worth the drive

Last Monday I drove over to “South Haven, Michigan”:http://southhaven.org/. My wife had a business meeting there, and was going out of town the next day so I looked forward to the drive as a chance to talk and be together. I have learned to treasure the moments we have together.

But the idea was that I would get some work done on my online classes and called ahead to get direction to the library where I could go and get on the Internet. But I got there at 7:30, and they close down their computers at 7:40—apparently it takes the librarians 20 minutes to shut off four computers.

And then I drove to a restaurant on the edge of town, only to find that it closed at 8. I went back to down and ended up at the Thirsty Perch Watering Hole and Grill. They had a nice menu—I had tacos made with grilled whitefish and onions with avocado sauce. But there were no outlets near the tables, so I couldn’t work on my laptop (the battery is shot) and it was a sports bar. I have little interest in the outcome of the Houston College and East Carolina State football game.

By the time I finished dinner, it was too late to find a place to sit and wait before I picked up Katie. So, no work got done. But, was it worth the drive?

Well, what I haven’t said yet was that the real reason I got to the library late was that I went down to the beach to watch the sunset near the lighthouse. 1402pic.gif

I have to admit to a bit of snobbery when it comes to the Great Lakes, having grown up on the Gulf coast in Florida. I mean, where are the shells for crying out loud. And then there is the whole matter of the surf and the salt air. But this was a raw beauty I’ve seldom experienced, even having been through several hurricanes and tropical storms.

The wind was coming in hard off the water, and the gulls floated beside my car in the parking lot. And above and beside the dozen or so cars there, loaded mostly with lovers.

The sky was completely darkened by ominous black clouds, except for a narrow strip along the horizon where warm, golden rays cascaded down from the sun still hidden by the gathering storm. The surf was pounding the beach in a way worthy of a South Florida squall, and as the waves thundered against the breakwall they crashed upward in huge, forceful sheets of water which towered above “the lighthouse”:http://www.us-lighthouses.com/displaypage.php?LightID=238 itself.

I’ve seen few displays of such savage beauty, and none more memorable. At first I’d wished I had Michael’s new camera. But then again, the picture in my head is more powerful, complete with the fierce texture of the wind.

It was worth the drive.

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