Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leif's First Trip to the Beach - Myrtle Beach, SC July 1976

When Leif was a year-and-a-half old and we had moved to Charlottesville, Virginia for a year, we took a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This was Leif's first trip to the beach, but from then throughout his childhood, we had at least one trip to a beach each year.

I had a particular fondness for Myrtle Beach, because I had spent two summers there as a young teen as the guest of my best friend Betsy's family. They were wonderful summers and I will treasure those memories all my life. When Peter A. was a baby, we visted Betsy's parents at their beach house in what was then called Ocean Drive Beach, later North Myrtle Beach, and that was Peter A's first beach visit, too.

Leif loved the beach. You can see the exhiliaration on his face as he felt the waves. He wasn't a bit frightened. I think even then he enjoyed the rush of adrenaline that came with facing something with a hint of danger in it.

He loved playing with the sand, too, and could entertain himself for a long time figuring out what he could do with it. I think he was experimenting, even though he was only a year-and-a-half old.

Yesterday was a tough day for Peter W. and me, a sad day, and I didn't post anything here. I don't know why one day seems to be sadder than another. It wasn't that anything in particular happened to make it so, but we both felt it, and both shed tears. We looked at photos of Leif as a child, marveling at how beautiful he was, seeing how sensitive he was, regretting how unhappy his adult life turned out to be. We had so much hope for him. Life can be cruel.

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