I thought about pulling over and introducing myself to the people touring the house for sale down the street. But I like my neighbor and want her to be able to sell her house if that's what she wants to do. I'm not sure if I'm an asset or a deal breaker. I like the idea of someone moving in who considers Trout Towers an asset to the neighborhood. My fear is that someone will move in and then start getting us all to change - you know, in an effort to increase property value. I don't know what I think they'll do, maybe pave the road with clamshells and get everyone to have matching, nautical-themed window boxes. Those of us who already live in the neighborhood know that property value and quality of life are not interrelated.
But fires on the beach are definitely related to quality of life. We are late this year - usually we start having bonfires in the spring, as soon as we can do it without being snowed or sleeted on. There is some merit to waiting. One year Chris and I went early and had a fire all to ourselves. As we sat on our blanket we noticed that the sand around us was moving. After dark, in the early spring, the beach is covered in disgusting bugs known as sand shrimp. I have never gotten myself off a beach faster.
Last night's fire was free from infestation. We went with some friends who are in town to play a show tonight. So they brought a guitar and we sang one or two lines of about 700 songs - with various voices chiming in with a few words here and there when no one else knew them. I don't think we knew one song all the way through. I especially liked it when we got to a guitar solo and one of the guys would bust out a "bweeee, bah, bayaaa, bwah, bwah, bwaaaaang...." Musicians are funny people.
Beach fires are one of my favorite things about living here. When I was growing up we used to come here on vacation. We always rented a cottage in the same neighborhood, so I saw the same group of kids every year. Night after night they'd go down to the beach and build a fire. In a moment of uncharacteristic courage I would go hang out with them - although I'd usually try to place myself someplace so one of them would encounter me and invite me along. It got ever so slightly easier each year as I got to know them. They were very nice about including me, but I never stopped being intimidated by them. I had visions of them having bonfires on the beach while I was back in Colorado at school. I imagined they did it all winter. They had the most perfect life, those kids.
Even though we accidentally set one of our blankets on fire and got sand in the package of hotdogs last night, I never forget what a perfect life it is when I am on the beach at night with friends. I am hesitant to wash our clothes because they smell like beach fire. And because I hate doing laundry.