Friday Roundup: I Come to the Sea to Breathe
Carmel, California and a fond farewell to the Colonel: It was a memorial-service-turned-celebration last week, as Siggy and I trekked down to Carmel to pay our respects to my great uncle, who passed away in January. And it may have been a less than joyous reason for me to visit family I hadn't seen in nearly eight years - and for Adie to meet my great aunt Mitsu (who we always called Teddy) and Reed & Chris (my first cousin and cousin-in-law, once removed) - but we couldn't have asked for a better trip. Family and funny stories, good wine and good food, and a random outdoor shower, ala Airbnb. Along the way, we also had a chance to let the Redwoods dwarf us, ogle otters and sharks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and dance in a bar on Cannery Row. So here's to my uncle, Col. Hubert "Bart" Bartron, brother of my grandpa Harold "Buzz" Bartron, both of whom had uncommon ways of bringing loved ones together.
Listen to it loud: "Dreams So Real" by Metric: Have I ever really helped anybody but myself / to believe in the power of songs / to believe in the power of girls?
Making connections in the Big Apple: Looking forward to visiting New York again, this time for a new company in a new industry, this time for the Salesforce Connections conference. Possible bonus: meeting my Manhattanite cousin and his wife for a drink. Possible double bonus: Shake Shack is located directly across the street from our hotel.
I come to the sea to breathe: As I entered my teens, living in Eastern Oregon, I suddenly developed severe summer allergies. My nose ran like a river and breathed like a pair of waders, eyes like cherry tomatoes, and I'd wander around school and summer jobs in an antihistamine-induced daze. Three to four months out of the year, that was my life: bloody noses, boxes upon boxes of tissue, and in place of a "Skoal ring," my jeans sported the outline of an eye-drop bottle. The highlight of my summer was our family vacation to the Oregon Coast. Better than the saltwater taffy or giant sitka spruces, better than bike rides or even bikinis was the effect it had on my allergies. By the time we'd set up camp at Fort Stevens, my eyes were clear and I could actually breathe. It was as if nature had said, "Let's give sneezy a break," and flipped a switch somewhere. Even though my allergies have chilled out as I've gotten older, I still feel some small residue of that relief every time I return to the beach, that sense of finally being able to breathe. (Even if everything smells a little like fish).