29 November 2004 - 10:40 AM
I must go down to the sea again
With the assistance of my colleague and occasional partner in crime, the lovely and talented Strawberry Karen, the html glitch is fixed. Karen is also responsible for the spiffy new graphics. Are they not nifty?
I think a secret to a good Thanksgiving is to have more dogs than people in attendance. With Sis and the Engineer bound for points north, we had seven dogs but only three people. That's 2.3 dogs/person -- a very good ratio, if you like a little chaos with your turkey.
I think a little unscripted chaos at the holidays is healthy -- some people just get too pretentious about having 'perfect' holidays. I say phooey. Perfection is overrated.
Friday, much to Orion's dismay, we packed up and drove to Ocean City (Md). Poor dog, he likes seeing new places and meeting new people, but he really hates riding in the truck. He lay flat on the back seat and shivered most of the way. The Viking tried to comfort him.
'But, Boo,' he said soothingly, 'It'll be fun. And besides, we have to take Momma to the beach now and then. She has to put her feet in the ocean every so often or she gets weird.'
He politely said nothing about the possibility that I might be a tad on the strange side even with regular salt water pedicures. The Viking does not fully understand why trips to the sea are an essential part of maintaining my mental health. He is from a land of lakes and rivers, and why the Atlantic is more important to me than, say, Lake of the Ozarks, is a bit beyond his comprehension. But he is amused and tolerant, and truth be told, I think he likes Ocean City anyway.
Apart from one really close call with a deer crossing Rt 50 the other side of Salisbury (disaster avoided by some alert driving on the part of the Viking), we got where we were going without incident, and Saturday morning I was walking barefoot down the windward shore of the barrier island, picking up shells while my dog frolicked in the surf. Much better now, thank you.
After the morning walk, we took the dog back to the hotel and went down the boardwalk to see what was open, take advantage of off-season sales on t-shirts, and grab some lunch. Then we went back to the hotel, picked up Orion, and went back to the beach for more surf frolicking and so I could fly my kite a while.
I have an excellent kite which features a large green dragon spouting alarmingly orange flames. It is a delta, which is the shape I prefer for casual beach flying, because it's very easy to get aloft. Deltas do benefit from tails, which help stabilise them once they're up. My kite has a streamer tail, which is simply 3" x 6' ribbons of rip-stop nylon in a variety of colours, some of which actually coordinate with the colours in the kite.
Kite-flying seems like it ought to be a relatively mindless activity, but depending on the winds, it can be more challenging than it looks. There were some interesting cross-currents right about standard cruising height for a kite the size of mine, so I had to actively work at keeping it from ditching into the sand. I did pretty well, pulling off a couple quite showy-looking loops in the process. Eventually, though, it dove more sharply than I could correct. It was at this point that the herring gulls, who had been ignoring me before, flew past, laughing.
'See, wingless one,' they seemed to be gloating, 'you don't know everything about handling these winds.'
Well, no, I don't. But I'm game to keep trying -- at least until it's time for an afternoon nap.
Pictures tomorrow, maybe.