This morning, after I suppose, a typically strenuous week at work, as I fell out of bed, Whiskey was pacing the hardwood. She seemed to be telling me and my wife with every step 'I'd like to go to the beach.'
We gobbled down our breakfast. I drank my wife's viscous, 'the-spoon-stands-up-in-it-coffee," and we piled into our 1966 Simca which was completely rebuilt by the world's-leading Simca-man, Lothar. Lothar is a Croatian who lives Toms River, New Jersey. He could make your hat run all-day at 60 mph if you gave him a set of wrenches and an hour or two.
The only issue with the car--a car my wife is urging me to replace--is that the heater doesn't work. Lothar, no matter how he tries just can't make it happen. So we bundled up, the three of us, with Siberian-surplus winter-wear and heavy woolen blankets and we headed north.
Just about 30 minutes north of New York city-limits is a peninsula jutting into the Long Island Sound, called Greenwich Point Park, or Todd's Point.
Non-Greenwich residents aren't allowed in the summer, and dogs are permitted only from December 1st through March 31st. But to Whiskey--and to myself and my wife--it is fairly heaven-on-earth.
There is the marsh you see pictured above. High-grass and small berms separated by the inflow from the Sound. There is a mile long beach populated by romping dogs. And a three mile unpaved route around the whole expanse that gives Whiskey access to a variety of topographies in which to romp.
One minute she might be climbing on the large boulders of the sea wall, the next she might be chasing gulls away on a small slice of beach made up of thousands of years of oyster shells. And the next she might be running across a snowy field or fetching something in the underbrush of an old-growth forest.
Every weekend morning I can, god and Simca-willing, we head to this spot, or to a few other beaches I've found along the Westchester-Connecticut-coast. It's an advantage I enjoy for having lived in New York for virtually all of my 59 years. I know the area like the back of Whiskey's paw.
So I walk with my wife and my pup, and I toss her duck decoy (you can glimpse of it to her right in the photo above) and she romps and returns it to me.
It's not much really.
Just a couple hours a week of absolute peace, when even my almost ever-present scowl is transformed into a satisfied grin.
It's not much.
It's just perfect.