Kate picked this morning for a surprise. Ok, I'm less than enthused at first, but my lack of sleep is nobody's fault but mine. When I started to dress, Kate stopped me and put my bathing suit on me. She loves to dress me, and I love when she does it, but swimming at 4 o'clock in the morning? Then she wiggled me into my jeans and a sweatshirt. Now I'm totally lost. Ok, it's been like a million degrees here lately. Definitely not jeans and sweatshirt weather. What the heck is she thinking?
I managed to make it out to the car without being carried, which is quite a feat for me at that hour, let me tell ya'. Sometime before we hit the end of the driveway, I was out like a light again.
When I woke up, Kate was turning off the car in a parking lot, and I was looking at something large and dark in front of the car. As Kate hopped out of the car with WAY too much energy for 0-Dark-Thirty, it dawns on me that I'm staring at a sand dune, and I'm hearing the ocean in the background.
The beach? I'm at the beach in jeans and a sweatshirt in the middle of summer, sometime before God's alarm clock has gone off? Kate was rummaging around in the trunk, and I hadn't even attempted the seat belt yet. I was seriously dazed and confused. And still half asleep. Maybe three quarters.
Well about that time Kate about caused me to stain the passenger's seat by tapping on my window. I squealed, she squealed, then she busted out laughing. It must have been funny on her side of the window, but it sure wasn't on mine.
Well I got my door open, and Kate leaned in and kissed me, still giggling, and helped me find the damned button for the seat belt. Man, that car light was bright and annoying.
Now I always thought that the beaches were closed at night, but apparently there's one place on Topsail Island where you can park your car any old time and get on the beach. I'd driven right past that lot a dozen times, and never noticed it. We usually go to the next lot up, where the bathrooms and the snack bar are. That'll teach me to pay more attention to the side of the road when I'm driving, and less attention to the traffic. Who cares about the traffic if you might miss an all-night parking lot at the beach, after all? It's right on the road, too. No trees or buildings to block it. No possible way for anyone but me to miss it. Blondes, sheesh.
Kate and I crossed over the dune on the walkway, took off our sandals, and started down the beach, away from the snack bar. And the bathrooms. Did you see the comment vino's sister made on her website about country girls and peeing in the yard? Well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Even on the beach. No way I was getting in the water. It's COLD on the beach at 4 or 5 in the morning. Even in the summer. That explained the sweatshirt and jeans.
There were a few people walking up and down the beach, but they were few and far between. The waves coming in were sooo loud, but yet it was so deafeningly quiet at the same time. Very strange, but very cool at the same time.
Way down the beach we picked a spot and laid out the blanket. It was starting to get light out, and Kate wanted to watch the sun come up. We sat on the blanket for a while, then sort of wiggled it around and arranged it so we could lay back and watch. We managed to get about a half a ton of sand on it, but it wasn't too bad. You have to expect such things on the beach. Somebody way back when had the bright idea of making beaches out of sand, and the rest of us just have to live with it.
So we cuddled and kissed and whispered little "Sweet Nothings" to each other for a while, and then I rolled over to watch the sun come up and Kate snuggled up behind me with my head on her arm. We didn't say much, we just watched the sky get bright, and eventually the sun came up over the clouds on the horizon.
It was beautiful. Inspiring. I don't think I've ever seen those shades of pink and purple in the sky before. Or anywhere, for that matter.
Monday morning sunrises aren't so bad after all.