Monday, January 11, 2010

More on that later: Part II

It is no secret that Neyers love the beach.

All Neyers. If you don't love the beach, you are not permitted to be a Neyer (at least that was how it was explained to me in our wedding vows).
However, it is possible that the Neyer who loved the beach the very most was Bob.
He loved the sounds of the ocean. He loved the riding the waves, walking on the beach, breathing the salty air. He loved surfing for beer, hunting for sand crabs, and munching on shrimp.

There is a part of me that truly thinks that James Taylor really wrote Carolina in my Mind for Bob, not his nephew. JT might dispute that, but I know better.
But it wasn't just the Carolina shore that lured him in - it was any shore. I have several memories of Bob jumping in the ocean, while I was on the shore wearing long sleeves and shivering. He took a swim in the Pacific, on our way home from Napa and Sonoma, and I was sure my heart would stop just from watching him.
His friends tell the story of Bob's dip into the Atlantic while in Myrtle Beach. They cheered him and sidekick, Jimbo, from the shore clad in winter coats, hats and mittens. Bob trotted back to the beach shivering, smiling and laughing. Jimbo swore he couldn't breathe and that his heart was beating atypically.

We watched a wind surfer in St. Pete's Beach get tossed around one February, and huddled under our sweatshirts, as he ran straight at the freezing water and stopped - he was no longer allowed to participate in such craziness - so my husband did it for him.
Idiotic. Idiotic, loving, freezing son.

The man loved the ocean. And he passed that love on to his children. When he wasn't allowed in to make such foolish choices anymore, they were his proxies. And now, in his memory, they brave cold water, wind and freezing sand. And no doubt they do it gladly.

I'll watch from the beach, drink and dry towel in hand. Smiling.


Nikki said...

Just to make things clear... Andy and I are NOT holding hands!

Mich said...

Nothing like a good cry on an airplane at six in the morning.

Christie said...

I was crying but now that I know Nikki and Neyer weren't hand holding, I have stopped.
Very Precious.

~Laura said...

What a nice tribute. And great pics.

kim said...

This blog just brought back so many memories growing up. I remember going to Myrtle Beach over thanksgiving break and swimming in the freezing water and my dad said "hey now you can tell all your friends that you were in the ocen in December" You cant go on a beach vacation without a swim in the ocean no matter what

Gibby said...

Touching post, I felt like I was at the beach with you guys.

WhisperingWriter said...

I love this.

And I also love the beach.