Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Smell Like Smoke, Summer Has Begun

Growing up in Southern California summer officially began and ended with a beach party. 

Bolsa Chica or Huntington Beach was where we normally found ourselves staking out a crumbling firepit by Lifeguard Station 23.  Who was bringing the hot dogs, the firewood, the boombox, and in our younger years - the alcohol?

I'm writing about this today because when I moved from SoCal, I thought I would miss the nostalgia.  Sure, I miss the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves hitting the shoreline.  But there are a couple of things I don't miss.  I don't miss sand in places it had no business being.  My belly button, the back of my ears, my hairline, and the extremely private areas that one could not get to at the community showers on the boardwalk. 

I do not miss eating sand with my dinner.  No matter how well organized the party was, there was always wind at the beach and wind blows sand.  Hmm, go figure?  Hot dogs don't taste good gritty.  Sorry.  Some people might like it but I don't.  Also, I have never been able to cook my hot dog on a skewer perfectly.  They're either bubbly on the outside and cold in the middle or completely charred.  Sorry again, but charred hot dogs somehow taste like the bottle of lighter fluid it took to get the fire going.  Also, smores.  Organizational skills a must for this too.  It takes at least two competent, non-drunk adults to prepare and dole out the ingredients plus one to watch the crazy children (or adults) flinging their fiery marshmallows hither and thither.  I will not question those who prefer their marshmallow charred, but really?  Really?!  Gruesome.

On this eating at the beach note, I have to interject some personal guffaws at a magazine article I read just last week about hosting Thanksgiving at the beach (yes, I am a wee bit behind with my reading materials).  GUFFAW!  Life is not perfect.  Plus, the hostess was beautiful.  No stress, no sweat.  The food was laid out magnificently, the candles were lit, and lovely, happy guests were sitting around the table.  Where were the seagulls, the evening's gusty winds, and the size sixteen friends?  GUFFAW, GUFFAW!  Give me a break!!
Summer 2008

I'm writing this blog because when I overslept this morning and threw on my clothes from yesterday, I smelled the familiar and comforting nostalgia of wood smoke.  My hair, my jeans, and sweatshirt were permeated with it.  My family, in our own way, in our new home and state, have started a new tradition, welcoming summer by hanging out around our backyard firepit.  We've spent the last two nights of the Memorial Day Weekend eating our dinners, talking, and laughing around it.  Sure, there's no smell of the ocean but I can smell my Lavender in the garden and the Carne Asada on the BBQ.  Yes, there's no sound of the sea but instead we're listening to the sound of our Aspens blowing in the breeze.

Families, wherever they find themselves, make their own nostalgia.  And one day, if I were ever to leave this lovely state, I'm sure I'd be nostalgic for the things I just mentioned.  The lesson I've learned this morning; look back with fondness, enjoy what I have now, and smile.


Brenda said...

I, being from Florida, am also used to the beach and sand at summer time. But, I like the Colorado season change even more. I need a new summer tradition and I like yours. :) I hope someday soon we can enjoy a firepit together!

Bri Potts said...

We'll get there, my dear. ;)

While I was looking at the pictures again I had to laugh because the bottom one tells me two things. One, our fire pit is very small. We need a bigger one (just thinkin'). And two, that was a very rare, peaceful moment that Eric caught on film. Usually someone is grimmacing or whining. LOL!