The tide on the Oregon Coast is different in winter. Waves on the horizon look like the edge of a serrated knife. King tides and high tides like to sneak inland surprising tourists walking by the sea.
The locals will tell you that if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. The weather can blow in steel grey rain clouds in the morning and blue skies a few hours later. Just when you think December is mild, the winds pick up to over a hundred miles an hour and you survive the first hurricane north of the 45th parallel. Gale is a pretty word for the wild storms that we locals love and respect.
Life is the same way. One day I'm working on increasing my run from three miles to a good six and the next day, I slipped in my one-hundred and twenty-five-year-old claw food tub and have a concussion. I still love my tub.
After losing a few weeks of my life to my concussion, I received a kind letter from a medical professional in our cozy community who could see I wasn't allowing myself to rest. I was trying to write, work, and take a college course while resting. I wasn't getting better and my grade has slipped to an A-. That's when I had my great idea.
For one week, I would go home. I would move two blocks north and one block east in our small town. That would land me a house with an ocean view, the house I grew up in with my large family, Lassie Hame. It's a place that is just as magical as the name.
I don't know how your home is, but when I try to rest in mine, I see all the work I should be doing. I live one block off the beach in a one-hundred and twenty-five year-old-house that used to have a store on one end. We call it the old store. Now, my mom and dad live in the store for part of the year, and my daughter, her husband, adorable baby, cute son, and two dogs live with us. It's fun, eclectic, and shabby chic (another name for a constant project). And so by packing my car moving home, I found something I hadn't experienced since the Covid Quarantine--someplace else, someplace clean, someplace our family still owns, and someplace magic.
When I was a child, my grandmother and her sisters brought us here every summer. ten or so cousins at a time kept me laughing, building forts on the beach, and spending summer days in a Pacific paradise. There were three bunks in a bunk room at that time. I shared the bottom middle bunk with my cousin and twin, Jana. Kristi, the oldest, looked after us, and six-foot-seven Jeff kept us laughing.
Someday, we all need to tell the world the story of Lassie Hame. We need to capture the absolute unique magic that makes this place priceless and keeps us tied together in love and a hilarious, nonstop group text. But for now, here is a few of the crew.
My grandmother and the great aunts of Lassie Hame long before we were born.
The view as I write to you. Waiting for sunset.
Front yard. Location of the big hose burial. Did you know that if you drag a hose out onto the sand and run the water full force while pushing the hose straight down into the ground, you can make half the hose disappear into the sand. It will go straight down! And the only way to get it out is admit what you've done and ask your aunt Hazel to cut the hose off the house.
Every aunt and grandma had a rocker.
Once I counted 13 people sitting around this table while Aunt Margaret fed us Clambled eggs using the clams we had just harvested. Jana and I took turns squeezing our skinny seats into the red high chair until we graduated from high school.
The Bunk Room. Home of the J4 and our generation. I like to count people. One July 4th, we were all here, 42 of us. I lost my bunk and had to sleep in an inner-tube. My dad's name is still carved into the bunk on the left. He has Alzheimers now, so if you trace his name with your finger you can remember him like this:
My dad, me, and Kristi. This is where he taught me how to swim.
The culprit. The Author, in the Bathroom, with the Tub--gets a clue. Mystery solved. I guess the Universe decided it was time to slow down and go home to fill my bucket with good memories, a little laughter, and a lot of sand.