Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
Nothing is more refreshing than taking a walk on the beach, off-season.
It’s less crowded. A little cooler so you need a jacket, yet it’s still warm enough to walk around in the sand barefoot and even get your feet wet.
It was a nice weekend all around. After a very hard-working, yet fulfilling week (because I just love all my projects and people I am doing them with) it was well deserved to just turn everything off for many hours and enjoy the pleasures of us, our friends and our own little life.
Last night we went to a local hotel bar to meet my friend Emily who was in town that I hadn’t seen in about eight years. The three of us had some very insightful conversations about life, music and art. I had known Emily for 10 years now, and we both joked around about growing older — the pros and cons of it all. It was actually the first time I really talked to Emily without the distractions of being in a nightclub together. It was just a pleasant, low-key night that we all enjoyed very much.
Today was a beautiful day. My husband and I slept later than usual, got up, watched a bit of a Queen documentary, which we recorded to watch later. Queen, a band I loved my entire life, mainly because I discovered them at age 12 and they helped me get through so much aggravation of being 12 and 13 — crucial years where most kids go through that awkward period of life. Those two years of growing pains were very long, I must say! While time flies for an 18 or 19-year-old, it drags like hell for a 12-year-old kid. So, thank you Queen for easing the pain of those years.
Just a few hours after a healthy breakfast of organic eggs cooked with raw coconut butter, I caved and enjoyed a blueberry bagel with vegetable cream cheese that I really sunk my teeth into, literally, while driving down the shore with my husband, and no radio, just enjoying each others company.
Our first stop was to visit our friend Ron who runs a punk rock video space at a flea market. We always love chatting with him about music and other cool things. Especially how, all three of us, getting up in years, Ron and I in our late 40s and my husband in his early 50s, still agree that our generation had the best music. Just talking about music inspired me to possibly start yet another book, about all my music adventures from my teen years to now.
Next stop was to Artifacts Boutique, a unique clothing store in Belmar. We discovered this store a few years ago, one day by accident and I’ve been buying great pieces there ever since.
Today Artifacts was having a party for a special occasion. I got the email that after 20 years the store was getting two new women helping out and giving it a fresh new look. When we got to boutique, I asked the owner Liz if this meant she was still going to be there. She said “yes” but that she planned on retiring within two years.
It was a sad thing to hear. I’ve taken such a liking to Liz over the years. She spoiled me for shopping in other places. Liz is one of those rare people who can truly help you pick out an outfit or article of clothing. Liz will tell it like it is. She once commented to my husband that for a tiny girl, I sure had a big bust!
Liz has the most wonderful personality for running a boutique. She’s fun and funky and I just love her style. She always has a great story to tell too. She’s just so down-to-earth and great to be around.
When my husband and I first started going to Artifacts, we had just begun dating. Early on, we stopped in Artifacts when they were having a party during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was only our second time in the store, but Liz invited us to her home for corn beef and cabbage dinner! We politely declined, but wow, talk about old school hospitality!
We have so many great memories of that store. No disrespect to the new girls, but it will not be the same when Liz is no longer there.
After I picked out a few pieces of costume jewelry to add to my collection, we hit the beach. As I was walking on the beach, I almost started to become sad about Liz no longer being at Artifacts, which got me to thinking how everything goes in cycles in life. People come and go. Places change. Things change. Some stay the same but you out grow them.
But as I grow older, I am learning to go with the groove of it all — like the waves on the beach. You have no control over life, who comes and goes, who comes and goes, but you can enjoy all the beauty of it — like what the beach washes up to us, all these gorgeous little shells that make up our masterpiece of life.
I thought about how each part of this weekend was kind of like a visit to the ocean, seeing some friends I don’t see too often, but are in and out of my life — flowing like the tide. Then there is my husband, who is like the sun over looking the beach, strong and bright and always there. And then all the little shells, like the picture above, representing every little minute … all the little pleasures, every person that touches our lives, one by one that eventually made up the entire picture.
Because right now I’ve learned what the ocean was always trying to teach me … just go with the flow.
At the end of our walk on the beach, I no longer felt sad about Liz leaving the store, but happy about the fact that she was a part of the story of our long romance. If our life was a movie, Liz would have this amazing cameo appearance for having this store I shopped in with my husband, while he was still my boyfriend just a few short years ago that went very quickly!
What is to become of our movie next? Who will come into our life to fulfill it?
There will definitely be something or someone because the ocean always brings in something and takes something with her.