Scribbling by the Beach: Mother’s Day

When I was growing up, my mother often spoke fondly of my birthplace on the North African Mediterranean coast. She also never failed to mention her never ending battle with the desert.

“The sand!” she would say, as if still having to spit it from between her lips. “Good Lord, the sand got everywhere and into everything.” There were stories of laundry turned to concrete flags on the line, gritty food, gritty eyes, and constant sweeping and mopping.

So, it caused me some dismay (okay, lots of dismay) when she moved to the US Desert Southwest with my father in their retirement years where she would once again deal with sand lifted on the wind and deposited on her floors. At least she no longer had to hang clothes out on a line.

For almost twenty years I grumbled (to my husband only) about my mom having to move to a place that had a major feature she had groused about much of her adult life. A feature, I might add, that I agreed made for untenable circumstances.

God/the Universe clearly has a sense of humor.

If you noticed in my last blog entry, my husband and I have moved to what will be our retirement home on a bona fide island: water on all sides, vegetation on sand, wind on an almost daily basis to lift and deposit said sand on our floors, car, skin, shoes, windows. Unlike the Desert Southwest or North Africa, in Southeast Texas, along with the sand comes humidity that adds a certain “sticky charm” (sarcasm) to this sand. I sweep and mop constantly.


Sand overtaking the crossover

I’m sure no one will miss the irony that strikes me every time I pick up the broom.

Nor have I missed the more obvious point; with this sand comes the beauty of the place, the fun of its amenities, the fascinating human diversity during weekends and holidays, the wildlife and botanical encounters, the gorgeous weather (in all its forms), and more. I came here willingly and encouraged this move. I am passionate about this place. Even were I not, I would grow to love it quickly had I been thrust into it without warning.

So, in honor and remembrance of my mother and her patience with and love of beaches and deserts even as she battled daily with their gritty ground, Happy Mother’s Day from the Island. So begins a new page with new entries centered around this new home.


Momma: Happy with toes in the Med, early 1950s.

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