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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

New look, same old me

Camille Pissarro, Les chataigniers a Osny (The Chestnut Trees at Osny), 1873

I'm changing up the look of my blog again. I knew my old design, which wasn't really old at all as I'd switched up the format just a few months ago, wouldn't last. I know myself. I get itchy, restless. Some women change their hair color. Others go shopping for a new pair of shoes. Me, when I get twitchy like this, I usually think about moving. Over the past month I've found myself looking in the windows of a vacant property I pass on my morning walk. I love the layout, the light that puddles across the hardwood floor, the glimpse of the stairway that disappears to who knows where. I go round back, peer in through the slats of the blinds at the patio door. The pull is nearly irresistible. But that fantasy won't fly. We can't move again. We simply can't. We've moved so many times, mostly when I get that itch. My husband would almost certainly—and rightfully—divorce me. 

Instead I retreat to our upstairs bedroom where a large window looks out over our courtyard. Open to the breeze and the faraway voices of toddlers at play drifting in, the window reveals some neighboring buildings but mainly the view is of the upper branches of the large Ficus tree outside, green and leafy, with the soft blue California sky behind.  The trunk disappears below the second story window, the leafy treetop lies somewhere up and beyond what's framed within my view, like a painting.  The tree branches, long outstretched fingers reaching upwards, bejeweled with dots of emerald and jade, every shade of green, from deepest forest to palest celadon.  

Taking a deep breath, I open my laptop and ponder the new template sample I've been toying with. It's nothing fancy, but like the view from my bedroom window, it feels light and airy.  The background, a pale shade of California sky, is the same color I use on Chapter1-Take1. A color I love. I don't have to move. All I have to do is press "apply to blog" and I can breathe again. I can own my little corner of the sky.

What do you think? Do you like the change? 

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