Friday morning Mary and I got into the truck, and made the miserable, frustrating drive from here in Whittier, at the foot of the Puente Hills, down to Huntington Beach. Now, Huntington is a regular destination for us, but we seldom park downtown. Usually we leave the truck at the Santa Ana River, and ride our bikes down the bike path to the pier, and Main Street. But today was too cold and windy for a bike ride. Besides, we were celebrating. We planned on cruising into downtown, and leaving the truck in the Main Street parking garage. Spend a few bucks to save a few steps. Indulge a little.
But Downtown has been renovated since last we parked there. We turned in to the parking garage at the regular entrance, but instead of going up the old ramp to the open air parking structure, we found ourselves diving down a dark narrow tunnel, that left us trapped at the ticket gate. Rates maxed out at twenty five bucks. No way out except to take the ticket. And even after taking the ticket, and squeezing through the gate, it was so tight in there it took a three point turn to get us pointed to the exit. I told the attendant that we had pulled in there by accident. He just punched the ticket, and we got out without having to pay.
I don't mind occasionally spending a few bucks for convenience, but twenty five dollars to park at the beach is ridiculous. So we drove a couple blocks inland and parked on the street for free. It wasn't a long walk, either.
We were celebrating our anniversary. Twenty two years ago we, both of us, gambled on taking a spouse we had known for only a few months. It seemed like the right thing to do, and it was.
Huntington was hazy, windy, and cold. Mary and I walked across the sand to the water's edge, and just stood together taking in the day. South toward Newport the lifeguard towers were lined up like a child's perspective drawing, shrinking in the distance, and fading into the haze. To the north, the tall buildings in downtown Long Beach floated in silhouette. The wind had a bite to it, and we held each other close. And squeezed. It was a perfect moment, one of many that we've shared over the years.
Then it was lunch at Sandy's Under the Pier. We shared a stacked poke salad. Then it was steak and cabbage tacos for me, and swordfish tacos for Mary. We seldom eat out, but once in a while it's nice to spring for a top of the line restaurant meal. The food was superb, and the portions generous.
It was as perfect a day as we could have asked for.
Sometimes the prayer is just, "Thank You."
I've been making some progress on the stone, too.
You can see how it's shaping up. (the pink lines are just idea sketches) The lower segment that anchors the piece is somewhat egg shaped. Note the simple layout lines on the plywood. Even a free form piece like this needs a whiff of geometry. For the lower piece I want clean, regular curves, and symmetry. Curves are easy. Symmetry is hard.
Still fussing away at it. But it needs the symmetry of a sea shell, not a machine. It doesn't have to be perfect; it has to be right.
top piece is a free, irregular form, but it has to balance as well.
Sunday I broke out the drill and the point chisels and began to open up the
ravine in the top figure. There should be a cool transition down there from the
black and white strata on the right, to the black and red stone on the left of the figure.
More excavation to come. We'll get it dug out this week.