Birthdays,

Birthday Love on the Boards

We’ve all turned the big one: 30 years old, forty, fifty? Well, I’ve turned the big 80 this week.

And due to Covidtimes my daughter, Kathleen and her family helped me celebrate it safely at one of my favorite places, our Long Beach boardwalk, the other, our Long Beach sands.

IMG_5872

Grandpa, Kathleen, grandkids Conor and Colleen, and son-in-law, Joe

So we met a recent evening at Marvel’s for ice cream, laughs, some wonderful gifts, and a short walk— keeping masked and social distance, of course.

Grandpa and grands IMG_5906.jpg

Thursday evening was splendid weatherwise. The cool sea breeze added to the safety of the gathering. At seven, the sun was below the horizon and the other patrons of the boards strolled, biked and skateboarded past.

Lee and Cher IMG_5870

Grandpa and his squeeze, Cheryl

The birthday balloons were a big hit with me and the passers-by, many shouting, “Happy birthday!”

Kathleen even brought candles to put in my sundae but then she said, “Whoa!” and opted for a safer hand array.

candles in hand Lee and Kath.jpg

I gladly blew them out, glad there weren’t eighty. And I did blow away from masked faces.

Lee blows out candles

We live in a weird era, these Covidtimes. But they force us to opt for alternate choices that actually turn out to be more memorable than the routine.

This was a very special evening. Even with the sun below the horizon, it still cast its light upon the clouds. The clouds in turn reflected their pink in a purple hue upon the sea. And you know me, I just had to stop and shoot that fantastic stuff just for you, dear reader.

And my daughter, Kathleen just had to capture me capturing it.

Lee and purple sea IMG_5919.jpg

We chatted about being in the presence of such splendor and the truth that no matter how one tries, no matter one’s skill, no matter the camera, nothing is like—being there.pink clouds purple sea

But it’s not just with eyes, and ears, or even the scent of the sea that makes these moments so powerful. It’s also hearts. Hearts which offer the love and our own which opens to receive it.

And so, with my humble words and iPhone photos I show you this offering of love to a grandpa. And through them, I hope in these troubled times, you feel, and maybe share, a bit of my joy.

Over my eighty years, I’ve learned that it’s moments like this, the simple ones, the powerful ones, that make life worth living. And when they come, you gotta be open to them, you just gotta be there.

Lee thumbs up IMG_5962.jpg

Be well,

Leebythesea

14 replies »

  1. Thank you, Bob. I feel pretty good too. I guess retirement suits me. When I first started retirement I made up my mind to be active, now it’s just part of my life. I swim I bike I walk the beach I read and write this blog. I take photos I’m just enjoying it all I think it’s about balance. Thanks for your response. You be well Too bro.
    Lee

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  2. Happy Birthday Lee.  You look great and you are obviously blessed. Peace brother.Bob

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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  3. Peggy,
    Thank you for such a comprehensive response to my post. It seems you got as much out of the event as I did. I see that it resonated with you in your realization of special moments that we all need to be mindful of and cherish. I really appreciate your very kind words. Maybe we will meet on the boards or the beach.
    Be well,
    Lee

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  4. I don’t know you and I’ll likely never meet you, Lee, but I enjoy your blog and had to reach out to wish you the happiest of birthdays! Turning 80 is indeed a milestone, as is appreciating each and every day along the way. Your words and photos made me smile and were another reminder that we truly have to cherish the love we receive from our family, friends, and even strangers. I think you should blow up the pic of you riding your bike on the boardwalk with balloons in hand and put it someplace you, too, will enjoy as a fond reminder of a happy occasion. All the best looking back and moving forward!
    Peggy Kurtz

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  5. Happy 80th Birthday Lee!! Hope it was a great day. Thanks so much for sharing it with us through your pictures and very inspiring words. Stay safe and best wishes for a Healthy and Happy next year!!
    Paul

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  6. Lee thank you for sharing the celebration of your special 80th birthday! It was so nice to feel a part of it! The photos and words were beautiful! May you have a great day today and a wonderful year ahead filled good health, joy, love and happiness ! 🎈🎉🎂🎁

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