This is Redondo Beach with Torrance Beach and then Palos Verdes in the background. If it was clear enough or the angle was a little different you’d be able to see a faint outline of Catalina Island just past the peninsula. It looks to me that the truck is probably at about Avenue C (wouldn’t you say, Rowena?) and I hung out at Avenue I, just around the first bend there.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Okay. I didn’t actually “grow up” on the beach, but I did spend nearly every summer day of my teenage years here. From 10:00 in the morning until about 4:00 in the afternoon. These days consisted of sitting and chatting with friends, rollerskating on the bike path, playing volleyball and either body surfing or boogy boarding. It was a splendid way to spend my summers.
As soon as I was able to drive, my friend, Cindy, and I would drive to the beach and roller skate from Torrance Beach to Hermosa Beach and back nearly every day after school, weather permitting. And because it IS Southern California, that was the majority of the time.
This particular photo was taken from the Esplanade. When I was feeling that typical teenage angst I would sit on a bench overlooking the ocean and watch the sunset. There’s a peace that comes with seeing such beauty – a small glimpse into the glory of God. Sometimes it was almost overwhelming and I knew if it was any more beautiful I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But somehow it put my problems into perspective.
When I got married at the age of 22 and moved 1600 miles away, THIS is what I missed. Oh, of course I missed my family and my friends. That just goes without saying. But as for what I missed about California – this is it. It was a part of me as sure as my brown hair and sarcasm.
I left Cali nearly 19 years ago and there are times I still miss it. The kids and I enjoyed the Jersey shore last summer and I felt some of the same thrill, but it wasn’t MY beach or MY ocean. Or maybe it’s because I’m older and that was MY time.
Regardless, it was a great way to grow up and I’m so glad it was my life.
**sigh** Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. It’s so much better with someone else!