The Good Beach Life

Just like the seaside, a lifestyle is not always calm. There are moments of quiet reflection, even meditation. But as the wind picks up and the atmospheric pressure changes, so will the internal storm rise. This kind of ebb and flow is how I enjoy my beach life most. For it is with fortitude we trudge through the low points making the highs so sweet.

I have to admit, we had mostly high points this past week. But, maybe my graph for this kind of chart is changing. The lows lifting up to more of a medium point and my highs becoming incredibly tall. Could be. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

There were so many moments to be thankful for this week. I’m picking a few:

  • Weather – pleasantly warm, enough to work on our tan, (even a little sunburnt children who swore they had sunscreen on), but cool in the evenings
  • Food – excellent wherever we turned. Taco’s on the beach for lunch, cookout for dinner. Fresh seafood in Stanley Park, dockside in Steveston and on the rooftop patio of the Boathouse
  • Exercise – the kids sprinted after their skim boards we walked dozens of miles, up and down the 300′ hill to the beach
  • Space – we had enough for everyone. That is a luxury we often don’t have on a family vacation, but something not to be overlooked, particularly as the kids are teens and tweens
  • Activities – new and old. The kids kicked their skimming skills up a notch. My sister and I learned to add beads into a knitting project
  • Shopping – books, everyone got something, beach reading and beyond

We had a little bit of clouds and rain yesterday. Some might view that as a low point. My mood can sink low when the sun doesn’t shine, but we made the most of it. We combed the beach at Lighthouse Park and my nephew packed out quite a haul of beach glass.

I think we managed fun for the whole family this week. But, most important, I had a great time.

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Beach House

I live close to a beach, now. My childhood was spent in and around the prairies, rolling hills, pastures, grass land, big sky sunsets. All those things are nice, but the seaside is something else.

Since moving here in 1991, I insisted on being house poor and beach location rich as a priority. If I could only afford to live in the far-flung suburbs up the valley, so far from the ocean, I’d rather be back in Alberta. And so we live just a few blocks walk to the beach of White Rock. We don’t have a view of the water, but with a small effort we are there.

Then there is the small matter of the beach house. If it is not connected to the sand with a few footsteps, it can’t really be called that. Technically, I guess. I’m not one for convention. I’ve been trying to make my house into my Pacific Coast dream ever since we took possession 12 years ago. It runs deeper than the decor, it is the feeling you get from a place. My parents always said, “life is what you make it”.

  • Light. We take advantage of the sunshine, as it moves through the day and the seasons.
  • Creative. The space inspires us to play, contemplate, generate ideas.
  • Eat. The kitchen is well stocked to allow experimentation.
  • Oasis. Nothing is more important than a relaxing place to let worries float away.
  • Rest. The bedrooms are being re-done, room by room, starting with the master. I’ve tried to give us an atmosphere of the beach in every element.

As we enjoy the last days of summer, here at our beach house, I feel like it is as close as possible to being in some exotic place, right on the seaside which we spent a lot of money to rent. In fact, I want each and every day to feel that way. And why can’t it?

It probably comes down to, how active is your imagination? In the dark, rainy days of winter, even the homes on the water’s edge are not a “tropical” beach paradise. But, with some tricks of light, warm and cozy places to rest, a little music, yummy snacks, we are there in spirit.

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