One of my favorite things in the whole, wide world is surfing. My skills are nowhere near that of my dad (who’s literally been surfing for decades) or my brother Hunter. But very few things make my heart as thoroughly, joyfully content as getting out in the waves. It’s therapeutic for my soul, in a way not even writing can touch.
And the fact that surfing’s a family affair is the very sweet cherry atop my wave-catching sundae.
During this trip home to Texas, the weather on the Gulf Coast was consistently misty, adding a cool, eerie cast to my dad and my cold-water surf sessions.
The low visibility certainly didn’t keep us from saddling up and riding out to catch some waves with the last slivers of “daylight.”
Now that’s what I call a good family portrait: me, my dad, our boards, and even my dad’s indestructible-beach-and-hunting-lease-tacklin’-carry-it-all van. The only thing missing was Hunter, who’s busy kickin’ butt at college.
As always, each surf session was full of wonderful surprises. Waves that proved punchy, despite their small sizes. Terns scooping up their fishy dinner from the sea around us. And on one evening, a brief break in the clouds that show a cotton-candy sky: bands of blue and pink that dyed the sea and clouds as the sun began to set.
But as fun as surprises are, some habits are worth-preserving. Some habits are sacred traditions. For me, that’s the ritual of bracingly cold waves + post-surf hot chocolate + crawling into toasty-warm clothes.
It was in the name of safeguarding this precious tradition that I stole my husband’s wool hat (despite the fact that it was custom-knitted for him by my mom). Because lumberjack/surfer chic is both cool and warm–just what the doctor ordered after playing in icy waves until your hands go numb.
Now that’s my formula for a perfect day.
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