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Iâ€™m not what youâ€™d call a beach person, despite the
fact that Iâ€™ve lived just 15 or 20 minutes from the beach for
some 40 years now. I have friends who pay a pretty penny to
live near the sand and others who will come halfway across the
country to play in it. But I donâ€™t like sand in my shoes and
clothes. I donâ€™t like to sweat and burn in the hot sun. And
I donâ€™t like the crowds that gather because so many people
do like it.
The biggest problem, though, is that Iâ€™m afraid of water.
Have been ever since my father dropped me into a swimming
pool at Boy Scout Camp Don Harrington in Texas when I was
four. He said I wouldnâ€™t sink, but I did. It may have been
the first time he was wrong about anything. I remember
crouching at the bottom of the pool, wondering if heâ€™d
come down and get me. He did, but I havenâ€™t been crazy
about water since.
My granddaughter, Katyana, wonâ€™t grow up that way,
though. Her father takes her to the beach often. (Those are
their footprints in the picture at the top of this page.) Their
apartment is within walking distance. She loves the sun and the
sand, though they slather her generously with sunblock, and she
rides to the beach like a princess in a wagon with an umbrella.
In this issue, weâ€™ll explore some of the beach cities of
Los Angeles County, study the colorful Southern California
sea life, and enjoy a devotional meditation on the ocean
through the work of guest poet Nancy Dodd.
What is your experience with water? Did you grow up like
me, totally landlocked and just not getting it, or did you grow
up near a body of water with a special affinity for it? Please
share your memories by writing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.