We have just returned from our annual visit to you, and I already miss you. I lost count a long time ago on how many times I have visited you since I was a child, but I know it's more than my fingers and toes combined. You have given me traditions like eating crab on saltine crackers doused with ketchup and lemon juice for dinner, and stopping to eat at Pig N' Pancake on our way out when we reluctantly have to leave town. You were there for me as I cried angry tears at the ocean a couple weeks after Vanessa died, and swallowed the message in a bottle I threw to you on the first anniversary of her death. You also made me laugh for the first time after she passed by sending a bazillion seagulls to swarm me and Jeremy as we unknowingly brought bread to share with them and barely made it out, running, with the clothes still on our backs. We know better now. You have given me the most beautiful sunsets to witness, ones where you hear trumpets sounding and see angels pouring down from the heavens if you look very carefully.
We ate wedding cake with you as Jeremy and I held a romantic dinner for our very first wedding anniversary, remember? It tasted so good, and you didn't even get your sandy fingers all over it.
This year, I was a little hesitant, because my sibs and I were spending our vacation with you all under one roof. We haven't been together like that since I was eighteen years old, and I wasn't sure what to expect. My worries melted as soon as I heard your familiar sound cloaked in darkness as we pulled into town around midnight. Morning light revealed grey skies, but sunny smiles from my sibs and families and we all had a blast together, minus poor Jazlynn who came down with a very high fever and the sickies about halfway through our visit. We had lots of fun, but were very worried about her.
|Not even a teddy bear pancake could make it better.|
|Getting loves from her concerned parents. Poor Jazzy|
You got to meet Sabina, who's feet will be pounding on your shores come next year. Cute, isn't she?
Your spell on the other girls though, I have to say, made me nervous. I was known as the "mean auntie" when I took the two girls to the shoreline because they often frolicked too far for my liking, and would come back to a heated lecture from me almost every time.
|Safe on shore, just how I like them.|
|Flying towards Haystack is faster than swimming. : )|
|Busting a surfer move. Cute, but get back here...girls??....GIRLS!!!!!!|
Next time, be a little quieter so when I am screaming frantically, they can hear me, K? I love you, but you do scare me.
Thank you, for bringing out the best in my family, and for giving us a place to connect and truly love. It is because of your effortless beauty and hospitality that we will never tire of visiting you, to dip our feet in your icy shores, to have a good cry, to stare out into nowhere, to feel small in the world again, to be reminded about what really matters, to toast to new life and new love, to shop at your cute little beachy shops, to eat ice cream around a bonfire, or simply because you make us do this:
I will think of you often, and am already counting the days until I see you again. I have pictures to gaze upon, but it is just not the same as being with you. You will have plenty of company to keep you busy, but until then, sending my love to you, and sharing some pictures of our last days together:
|Everyone thought they were twins, you included.|
|Biggest sandbox ever. Go on, girl, make a mess|
|You made my brother so happy in his heart, he felt the need to kiss my husband.|
|A rarity for me to step in front of the camera, but you in the backdrop made it happen.|
|The only place my dad and Jeremy can fly their princess kites together with no raised eyebrows. Thank you.|
|See? Told you I was "mean auntie."|
|Remember these days? Yep, so do I...good multi-tasking, Sergey|
|Jazzy is still wary of you, but I am sure next year, she will be all over you.|
|That was a blustery beach day. It was warmer to look at you through the window, but we had to come out for a quick visit. Didn't wanna be rude.|
|You make my girl dance and channel her inner Stevie Nicks|
And her footloose moves too.
|You also make kidlets stay up way past their bedtimes, but for you, it's totally OK.|
|And these girls just couldn't get enough of you.|
|I Love You, Cannon Beach.|
P.S. One of just you and me....