Monday, August 10, 2009

Beach People

What can be more fun than to park set out your beach chair, haul out a big bottle of frozen water to thaw in the hot sun, and open a really good book! (In my case it was the wonderful "My Life in France," by Julia Child.)

I love watching the people. The children are a hoot.

This pair of boys kept building a sand castle in the same spot.

And then boom! The big waves would knock it over! And they'd start again. (They reminded me of the folks who repeatedly build on the same spot after the same national disaster has wiped out their home.)

I loved this little guy. He'd just pick up things and throw them. All of about four feet!

Color is everywhere, but nowhere more vibrant than in the toys on the beach...

And in the bright colored swimsuits!

The pickers were in force when I went to the beach early on our final morning. At low tide all the shells that so hurt our feet in the water were high on the beach and every early riser in Myrtle Beach was picking. Young, old, and everything in between. It was my best shell year ever.

Shells. there's a lesson in them, I think, about the beauty of imperfection. For the most part, we all go for the perfect shell. The scallop that is unchipped, the unbroken half clam shell. In that category of perfect, there are variations -- black, white, orange, multicolored shells; the large and the minuscule.

We pick, sort and reject with a cold eye.

Yet the imperfect shells bring their own beauty to the mix. They've lived hard, and those cracks and sharp edges represent a struggle, as they were tossed relentlessly in the surging surf.

I found a part of a conch shell cousin. Brilliant orange. Beautiful. Was it any less so because it was only partially intact? I don't think so. I found it perfection its own way.

People are like that, too -- or can be. Some just glow with perfection, looking as though they have never been tossed about, quite possibly shielding their past behind their beauty.

Others are less perfect, yet to the eye that is willing to see, reveal a great beauty.

Yes, I was quite happy.

Of course there were other interesting people too -- our neighbors at the hotel from Montreal, the show people (one fellow, who was rather tall had the largest nostrils I'd ever seen; I didn't want to stare, but I couldn't help it.) The show organizer Morgan, whom I called Morgana La Fey, so named because of her similarities to the Morgana of Arthurian legend.

In an upcoming post I'll introduce you to some people we stopped to see on the way back. Myrtle Beach to Lansing via Canada!


  1. I love me an imperfect shell !
    rarely where we go in florida are there ever any perfect after years of that, I have fallen in love with the broken ones...the ones people usually don't want !

    my favorite ones...pieces of sand dollars !
    love them as they usually look like wings !

    so glad you're having a great time !

  2. Hmmm... first your posts were making me yearn for Paris and now for a beach break! Yikes!

    I so agree with you on all your beach points. I may just head out to Independence Lake today just because.

  3. Ah, lovely photos! I haven't been to the beach all summer. Must make time to fit it in. Looks like you all had a wonderful time!

  4. Oh, you really make me miss the beach! I am going to save my money this year so I can go to Florida next summer. I am back at work today. Your post is so colorful. I Love broken shells just as much as the whole shells. Great pic of you too!(still giggling about the guy with the large nostrils,,LOL)

  5. Oh, I am glad to have enjoyed a peak at your marvelous time on the beach. My, oh my.

  6. I got to your blog because of your tulip dishes. I have been collecting the same dishes for a few years and they are very hard to find. Looking into the brand the numbers tell me they are from the 30's. so I was beginning to feel sad thinking there just must not be many left. It is great to know someone is enjoying a set of them with big bowls and all. They always make me happy when I use them. They are beautiful.
    I posted as anonymous because I have no blog.

  7. It is still cold in Australia - but I do look forward to the summer and fun in the sun and water :)

  8. You look so good on the beach relaxing. Wonderful observation of imperfection and beauty. I would have loved seeing the shell and I suppose it is too much to hope that you got a photo of the very interesting sounding man.

  9. sorry but i want to see the guy with the nostrils, you certainly are cute and everything but your nostrils look perfectly ordinary. myrtle beach is a wonderful place to spend time! not that i've been there or anything :) but i know that any of the atlantic coast is a place that will make me happy. and yes you certainly do look happy!
    love you jeanie. XO

  10. that a part of Myrtle looks like everyone does it at the same time?? Can you show us some??
    You look so happy & relaxed in the last picture. And thank-you you so much for you last comment on my blog...I was honoured.

  11. I love that you're sharing your beach time with us - love the photos and I can almost hear the waves in the background. I love the beach.

  12. You're looking way too relaxed here. You gotta get back to the grind. Just kidding.

    Myrtle Beach--it brings back memories.

    Happy Birthday!

  13. I do love the beach! Thanks for taking me back (love the sand pail and toys photo!)

  14. Love searching for shells. My favorites are the ones missing part of the outside so that you can see a spiral shape. I used 2 broken/imperfect shells to make my charms for the Ties That Bind Doll for ovarian cancer.

    As always, enjoying your photos and narrative.

  15. What wonderful pictures, this morning started with hail and a cold cold wind. The sun is peaking out now so I think Archer and I will brave a walk along the shore.


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