Saturday, February 28, 2009


   It's quite reassuring to stay in hotels that keep us connected with current events, nature, and pop culture. I mean, being on the road can be tough enough, so when a hotel goes the extra mile and keeps pertinent information accessible to us, it means the world.

   Which is why I was so psyched to see this here at the Towneplace Suites:

   Seeing that stapled and stenciled bulletin board complete with geometric shapes in primary colors not only brought me back to the 2nd grade, it also tempted me to just get rid of my mac altogether. I mean, really, who needs the Internet when I have that? 

   Since it was a gift from Drew, and so has some sentimental value, I suppose I will keep it--but probably just as a paper weight.

   At least while I stay here, anyway.  
   Yesterday I suddenly got inspired to go to the beach all by myself. 

   So I got in the car and drove. For me, the most difficult part of going to the beach has always been parking. Finding a space. Making sure you have quarters (which, let's face it, at the beach is basically worth their weight in gold). Trying to park close enough so, before you even glimpse the water, you aren't committing to a five mile hike while holding all your beach paraphernalia and maybe even contracting skin cancer since you had planned on applying your sunscreen after you put your towel and folding chair down on the soft white sand. 

   I did find a place to park, though could only scrounge up enough change to last an hour. 

   But really, an hour was all I needed.

   Crossing the street, I came upon this.
   One thing I love about the beach is the air of goodwill and trust that seems to rule. It's the one place in the world where nobody really locks anything. We each stake out our own little pile of sand, marking it with an exotic and brightly colored over-sized towel or two.  That is as good as any safe on the beach, I guess. We place our purses, our clothes, our keys that belong to expensive cars down on those towels and go our merry way into the surf without so much as a glance over our shoulders.   

   I have always done this and have never had any bad luck with it.  

    So I did it again. I will say, however, that I forgot a towel, so did feel a little weird about placing my stuff down without that. It felt less safe, somehow. I took a little extra precaution because of it and tightly bundled my keys to the rental car in my tank top that was on the ground.   

   At least the tank top was sort of like a beach towel in that it was bright and pink and uh, fabric. So there was that.  

   That oughta do it, I thought, and walked down to where the waves were breaking. 

   I walked and thought and prayed. I thought about the different people I love and prayed for good things to come into their lives. I thought about some of the messes I and others have made lately and hoped for a way out. 

  And sometimes, I just stopped and looked closely at the water swirling at my feet. 
  I saw how it was clear and green and made patterns that I could never have thought of in a million years.  These patterns were so intricate; they involved much larger things than me--things like the sunlight, the ocean, the innumerable amounts of sand; somehow these cosmic and epic things met together here, at my feet, and made a little picture that I could take in.  
  I think life is a lot like that. 

  Things that we cannot control--probably cannot even understand the magic and vastness of them--come together, interrupting our day for the better and leaving us with some beauty.  

   Or maybe it isn't beautiful yet. Maybe it's an interruption that we never would have opted for, we never would have checked the yes had we been handed some grand, universal survey, but still--it makes a pattern that marks us. And for better or for worse, we are changed.

  But I can guarantee you that it will--eventually--be for better.  
  I gotta believe that.
  So here's to finding the patience that we need to make it to that place that we can honestly see is, in fact, better.  

  And because I am always on the quest for bigger calf muscles (yes, this is my version of a segue--sorry if it's a little abrupt), I ran every once in a while.  

   But see, I have been having this irritation with my knee (thank you, A Chorus Line and all of the deep lunges that entails) and despite all of the very sage advice I have gotten from well intentioned physical therapists (it is simply bruised from sleeping (not sure if they thought maybe I wrestle alligators in my sleep) and of course, my absolute favorite--I need to eat more hamburgers), the knee is still being pesky.

  All this to say, my running spurts were limited at best.  
  Hopefully walking at a quick rate on the sand will bulk up the calf muscle, as well.

  Um, I really love a good calf muscle.

   But, about the knee--there's good news. I saw another physical therapist today and he seemed to know what he was talking about. Seems like my I.T. band as well as some of my quad muscles have gotten good and tight and so isn't allowing the patella to work as it should.

  Or something like that.

  Long story short, I have to roll it out on this huge foam roller and it hurts a whole heckuva lot. I mean, really bad.  But I guess that just proves the latest P.T. guy right.  

  So I will be rolling and icing and looking forward to the better that is about to come to my knee.  

  Oh, and the only real way that a hamburger is going to help my knee is if I take a frozen patty and apply it directly to the sore area.

  Which I just might do, in a pinch.  


kathiek said...

Beautiful beach pics, Jess! Glad you had a nice day (hour) at the beach...and that all your things were still there! I hope your knee feels better soon (although getting permission to eat hamburgers still sounds like a good deal to me)!

Michele said...

Oh Jessica! I want to go to the beach! We're supposed to get 10 inches of snow tonight! :(

Jessica Latshaw said...

I know, I heard! How crazy--and I am partly sad that I will miss it;-(

christine said...

I'm glad you found a PT who knows what they're talking about : ) Maybe now you can get some relief...instead of just having to eat more hamburgers.
I love all of those pictures...makes me even more excited for Mexico : )
Sounds like a great walk/run too and I'm glad this story didn't end with you coming back and finding your belongings missing because I had a sinking feeling at first that you were going to say that : )
Love you and miss you!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Christine--I am glad that my stuff wasn't gone, too! and oh my goodness, Mexico is going to be just what the doctor ordered for you guys!

Min said...

Jess, those pictures are so refreshing. I miss the beach... the warmth and the pure peacefuness of running my fingers over the sand. It is odd how much we trust people on the beach. Somehow we believe that if anyone tried to take our stuff someone would stick up for us while we are frolicking in the waves. Thanks for reminding me that there are still warm places while we are all still pushing through the long cold winter (at least there is a ton of snow falling right now). I hope your knee fully recovers and the tight places loosen up a little! Miss ya! :)

Jessica Latshaw said...

Min--thanks for your kind words! And I am sort of sad to be missing the winter wonderland going on back home...!