Where’s My Fish?


During the 2020 pandemic, it was easy running down to the beach house for a few days since nothing was going on. The freeways were deserted while everyone stayed home.  Now that life is somewhat back to normal, I have to give up fun things to make room for a beachy weekend.

I left on Thursday morning since I’d had a hair appointment the day before and a chorus rehearsal the day before that. The dogs and I made it there in two hours, only possible when driving midday.  As I crossed highway 156 to the Monterey peninsula, I saw blue skies ahead. When I reached Highway 1, it wasn’t long before I caught a glimpse of the teal blue ocean.

That’s when my jaw relaxed, and my shoulders, and my throat. I was away from all the stressors of the week. I was at the beach!

I drove through town, where I could snag a copy of the Carmel Pinecone. There’s a new edition every Friday.

When I pulled up to my little house, a limb was down from the huge Monterey pine with its fifteen-foot circumference. The wind storms on Monday had done that and had also knocked out the power for a couple of hours. I turned up my shared driveway and was happy to see no vehicle parked in my parking spot.

The stove clock was blinking as I entered the house. Brrr!! It was cold inside. Water out of the tap was even colder. Fall is here.

After a treat for two souls and a cup of fake coffee for me, I headed out front to pick up the downed pine cones. The birds and squirrels eat them down to the stubs, but those stubs are dangerous for my dogs. I snagged the Spanish moss which had blown out of the trees. Soon I had a full bucket. I dumped it in the yard waste can and headed to the back yard. More small branches to pick up and many pots to water. Still no rain since April.

After all of that, I headed to my favorite thrift stores and the grocery store for apples. I saw a cool print next door of the red church on Central back in the 1850’s. It looked like the church on a dirt road surrounded by huge pines, but was it?

“Why don’t you take a picture of it with your phone?” the store clerk said when I asked his opinion as to whether or not it was that church.

“Good idea,” I said.

The next day was more of the same, doing yard work, walking the dog on the beach, working on the garage piles, running to more thrift stores, comparing the phone photo with the red church on Central (yup, same church) and picking up a new edition of the Pine Cone. I also ran out to the mall since my local GAP store has closed.

I ran into Robert, the sound guy there, the one who gave me a story for our surgery book, spoke to him for a minute, and headed home for lunch.

Should I go home on Saturday and go dancing with friends, an hour beyond my house?  The weather man predicted 75 at the coast and sunshine. I decided to stay one more day.

A colorful brochure fell out when I opened up the new Pine Cone — open studio tour on Saturday. Three houses were in my neighborhood. I drove to the first one in the dunes area and found a bunch of women lined up to buy ceramics. They had octopuses and sea horses in their hands. I was late. As I wandered around the garage waiting for the line to disperse, I picked up a red and cream ceramic fish and a red and cream ring holder. Then I heard the artist explain how she had decorated a long fish a woman was buying. As she wrapped it up for the woman ahead of me, I decided to get the last long fish on display.

The woman kept talking, and I waited. When her transaction was over, I set down my fish. The woman circled back, still talking. I pulled out my cash. 

“Where’s my fish?” I asked when I looked down at the table where I’d just set it.

The woman ahead of me had picked it up, thinking it was hers. Soon she came back up the driveway, with apologies and laughter.

I then drove to the next house, where an octogenarian not only showed us her studio and outstanding ceramics priced in the stratosphere, but talked about how they’d built the house 36 years before, views out of every window.

The third house was just as stunning, but no views.

I love my little beach town filled with interesting and talented people.

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