Marge loves the beach and it's no secret to anyone. Some of my favorite photos are of Marge running with her tongue hanging out of her mouth up against a ocean blue backdrop; other times, I pose her on sand dunes or rocks. You've all seen the pictures before.
Since Hurricane Sandy, the beach down the block from my house has been closed. Quite honestly, under normal circumstances, the closure might not deter me from sneaking a walk in here and there. However, it is in truly horrific shape, with debris all over the place, so it's closed for good reason. Despite Marge's best puppy dog eyes, I haven't given in and will not cross off of the asphalt on to the sand.
This meant that we missed some traditions - like walking on the beach on Thanksgiving, or in the days before New Year's. It stunk. The hurricane itself was bad enough, but the fact that it continues to impact our community and limits our leisure activities so many weeks later is frustrating too.
Tired of walking or throwing a ball in the slightly soggy, still-dirty athletic field across the street, I loaded Marge up in the car and took her to another park that I knew was open. I thought the sand would be off-limits and expected to simply stick to the paved walking trails. However, we were in for a very big surprise!
Marge painted the moisture from her nose all over my car windows and weaved back and forth in the back seat, whining her head off. She had missed having fun with me just as much as I've missed having fun with her.
The sand was loads cleaner than I expected. It was littered mainly with sea shells, which my sister aided me in arranging in to the letters of Marge's name.
Onward we walked, disappearing from the crowds. I unclipped the leash but called Marge back to me when this sight appeared in front of me, a solemn reminder of why we were here at this beach, rather than our own, in the first place. I knew it'd be a prime sniffing target and so did not want to let Marge near it. This poor vessel has been sitting here, sand-lodged and unclaimed, since the night of October 29, 2012.
That wasn't the only sign of Sandy. Take a look at how more than a foot of sand has simply been shelved away from the coast. Marge thought it made a great way to jump up and down, but it kept collapsing under her weight as she neared the edge of it, as you can see in the far right side of this picture.
Marge also checked out a buoy that was supposed to be stationed off shore, but instead lay paralyzed on its side in the low tide. It startled her a bit, but with some coaxing, she went to cautiously check it out.
That was it for Sandy imagery - at least until we drove over to the marina portion of the park and saw a handful of boats leaning up against the piers, damaged and unusable. My phone battery was starting to die at that point, so I have no pictures of that sad sight.
My favorite photo from the day is this one. Every once in a while, those smart phones can take a really nice picture!
It had been far too long since our last beach excursion and I was so happy to see my dog running in her favorite environment again. I'm going to make sure that it happens again soon.