A confluence of events made this a trying weekend here in Venice, CA: Lucy (along with some nursery schoolmates) came down with the Coxsackie virus, Tessa and I fought off a bronchial infection, it was the longest day of the year, and we shattered all the heat index records from the last thirty years. Oh, and the bizarrely full moon.
The awesomely-named Coxsackie virus is very common in kids (most of you have probably had it) but is still miserable: you get these strep-like blisters in the back of your throat, and Lucy’s fever went through the ceiling. Combine that with the heat, and its any wonder she still had half her usual effervescence. A cold towel and Pingu is all she really wanted, and exactly what she got.
As for the beach, it was NutJob Central in these parts, as a quarter-million people descended on our sands to escape the 110+ heat of the inner valleys. A few blocks away in Santa Monica, it looked like those pictures of Coney Island in the 1940s.
Because of my Southern indoctrination, I don’t believe any porch should exist without a porch swing for days like this – so we sat, swung, and tried not to think of the heat. One of my gifts for Tessa last year was a “beach view”, even though an entire hotel built in 1919 blocks a direct sight to the ocean. Undeterred, I rigged up a solution:
A cheap yet effective nautical telescope is locked on a high-grade mirror hanging from our birdhouse about 10 yards away. Simply focus, and you can watch boats far on the horizon, dolphins, and even see book covers read by beachgoers. I put the digital camera up to the telescope and tried to take a movie, but it didn’t quite focus and looks like something Edison filmed in 1899:
the people are pretty far – it’s about 500 feet to the ocean from us
Anyway, not bad for keeping things in perspective, and on days like Saturday and Sunday, any distraction was a good one.