New Year

Clamkill2015I welcomed 2015 at The Breakers in Long Beach, Washington with 4 other families from our kids’ school; this is the community our children have chosen for us.

We each had our own condo, so were afforded the privacy we needed. I sat alone to write these words, on the balcony, with a warm sun making her journey on the horizon. The rest of the crew was downstairs cheering on the Oregon Ducks with a reverence I don’t share but appreciate. So many faces, our loyalties.

We rung in the New Year with Moscow mules and whiskey sours, made for each other in borrowed kitchens, with the pleasure that comes with fixing a good cocktail for a friend. There was Cards Against Humanity and Euchre.  Jeff laughed til tears streamed down his face and he barely choked out the words on the card Josh had given him. So wrong. So bad. What is it about saying horrible things that feels so liberating? Maybe it’s better for those of us that don’t break enough rules?

There were fireworks. We toasted the New Year with the kids, clanging their glasses of apple cider, celebrating that yes, they had stayed up til midnight.  My family, the four of us, later cuddled on the pull-out sofa, discussing resolutions and how blessed we are.

The next morning, there was the simple pleasure of sleeping in, my morning latte, thinly sliced potatoes cooked in the Griswold cast iron pan Scott got for Christmas. It had been his grandmother’s, given to her in 1937. I have yet to see a gift produce such a smile on his face; he is absolutely smitten with it.

After brunch, I did what I began 49 days ago, and many days after: I went for a run. Blue sky and no wind is a rare treat on the coast this time of year.

Dogs. Surf. Clam-diggers.

I found my rhythm. Expansive beach, Head and the Heart on my playlist, I closed my eyes and ran without sight. There was nothing in front of me, for miles, no fear of running into anything. That is a delicious feeling.

IMG_20150104_160922Later we fried up our catch; the sea was generous, providing limits to everyone willing to dig in the sand for the trophy of fat, juicy razors. These are no ordinary clams; once cut and filleted they are the size of a chicken breast. Boiling them open and cleaning took Scott hours, made bearable by a hoppy IPA, good music, and the meditation that accompanies repetition. Ah, the satisfaction of removing sand and anticipating the sweet taste of those bad boys fried up with a little panko and lemon.

Simple ingredients often produce the best results.

What sweetness will you fry up this year?

Cheers to you in 2015!

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