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The smell of ocean brings back years of beach trip memories that can only make me smile. Sometimes it would just be the five of us, other years we had guests - aunts, uncles, cousins...whomever could arrange the trip was always welcome. Although I now perfer the seclusion and relative quiet of the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach is still perfect for early morning walks.

I started out this morning before I usually rise - around 6:30 or so - and walked from 76th to the pier. It took about 2 hours or so although I was in no particular hurry. The weather today called for rain and the cloud cover when I left was impressive. It appeared the sun wouldn't show its face all day. As I walked I spent most of the time staring down toward my feet - seeking shells while at the same time for personal safety (abandoned jellyfish count = 3). About halfway through the trip, I looked up to see a parting in the clouds and the sun struggling to come through. The colors were fantastic...At one point I had to stop just to watch the sun fight for its portion of the sky. The sunrise was made all the more impressive by the reflection on the water.

The lonely walk was refreshing although I did miss company - Mr. W, Neno, or my puppies. Ms. Holli loves the water. She will run head on into the waves after a ball or a stick and then come up looking shocked when the wave overtakes and she ends up under water. Cassie adores the beach. She's impossible to control until you let her off leash and then will run full on down the sand stopping every so often to look back. I'm never sure if she's checking to see if I'm still there, or to see whether or not she's in trouble. When she sees a group of birds, she'll circle away from the water and come at them from the side in true herding style.

I met two dogs along the way. One was a lab - out of control - named Tribeca. He let me pet him and as expected (it's a Lab afterall) when I leaned down he promptly licked the side of my face and my ear. The second dog was a Jack Russell (I could tell from way down the beach) who was literally running in circles. I walked away laughing.

There's something so calming about the sound of ocean and the feel of the sand under my feet...


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