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A Conversation In The Dunes

Manzanita, Oregon

July 17, 2021

It is times like this when I wish I could better translate my thoughts and feelings into words. I’ll give it my best shot.

Yesterday while waiting for my tee time, I walked over to the beach. As I passed through the dunes, I came across a woman walking her dog heading the opposite way. (Her dog wasn’t heading opposite way by itself - they both were headed back from the beach.). She commented on my Virginia sweatshirt and there in began a 45 minute conversation.

She is at the beach with her five children, their children and their children — she has sixteen great grandchildren. She rented five houses for the week as she does annually. Four of the five children are doctors and the fifth has his PhD and is a college professor. We talked about old time beach houses and why people need to build such luxurious beach houses today. How her husband, who is now passed, was a quadriplegic due to an overdose of blood thinner. She told me how she has always maintained a positive outlook, even when her husband became paralyzed. He would not let his situation get him down and he remained fully engaged the rest of his life. Her positivity was palpable.

I would have guessed the woman to be in her late 70s, but she said her oldest child is 68. It was inspiring how sharp she still is. One of her sons came over (the professor) and we talked about my name (Lucian, not Fox) and what an interesting trip I am on. They gave me tips for places to visit north of Manzanita including Seaside and Astoria.

As we parted, I had that eerie feeling you get when you meet someone and you sense that a force you can’t explain brought you together. She had the effect on me I hope I can have on others - of life happens but we get to choose how we respond to lit That a positive outlook is not a naive outlook - it means you know there will be downers but you can choose how you respond to them, with grace and dignity and a positive perspective (hopefully).

For a day that was filled with beaches and Pronto Pups and abundant photo opportunities and a fun golf course — these 45 minutes were the best.

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