Alma and I have been able to walk our regular beach walk for the past few days. But winter has definitely returned. Brisk winds and colder temperatures make the walk each day a bit more of a trudge. Yesterday, the sky was punctuated with big grey cumulous clouds. With the wind blowing strongly off the ocean, each time a cloud blocked the sun, I could feel the temperature drop about 10 degrees. But, after awhile, the sun would come out from behind the clouds and I would feel the temperature go back up the same amount..
Still, anything beats walking at the soul-sucking mall. We have been fortunate this year in that we have not been caught in a rain during any walk. We always seem to go to the soul-sucking mall on days when it rains or threatens mightily to do so. The rain in winter tends toward the cold and stinging. When you are out on the beach, there is no place to hide from a sustained downpour. Sure, you can huddle under the lifeguard shacks, but it's not a very comfortable place to seek shelter. (Think King Lear on the heath and you've got an idea.)
But unless it is raining or threatening to rain, I vastly prefer walking on the beach to walking in the mall or even in our neighborhood. Yesterday I noticed that the volume of 'white noise' had grown noticeably louder, no doubt because the steady winds created stronger wave action. Between the steady onslaught of the wind and the constant shush of the white noise, I finished the walk feeling quite 'spacey'. Alma remarked that she felt the same.
The beaches appeared clean swept down at the surf yesterday, but there was a lot of nasty garbage up at the high-water mark. It was so chilly, though, that our fingers get cold reaching into the sand to pick up the garbage. So we kept our garbage removal yesterday to a minimum, just moving egregious stuff out of the hard pack and up onto the soft pack where the Beaches and Harbors crews presumably will get it when make their rounds.
The skies look somewhat ominous right now (at about 8:30 a.m.), so I am not sure if we will walk on the beach today. I hope we do.