20 Years Later

Beach house deck

It’s funny to be sitting here on the deck of the Rockaway Beach House. 20 years ago I was here finishing a novel for my MA at Temple University. Back then, I had my PCjr hooked up in the loft of the beach house, and it ran Writing Assistant from a floppy disk. I’d write in the morning, canoe after lunch, and then lay in the sun on the beach in the afternoon. Completely decadent. I recommend it to everyone.

It’s late afternoon here, but the afternoon is calm and partly cloudy. The kids are inside watching an old movie: “Topper Returns.” There’s a collection of DVDs at the beach house, because there is no TV reception, and we enjoy watching an old B&W collection of comedies, including a silent Buster Keaton movie called “One Week.” I think that introducing kids to film appreciation (as in the classics) at an early age is important. Classic books are important as well, but that is my wife’s responsibility… :)

As might be noticed, I’m almost writing a year of blog entries in one month. We laughed at Memphis, when we discussed blogging as a form of relief from loneliness. This begs the question, of course, of the blogs that are written and never read. I don’t think that matters—in the same sense that backyard sailboats that take 20 years to build but end up never being sailed serve a purpose. It’s the concept that’s important.

A neighbour just asked if I had Internet here—no, but down at the coffee shop. It’s a long standing rule at the beach house that there is no phone, and most mobile phones don’t work. Again, a good concept, but I’m looking forward to hopping back on the grid tomorrow morning with a $3 cappuccino at the Morning Glory Café.

It’s hard to say why we moved away from all this open space, natural beauty and low population density. London, or even the country named England, seems like almost the opposite. Maybe that’s why we moved—London is exciting because of it’s contrasts with Oregon. Oregon is fantastically refreshing after a year in London. Having only one of the two is almost too much of one thing.

Anyway, back to practicalities. I need to buy a four-stroke weed whacker to knock down the growth on my beach lot over here (in downtown Rockaway). It’s a paid-up lot that has roughly doubled in value—an investment in the future and a connection to our home state.

Beach house

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