More Dogs from Sunday’s Rehoboth Beach Dog Parade

Click on the images
for a good view.

piratesdogs

marie

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[Courtesy UD's sister.]

Dog Parade Insta-blogging.

It’s cold and sunny on the hot tub deck of our hotel. Les UDs are swinging gently on a padded porch swing overlooking the boardwalk. Across from us, on the other side of the boardwalk, people have lined up plaid, hunter green, and American flag-lined folding chairs. Directly across from me, a beefy sixtyish man with a face red from the wind off the ocean is clutching a tiny white dog and wearing a baseball hat that says somethingsomethingsomething (this part is in small letters and I can’t make it out) and then (in very big letters) SHIT. The parade begins in ten minutes.

The event is overseen by friendly people wearing orange vests that read MONSTER POLICE.

“I think it’s coming! I see a banner!” UD‘s sister gets excited.

Here comes a phalanx of people in maroon jerseys. The Rehoboth Beach Animal Hospital brigade.

Now – uh – men wearing yellow cardboard hats? The effect is knights-who-say-ni-ish. Fronted by a banjo player and then by a crazed old drunk who might or might not be part of their group. He engages parade-viewers in surrealistic conversation. “AH SEE YOU AH LOVE YOU AH LOVE YOU AH SEE YOU.”

Now human jesters lead bull dogs done as devils through the throng.

Irish setters as bumblebees. Yorkies as witches. A strange female humanoid all in white – polar bear?

VIVA DOGS VEGAS is an elaborate float with bad sequined dogs; the Miley Cyrus float features a dog with a chained naked Barbie on its back. The Miley Cyrus float is a huge hit when people finally figure it out.

Many pirate dogs; many skeleton dogs. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS DOGBONI. What does it mean?

Extremely beautiful Collie Zorro; extremely beautiful large white poodle on which gray circles have been charcoaled. Really nice effect.

“A predominance of micro-dogs,” says Mr UD, disapprovingly.

RETIRED HOOTERS DOGS.
No one really gets it, but the word hooters is always a guaranteed laugh-getter.

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photo(2)

Rehoboth Beach Dog Parade About to Begin

I’ll instablog it, assuming
the wifi connection in our hotel
room cooperates. It’s been ornery.

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La Kid holding a puppy.

UD leaves in a few hours…

… for the dog parade

bluemanbluedog

at Rehoboth Beach.

(UD‘s friend Tamara
took this photo two
years ago.)

Of course she will
blog from there.

Just home from the beach…

UD will unpack, pull herself together, and do some blogging later.

Most important thing to relate right now, though: She won one of these, because her horse came in first at one of these.

Snapshot from Rehoboth

UD‘s sister took this picture of
World War Two observation towers

observationtowersrehoboth

along the beach at Rehoboth.

Pods, tripods…

… and the pounding of the boardwalk by runners – these are the elements, so far, of morning at the beach. Dolphins, photographers, runners.

It’s overcast enough to allow me to sit here, on the balcony, and see my screen in order to type this.

The sun emerged about an hour ago but almost immediately looked red-faced and hid in the clouds. The clouds were thin and let out some rays, but that didn’t last long.

In other words, today’s mariner’s tale hasn’t gained much traction. One dolphin pod; one photographer trying to capture the pod and the pallid rays; the boardwalk runners.

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Flat ocean, sandflats. And the water and horizon gray. There’s none of last night’s antics under the supermoon, the cartwheeling and kiting that seemed a dance to the moon. Two beach weddings, set off by lines of streamers, went on during the revels. The guitarist sitting by one of the canopies played Pachelbel. You could hear the ground bass.

White streamers and wedding parties on moon-blanch’d sand on the longest day of the year. Now it’s Sunday and solitary and pensive with no sun and no moon.

I woke up with Schubert’s Litanei in my head. All souls rest in peace.

HAMBURG SUD…

… runs, rather close to our shore,
big red container ships.

hamburgsud

With my small binoculars, this afternoon, I read Hamburg Süd, in white letters, along the side of a vessel. I could see its massive containers, on their way to the port of Philadelphia I guess, lined up on board. This is a thing I do from my Rehoboth Beach balcony; I follow the movements of container ships as they balance on the edge of the horizon.

Mr UD joined me on the balcony, looked through the binoculars, and said Brian Barry wrote his long review of A Theory of Justice from a Greek freighter bound for Africa.

