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Monday, February 2, 2015

I Think I Recognize that Dune

“We should take a walk down to the beach,” she says.

I look out the window, out to the ocean.  It is 64 degrees out – a good fifty degrees warmer than home – but it is damper, and windier, than this Minneapolitan is accustomed to.  Having packed very light, I have a choice between flip-flops and winter boots.

“Let me grab my boots.”

And so we walk.  We walk and walk.  I have flown to Texas specifically to meet with her:  Shelly, my longtime blog and Facebook friend, is as warm and funny and intelligent as she appears on paper.   

She tells me of Pablo Neruda, of tamales eaten with mustard and $300 chanclas.  I tell her about Michael Chabon and lutefisk and how many layers of clothes you can wear before you can’t bend your limbs.   

She points out broken sand dollars and dead blowfish on the beach and I bend down to inspect them. 

Eventually, we head back to the condo.

And we walk and walk, our faces pink with sea spray. 

“It feels like the complex should be around here somewhere,” she says.

“If it’s not,” I say, “it should be.  I don’t think I’ve walked this far in years.”

We laugh.  Shelly is a weight lifter, a woman with regular exercise and hydration habits, whereas I am a yoga fan with an affinity for home-made fudge. 

We are lost, however, one dune looking pretty much like another.  We choose a boardwalk, then a street, but nothing looks right. 

“Wait here,” she says.  “I’m going to see if I can figure out where we are.”  She heads off down the street, and the next time I turn around, she has turned a corner and is out of sight. 

A grackle lands on the palm tree nearest me.

“Tick-tick-tick-tick wheeeeeeee,” he bellows.

I look up.  “What?”

“Tick-tick-tick-tick wheeeeeeee!”

“Well,” I say, “that’s what you say now.”

A man on a ladder on the building nearest me stops his painting to look down.  I look over in time to see him shaking his head.  Poor lady.

“I hardly know that bird,” I offer.

He says nothing and returns to his work.

“We overshot it!”  Shelly is hustling her way back.  “We overshot by quite a bit!”

“How –“

“I asked some workers,” she says, pointing vaguely from the direction she’s come.  “Four guys came off their ladders to help.”

And so we walk some more.

And 45 minutes later, legs sore and still laughing, we eat lunch without thought to caloric intake.    


Shelly said...

I am convinced that grackle was trying to tell us how to get back. That, or calling his other grackle friends to come and laugh at us. Delightfully fun, all the way through!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Pearl and Shelly, a-walkin and a-talkin and a gettin lost.
So glad you two got to meet!

vanilla said...

I think I recognize that dune, too. I can see that beach, that street in my mind's eye. But to picture Pearl and Shelly together, priceless.

Anonymous said...

You earned those calories for sure.

jenny_o said...

Oh, what fun to meet up!!! I can just see you two, talking talking talking ... walking walking walking ... totally past your destination ... :)

Pearl said...

It was a great weekend, it truly was.

And now we're planning something larger...


jenny_o said...

"planning something larger" sounds intriguing!

Elephant's Child said...

I am, as usual, with jenny_o. Something larger sounds fascinating. And perhaps a little scary, but certainly funny.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh my word... plannings.... &*>> YAM xx

Jocelyn said...

I am so enamored of this whole meeting up, on purpose, and, well, with you both. Plus the grackle. And the guys on ladders.

sage said...

It can feel quite cool with the moisture and wind on the beach--I also have done similar things. Have a good visit

Eileen B said...

I'm also a yoga fan with an affinity for home-made fudge. If you are ever in the neighborhood I hope you'd consider a visit. I could show you around Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nat. Park. The weather would probably be all too familiar though. Still, early August weather is usually nice. Next time you and Mary ride your motorcycles to Sturgis, take an extra day or two and stop by!

Gigi said...

Oh how fun to finally meet up with a blogging buddy in real life!

Rose L said...

Walking across dunes is difficult, or at least here at the dune on Oregon's coast. You take 4 steps up and slide 3 back! One beach here is called Bullards Beach and the dunes are so difficult to walk as they are pretty high. Some friends and I decided to walk across the dunes to the beach instead of taking the suggested path (you know, a straight line is shorter...) We soon discovered that a straight line across the dunes is NOT faster than the pathway! In fact, by the time we reached the beach, we were exhausted. We used the path to return!

Daisy said...

This sounds like so much fun. How nice that you had a chance to meet. :)

Geo. said...

"Something larger" --passports, then?

Catalyst/Taylor said...

You taught me a word today, Pearl. With 30 years in Arizona, a couple in Texas and nearly five in Mexico I had never heard the word "chanclas" before. But I looked it up and see it's yet another name for huaraches. Enjoy your Texas stay but don't overshoot your welcome!

River said...

"without thought to caloric intake" is the very best way to eat lunch, especially after a long ramble along the dunes.

Linda O'Connell said...

Isn't it fun to meet up with blog buddies? I was able to hit three Gackles with one stop in Georgia. They were as fun and crazy as I had expected, and if left together for any more length of time than that short visit...we could have gotten in wild trouble :)

ThreeOldKeys said...

The Dune Abides

esbboston said...

What? You came to Texas and didn't see me? Hahaha, thats okay, I didn't come to Minnesota last year when I went to South Dakota.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Oh how great that you got to meet

Chicken said...

If I had been on that dream date, and I imply nothing here except a wish that I had been there, I would have seen her Neruda and your Chabon and raised you my Caroline Knapp. Sure, there's some weighty stuff and that is excellent, but there is also the delightful "Alice K.s Guide to Life".

Jamie Jo said...

Grackle!! Those birds are Grackles!! I've got pictures of them and they are everywhere down here! (and you got their sound perfect on paper!) We are from MN also and staying on South Padre Island for the winter this year. I get to meet Shelly today, so I was checking up on her posts this morning, which lead me to you. What a beautiful post and account of your visit! I'm so glad you got the chance to meet and get lost together!