in perfect circles.   Others (including me) made cool patterns by placing sparklers strategically in the sand.

We talked.  We shared.  We laughed.

At evening’s close, one by one, we retreated back to the security of our rental condos like tiny hermit crabs.

Since then, the family dynamic has changed in more ways than one.  As I think about that day, I realize it was the ‘best’ Fourth of July.  Many elements made up that fun and zany memory.

The beach.  The fireworks.  The sky.



Serenade of the Sea

DSC00172My first thought was to take a trip to the local grocer for provisions for our week in North Carolina.  However, my Australian Shepherd had another plan in mind.

While sniffing around for a appropriate spot to do her ‘bizness’ last eve, I suppose the attraction of the sea air and the fragrant smell of magnolia beckoned her (and me) to cross the road, full of rental properties, to the beach access.

Before I could say Abracadabra, my curious canine stepped gingerly in the sand, sprinted up several steps, and hopped onto the weathered boardwalk.

I met a wonderful thirty-something couple at the lookout point.  They told me of their attraction to Sunset Beach.  No crowds, no worries – just total relaxation.

The guy admitted he wasn’t fond of people.

Enter a friendly dog with pair of ice blue eyes who adores humans.

In seconds, the young man dropped any personal walls and was shaking ‘paws’ with my Brina.

After the conversation drew to a close my animal child looked at the crashing waves, and gazed up at me with approval.  The corners of her mouth began to turn up.  Yes, dogs do smile.

And if she could’ve talked, I imagined she would have said, “C’mon Mom, let’s go!”

All it took was a look from Miss Brina, and I was racing down the beach.  With the wind blowing through my hair, I felt wispy as a seagull soaring overhead.

 The ocean has its mysterious way of drawing you in.  And then it wraps its gentle arms around you with her loving embrace.

Can’t wait to what surprises lie ahead.

But for now, I’ll am thankful for the moment….