I like living a few minutes’ drive from the beach. The down side of living near the beach is that the car often has sand in it, and when the children were small, so did the washing machine. But the sense of space, the changing colours of the sea and the sky, and the fresh air are refreshing and life-giving at a deep level. When I go on holiday away from the sea, I am always thrilled to drive back over Auckland Harbour Bridge and have a panoramic view of the harbour, the gulf and the islands.
Now that the children are older, there’s less sand in the washing machine, but our Wheaten Terrier makes sure that we still have plenty of sand in the foot well of the car.
An advantage to owning a dog is that she is a big help in encouraging me to exercise. On weekday mornings I force myself out of bed for a quick trot to the park or a walk round the block. But on weekend mornings we have time to drive to the beach for a longer walk. Then we retrieve the breakfast we have brought with us in the car, retire to a favourite bench or sea wall, and enjoy the view and the food. While we are doing this, our Wheaten hangs around, squeezes onto the wall in between us, and tests the sea water, to check that it’s still as undrinkable as it was last week.
This dog is my first dog ever, and she has won me over and converted me into a dog lover. When she was a puppy I wrote a diary about her to send to my daughter who was overseas at the time. I wrote it as a series of letters from the puppy to her mother. It was a fun project for me, and children have enjoyed reading it. If you are interested in seeing the diary, complete with photos, let me know and I’ll send you the PDF.
Meanwhile, enjoy your family.