So, I expected to be the only one staring at that large body of water. The past few weeks had had more than the usual numbers of downers. I needed a Mood Booster. I packed my four-legged son in the car and we drove the 90 minutes to Lake Road in upscale Rocky River, Ohio.
There was plenty of company.
Older men were sitting in their pickups watching the little bit of motion on the water.
Young boys were showing off walking hard on the ice near the shore. Appeared risky to me but I anticipated they would smirk about The Old Lady if I warned them.
Couples were out there in the harsh weather, trotting around hand-in-hand.
Some of us sat on the rocks. Most had brought along dogs.
I shouldn't have been surprised, though.
One lousy Christmas Day in 2012 I drove about two hours from central Connecticut to Westerly, Rhode Island. I needed to stare at the ocean waves. There, too, I found out that I was not alone.
Actually, it was difficult to find a parking place close to the Atlantic Ocean.
One 20-something looked so desolate that I knocked on her car window to ask if she were okay. There were coffee shops open nearby. I was ready to offer to listen. She opted for privacy.
A couple seemed like they were attempting to reset their mood. It could have been a tough morning for their relationship.
A husband, wife, and two children in a truck reported to everyone around that the man hadn't made partner at his law firm. Now "they were free" to take jobs as teachers on a Native American reservation in the southwest. This would be their last look at an ocean for a while. The crowd wished them well.
The "gift" was a jolly eccentric woman with her out-of-town friend. The three of us talked.
She hammered how I should flee CT and would have no trouble landing a $10 an hour job around Westerly. I could stay with her in This Old House until I was settled. At the time, I wasn't ready to give up Careerism, Northeast Corridor Version. Funny, two years later I did flee CT. But it was to relocate far from New England.
A photographer was experimenting with an old-fashioned camera. His boss at an ad agency had given him that assignment. He asked me to pose for a series of shots. My hair was blowing wildly. He struggled to capture that look, whatever it was.
Perhaps the ability to gain comfort from being near the water is genetic. My hen-pecked father would drive from Jersey City, New Jersey to South Beach, Staten Island, New York. I guess that did the trick. He always returned home. Other fathers in that blue-collar neighborhood didn't.
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