Tuesday, September 8, 2009

California Dreamin'

As summer draws to a close I am having memories of my summers in California when I was growing up. I decided to share this post again since I wrote it when I first started blogging and I didn't have any followers back then.

*Pictures by Lisa Matthis*

Just look at the beautiful colors of these sea creatures that our Creator placed in the ocean. How can anyone ever deny His majesty!!!! They made me want to write a little poem to add to my post.

The Colors Of The Sea

As I gaze upon the creatures that adorn the ocean floor
I wonder at the majesty of the Creator I adore

How could one so great and powerful use such softness in the hues
Corals, pinks, and purples, aqua, and such pretty baby blues

It speaks to me of tenderness, and gentle, loving care
The Creator, Abba Father, showers on us everywhere

Oh what wonder! Oh what beauty in these colors of the sea
Can we grasp the great immenseness of His love for you and me?

If He made these little creatures with a purpose and a plan
How much deeper is His wisdom in making mortal man

How I ponder when I see them, these awesome colors of the sea
And I look forward to seeing Heaven, oh what glory it will be!

Linda ~~~Sept. 2009

When I was a child I lived in Southern California, just about seven miles from the beach. Much of my childhood was spent playing at the beach or the bay. We would pack a lunch, grab a blanket or two, our colorful beach towels, suntan lotion, a transistor radio, etc. and we were off for a day of fun.

The pavement was always so hot, so my brother and I would wear our flip flops as we unpacked the car and hauled a cooler to the spot we would call our own, amongst a multitude of others who were also there for a day of pleasure.

I remember laying out in the warm sunshine listening to the ocean waves rolling back and forth and they would lull me to sleep. My mother would nudge me from time to time to tell me to turn over so I wouldn't get burned. We would take turns applying the Coppertone lotion to each other, and reapplying it as the day went on. Some of it smelled of coconuts and good enough to eat!

Speaking of eating,...going to the beach and swimming in the ocean and jumping the waves all day long would give us the biggest appetites! We'd unpack our sandwiches and potato chips which we usually ate with sandy hands, and wash them down with lemonade from our thermos, and it always tasted so good. Later in the day, the Good Humor ice cream truck would chime its way to the parking lot, and we'd beg mom to buy us a treat, and she always would. We'd make a big mess and get sticky as the ice cream melted faster than we could eat it, but it sure tasted good!

My brother would let me bury him in the sand, or we would build a sand castle or two. We would use our big toes and write our names in the damp sand along the shoreline, and then watch as it got erased each time the waters edge would reach it.

Once we watched from the shore as our mom and her friend and some others got rescued by a boat because a riptide, or undertow had pulled them a little too far out and they couldn't get back in on their own. I think it was then that I started thinking of the power that the ocean possessed. My mom would say that yes, the Lord held the ocean in its bounds as it moved back and forth, and I began to realize that God was in control and that He held the whole world in His hands. (And by the way,...I always loved that song!)

We'd take long walks and pick up seashells and dried up starfish and cart them home to add to our collections. We'd sort them from big to little and think about the creatures that used to live inside of them. We'd take them to show and tell at school, or glue the little ones to poster board and make a design or a mosaic out of them and give them to mom for a gift.

Lots of times we'd invite our friends to come with us to the beach and that added to the excitement. We'd splash each other and play tag, and toss a beach ball. It was so hard to run fast in the sand. It was no wonder that we would be exhausted when we got home. And as we'd take our showers we'd discover that we were red as lobsters no matter how much lotion we had used. Our shoulders and noses, and backs and just about every inch of us would be sensitive and uncomfortable for a few days until it would turn into a tan. Sometimes we would peel and sometimes we wouldn't. And as the summer wore on we were sporting enough of a tan that the burning wouldn't happen as much.

No matter how much we ate at the beach we would still be starving when we'd get home and a lot of times we'd barbeque hamburgers and hot dogs in the back yard and they would taste wonderful! Then we'd each get a huge piece of cold watermelon and it was so refreshing! My brother collected his watermelon seeds and buried some in the dirt in the yard and he actually got a watermelon or two to grow! That was exciting to watch as children,...especially for city kids that had not ever had a garden of their own.

Sometimes we'd go to the beach in the evening and build a fire and roast marshmallows. The moonlight on the water was so pretty. It would get chilly in the evenings so we would wear jeans and a sweater, but we still couldn't resist putting our feet in the water, so we'd roll up our pants and walk in the wet sand as the water receded, and then run towards the dry sand as the waves would come crashing back towards us. It would always end up catching us and getting us wet up to our knees,...or to our waists if we fell down! We giggled and shivered and would jump up and run towards the fire to warm up.

There was a pier on the beach and my little brother loved to walk up on the pier and talk to the fishermen who would sit on the bench and cast their lines over the side of the pier. I was always scared that he would fall in, so I'd grab the back of his shirt as he'd look over the edge. He was always brave, and I was always a nervous ninny.

Along the side of the pier there would often be fishing boats that would sell freshly caught fish. My mom would buy some and we would go home with it wrapped up in newspaper. I didn't like the smell that lingered around all of those boats and I never was fond of fresh fish. And I remember crunching on a fish bone or two that hadn't gotten removed before cooking, which was a bit unpleasant. We also tried abalone, which we dipped in a batter and fried and I did like that. And I also liked the fried shrimp that you could buy in the shops along the pier.

When I grew up and became a mother, I too would take my three girls to the beach, and we made some memories too. But when they were 9, 8, and 4 we moved to Colorado,...and there was no ocean to visit there. But it had a beauty all it's own,....glorious Mountains! And then a few years later we settled here in the Heartland.

Today the children are grown and they have children of their own. And here I sit in Kansas looking out my windows at the freshly fallen snow. And on this chilly morning, I find myself "California Dreamin' ". I think the snow is beautiful but I never have enjoyed playing in it like I did the ocean. Instead I find it enjoyable to sit inside by my fireplace and just gaze upon its beauty. I guess I'll always be a California girl at heart,...just transplanted in the Midwest! One who does a little California Dreamin' from time to time.

(Remember, this is a re-post from last December,..no snow here yet!)


Lynnette Kraft said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karin said...

I had to remember that this was a re-post because it just can't be that you were gazing out the window to the freshly fallen snow! Please, say it isn't so! My first time visit here! Loved your poem and all the exquisite ocean creatures God has made for our and His pleasure! Blessings!

Christina said...

Looks like you had a great family vacation. Nice to see you are back safe & sound. {and probably pretty tired}

To answer your question, we don't live on the beach. Tom's parents have a beach house in Ocean City {about 35 minutes from our house}.

We drive down there alot & this past weekend, we stayed down for 3 days.

Since Emily won't stay in church, usually her & I walk down to the beach and spend some time together praying. {and taking pictures of course} hehe

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. They have greater meaning than you could even imagine.

Your friend,

Christina said...

PS. After Tom and I were married we did live down in ocean City for the first year....while we were searching for a house. Ashley went to school down there. IT was pretty COOL doing homework, sitting on the beach. hehe

Veronica said...

Beautiful pics in this post, Linda. Thanks for re-posting it. Like I mentioned in my last comment, I just love living in CA. I could not imagine not living by the beach!