The sun is hot on my skin, but a cool wind sends my hair drifting on its currents.
Perfect day at the beach. Blissfully warm. Blissfully refreshing breeze. Silly frou frou drink in my hand.
Frozen strawberry lemonade with vodka, whipped cream, and 3 cherries. But no umbrella. Alas.
It’s my second one of the day. The first one lasted nearly three hours.
I began this perfect beach day at 10:15. Procured the vacation-only drink at about 11. At two, we trundled up to the beach bar for blackened flounder and French fries with cocktail sauce. And another drink. I told the bartender twice as much strawberry lemonade, half as much booze. He puts it in a 24 oz white Styrofoam cup. I take most of it back to the beach with me.
We, my friend and I, sit there until the shadows began to lengthen and the sun moves behind us. I can feel old Sol’s heat on my shoulders and back. I feel the stress dripping off me into the sand where the ocean took it far away.
The sound of the surf, the sound of shorebirds, a small child giggling in the distance somewhere.
I’ll be 70 in 7 years and the 70s were my playground. I was 10 going on 11 when they started. It was then that I discovered the power of music to inspire, soothe, invoke love, and provoke dance.
Piaget’s Theory of the Four Cognitive Periods of childhood development are Sensorimotor stage (0–2 years old) Preoperational stage (2–7 years old) Concrete operational stage (7–11 years old) Formal operational stage (11 years old through adulthood). Piaget was a famous Swiss child psychologist. My friend Dale always maintained that the Fourth Stage was The Lyrics Acquisition Phase followed by the Operational Stage as the Fifth.
I came of age during the 70s and the early 80s. Didn’t dive into real adulthood, whatever real might mean, until I was 25. Before that, I was a party girl. Party girl in the sense that I was out with friends all the time — all the time — loading lyrics into my brain. We were dancing, we were at concerts, we were cruising around listening to the car stereo, we were in someone’s basement listening to Pink Floyd until 2, 3, and 4 a.m.
Three of the most important years of my life were spent on a Marine Corps Base in Hawaii. I was 7 when we moved there in 1967.
We lived on the main road into officer’s housing just across the street from the Officer’s Club golf course. Our yard was sometimes littered with stray golf balls if the foursome at the hole closest to us had too much to drink or were just novice golfers.
It was a small 3-bedroom ranch on a corner lot. Outside my bedroom window was a palm tree that would drop coconuts on the roof, sometimes startling me out of a sound sleep.
There was no need for insulation in Hawaii. If you hammered a nail into a wall and then removed it, daylight would stream through the hole. It was military housing and nail holes were pretty much forbidden. They were too much of a bother to fix to pass housing inspection when transfer orders were received. You didn’t just pack up and leave military housing. The house had to be squeaky clean from top to bottom. Many women had a side gig cleaning houses with a guarantee of passing inspection.
There was also no need for air conditioning most of the time. The windows were all thrown open to the island breezes. We had an extended carport with a covered patio – the patio was called a lanai. My mother, and my father too if he were home, would sit on the lanai and watch the children play on the communal playground just beyond our backyard.
I racked up some hours on the swing set and merry-go-round.