The new beach chair
Whenever I have the opportunity, I head to the coast. Whether for a weekend, a week, or just the day, my soul craves time on the sand at the foot of the ocean. With a long weekend girls' trip planned, I created my list. Books, suntan lotion, towel, bathing suits, clothes, masks (our new reality), and beach chair.
The beach chair item bugged me. Was I really going to pack my 10-year-old chair. The one with the abstract rust designs and frayed seat back? It was a good model the year I purchased it, but beach chair technology is more advanced today. I needed a new model.
My grand idea headed into the girls' beach weekend was to force myself to purchase a new beach chair. I did that by intentionally taking 'beach chair' off my list. My old beach chair was not packed for the trip.
This was not my best plan. At the time, however, I couldn't see the flaws in my scheme. You see, a beach chair is a very important tool for writers and readers alike. It's a must-have for the beach. Yet I intentionally left mine home.
When I'm at the beach, I need to be able to get lost in my beach chair as I read, write, or edit. It must be so comfortable that I don't notice the passage of hours of time. It must be so close to the sand so my feet can play with and become covered in damp sand. Above the sand just enough to keep my bottom dry when the tide catches up to my spot.
When the girls and I arrived at the beach, we stopped at the chain souvenir shop at the end of the same street as our condo. They had nice chairs with all the modern bells and whistles, but they were expensive. We just knew we could find a better deal at a discount super store.
We visited a few stores, but none had chairs. "They're out of season, now," the sales associates explained while standing in front of the beach towel and sun lotion displays.
The girls suggested we all share chairs. We had five chairs among the six of us, but we wouldn't be using all in the chairs at the same time. Some walk. Some lay on towels to tan their backs, and sometimes one or more of the group heads back upstairs for snacks.
It was a good plan, but I needed a chair. I needed to be able to plant my backside and settle in for the long haul to people watch and bird watch. I needed to melt into the books I brought for this getaway. I needed to stare into the ocean as the plot for my next novel drifted into my subconscious riding the gentle sea breeze. Interruptions to switch chairs was not conducive to my beach plan.
I had to purchase a decent chair immediately. My backside needed its own home base. I was happy I didn't bring the one that I'd pinched my arm on the last two times I visited the coast. I was thrilled I wouldn't be trying to calculate the date of my last tetanus shot. Meanwhile, I didn't have a chair.
That's why I broke down and spent so much at the corner chain souvenir shop on the first morning of our getaway.
Other than the price tag, I'm so very happy with my new chair. It's bright so I can spot it when I run down to the surf to cool off. It has straps so I can hold it like a book bag on my back. It has a security strap to keep it together so it doesn't unfold while I'm carrying it. It even has built-in holders for my sunscreen and cell phone.
Now that I have it, I'm working to adjust to the new beach chair technology. It's wide enough for me to comfortably sink into the sand and get lost in books and thoughts. It's also wide enough to hit door jams, people, and elevator doors on my way from the condo to the beach and back.
Since I've got lots of writing, reading, and editing to do, I decided to plan a few more trips to the coast this fall. I'm sure I'll get the hang of my new beach chair with a little more practice.