Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scenic Scenes

Most everyone enjoys a beautiful view. We all hope to have a perspective out the front window of our homes that we can enjoy like a natural painting or photo. In Colorado we like our mountain views and beautiful forests and lakes and streams and grass covered hills. Rolling hills and valleys make an awesome pictorial too.

One thing all these natural beauty views have in common is that they are fairly static. They may change with the seasons, but — in general — they more resemble a still photo than a movie.

But an ocean view is different. It is constantly changing. The surface rolls in and the level ebbs and flows. Plus, there’s a sound track too. The forest has its birds and the wind in the trees, but the ocean has its roar as it comes up on the beach like some amphibian reaching out to dry land. The white noise of the ocean can only be matched by a gurgling stream or a roaring waterfall, and they lack the primordial draw of the sound of the ocean crashing on the beach.

Even the sand changes from day to day and flotsam and jetsam will add new landmarks, modifying the scene overnight.

I’m sitting at the table looking out at the magnificent and fluid view. I spent the last few nights with the windows open allowing access to the timeless sound of the surf. No sleep is more pleasant than the slumber serenaded by the sound of the sea.

My family’s annual trek to the Pacific is a high part of my year. We arrive in September, often better weather on the Oregon coast than the high summer. My brother from Seattle, my sister from Montana, my dad from Portland, and my wife and I from Colorado. All beautiful scenery locations, but none match this awesome ocean views from our house on the cliff overlooking the beach.

This morning we cooperated on breakfast. Dale prepared pancakes that we covered with Huckleberry syrup — a uniquely Montanan sweetener. We had Oregon peaches and a watermelon a friend brought yesterday from her garden. I brewed the coffee, a personal specialty and family favorite. Later we’ll have sea bass caught from a boat a few miles south of here on a leisurely day cruise a couple of days ago. Yesterday, we feasted on salmon caught in Washington by my brother and breads bought at the farmer’s market back near Portland.

It seems we have so much food that we’ll have to have four or five meals a day to finish it off. Some like to go down to the beach and walk on the sand and wade in the water. I’m OK with that. I spent the early hours this morning wandering the beach and picking up shells and other oddities washed up from who-knows-where. But I’m having a great time jus sitting here in the hot tub, drinking wonderful Oregon white wine, and listening to the sea beat on the beach. Besides, those that have sampled the seawater in Oregon know the temperature is not conducive to bathing … unless you are wearing a wet suit. But this hot tub, truly a credit to its name, is so comfy. (I’m actually not in the tub as I type this, but the memory from earlier this week is strong.)

Last night we wandered down to the beach to enjoy a bonfire and play with the neighbor’s dog who sits, lies, and fetches on hand commands. This pup was very well trained. She is owned by a vet assistant and could be a service dog except she was too old when they got her. Still she visits the veterans hospital in Portland and works with the soldiers there. It was great fun to watch the happy dog enjoying fetching a ball and romping in the surf yesterday. It was too dark last night for such play, so she just sat by the fire like the rest of us.

Soon I’m headed south for California. There’s plenty of fine beaches on the way south, but, for now, I’m just soaking up this great scenery … moving pictures and all. Come on in … the water is fine. Today looks like rain, but this week has been the calmest in memory. The wind usually blows on the coast. That’s part of the motion too.

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