I rang in the new year at my parents place in Oxnard. My friend Megan slept over on new years eve and we watched TV and gave ourselves facials and just chatted and hung out. It was nice. I haven't had a chance to hang out with Megan alone much since I started dating Tony and it felt very low key with no pressure to have to go out and do something like it seems to when one of us makes a trip to see the other. It felt like we were roommates again. ( I had lived with Megan in San Francisco for about a year when I first moved to the Bay Area).
Megan said that she wanted to sleep in on New Year's Day... and since she usually sleeps until 11:00 AM or later I figured I would have the better part of New Years to myself. I decided I would take that time to try to do something nice for my parents.
We had had a fire in the fire place on New Years eve, so when I woke up on New Years day I got dressed and headed over to the beach (about a block from my parents house) to find some drift wood to replace what I had burned. It was a gorgeous morning ! When I got to the beach I could see the Channel Islands, which are about 30 miles off the coast of Oxnard, clearer than I had ever seen them before. I could even make out some of the larger trees and bushes on the island. Normally there is so much fog and haze that you can't even tell there are Islands across the water at all.
After enjoying the view for a minute I got to my task at hand - the firewood. It didn't take me long to spot a perfect log just at the edge of the surf. It was big enough that if I chopped it up it would build 2 fires for my parents, but it didn't seem to big to carry. I hoisted the log on my shoulders like a yolk and carried it back to my parents house. By the time I got there my sandy wet shoulders told me that this was not going to be immediately useful as fire wood, so I set the log in my parents garage to dry out, changed into a dry sweat shirt and headed back to the beach to look a little farther up the sand for some DRY firewood (this time I had a camera in hand - to get a photo of the lovely channel Islands).
Only about 10 or 15 minutes had passed since I had just left the beach, but already a haze had began to from and the view of the islands was much more obscure than it had been on my first trip. Though, the islands were little more than a dark outline at that point, I took a picture anyway, just to prove to myself (or anyone else who might doubt it) that there were in fact islands off the coast of Oxnard shores. I had to walk a little farther to find any decent sized driftwood in the dry sand, but I finally came upon a few pieces that looked like they would make for a couple of good fires. There were to longish pieces of wood and 3-4 small ones. The whole load combined was much lighter than the first log that I had carried, but it was much more awkward to carry. I ended up shoving the two longer pieces of wood under my arms and balancing the smaller ones on top like a primitive forklift.
Surprisingly no one looked twice at me as I ambled back to my parents house. I guess the neighbors are used to seeing this sort of thing from my father though. He is always ready to carry a good piece of driftwood home for a fire... or decorative garden ornament. I must say there is something very satisfying about hauling your own firewood home. It's a good practical down home work out... my feeling of satisfaction was somewhat diminished after I set down my second load of wood though and I realized that there had been dog shit all over one of the logs and it was not on my sweat shirt... but overall I still felt like I'd accomplished something.
I wanted to keep the productive feeling going, so I changed my shirt... again and made myself a pumpkin curry for lunch which I thought was quite tasty... Megan woke up just as I was finishing mine, so I felt a little guilty that I hadn't waited for her to eat lunch, but there was plenty to go around. We had a lazy roommate style afternoon and then I took Megan back home to Thousand Oaks. All and all it was a pretty uneventful day, but I thought it was a good start to a new year.