I said Tony Judt, when he lived on a kibbutz, used to go to Haifa whenever he could, to gaze longingly at freighters bound for “Famagusta, Izmir, Brindisi, and other cosmopolitan destinations.”

This was the longest day of the year; we stood on a balcony that would remain clear and light for hours. We thought of dolphin-torn gong-tormented seas.

But this, right now, was a calm sea. On the almond sand in front of it, huge ridiculous kites tethered into the sand twisted and swelled.

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We love this child’s garden of light. It is one of Joan Didion’s Blue Nights, and we are just as grateful for it as she was.

These pictures from a few days ago in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware…

… are pretty remarkable. Les UDs head over there today for a couple of weeks of who knows what sort of weather… Though it’s one of UD’s convictions that with very few exceptions there’s no such thing as bad weather at the beach. It’s all good there – vast sky, vast water, and a chance to watch the convoluted things they do together. The stars, the sun, the contrails and the cargo ships. What’s not to like? The way it feels on your skin is whipped up wind and warmth. Long fields of gulls sit there when you walk the beach in the morning. There’s the business of spotting dolphins. You can keep your head down and look for striated stones – a particular mania of mine. Between the quiet hours of early morning and late evening there’s of course the main show, the blue-umbrella’ed broilers, among whom Les UDs sit, reading, squinting, broiling.

In our little apartment overlooking the boardwalk, there’s the setting up of the mini-domesticity of the short vacation – the one big trip to the supermarket, the exploration of the apartment’s towels and sheets, the phone call to our old friends the Elkins (they’ve bought an apartment across the street from the one we rent) to arrange some socializing. If the weather’s truly bad, we’ll play a lot of Scrabble, pausing mid-game to stare together at the witchy sky.

Naturally, blogging continues apace, whatever the weather.

UD on the Beach…

photo(1)

… a few hours ago.

On January 20 of this year…

UD went to Rehoboth Beach and watched the city replenish the beach. Now, from an apartment in Germantown, Maryland, she watches images of that just-dredged beach overwhelmed by waves, and she wonders if all that money was wasted.

So many of the Sandy images we’re seeing – of the Chesapeake Bay, Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City – show places flooded, if you will, with memories for old UD. Her father graduated from Ocean City High School. He spent summers working at his family’s businesses along the beach. Later, he bought a house on the Chesapeake, and UD went out fishing with him. Most of UD‘s summers for the last twenty years have taken place in Rehoboth Beach (see this blog’s category, Snapshots from Rehoboth). All of those boarded-up shops with their defiant messages to Sandy scrawled on window boards — she knows those shops, and the people who own them.

The storm was quiet here – some wind, some sound from the trees. UD’s Garrett Park house had a little basement flooding. No treefalls.

Insta-Rise

Sunrise blogging begins…

now, with a pink horizonal swelling that tells me and the person in a folding chair on the beach that the thing is about to pop. I’m watching, jammied, on the balcony.

The burning circle rises – fast – over the pewter sea. A container ship glides across the path the sun’s making on the water.

All the way up. Took less than a minute.

There’s the usual cheering section: Gulls, crows, joggers, policemen in light blue shorts. Praying section? I figure the guy on the beach is at the very least meditating

Me? I’m thinking I will never really believe the universe of which the burning circle is apparently a teeny teeny teeny teeny part… Ever since I was eight everybody’s been showing me diagrams of the solar system, and I don’t really believe that either… Everybody’s been impressing on me the awesome massive violence out there while giving this particular place a pathetic spin… And as to spin: I’ve never really been able to feel the rotational breeze, as it were, on my face… If you know what I mean.

I mean, as Buck Mulligan puts it in Ulysses:

When I makes tea I makes tea… And when I makes water I makes water …

Squinting my brain to see The First Three Minutes is one thing; leaning my arms on a railing and feeling the sufficiency of sun earth and moon is another. Gimme that old time cosmology. It’s good enough for me.

The Beach at Sixty-Nine Degrees

I’ve seen it year after year, this Atlantic beach, and maybe for various reasons I’m especially grateful this summer to be here, but I can’t recall a time, in the last four decades, when it’s been so beautiful. The clear mild air sharpens the green horizon. Also extremely precise are the white clouds gathered above the green line. Above the clouds there’s nothing but opal sky and contrails from jets out of Dover.

The deep blue sky clashes with the deep green water (darker and lighter green as the clouds drift), and you think of the palette of nature, so pleasing to us here on the sand.

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The beach is a hospital ward. We lie under blue umbrellas that lean on their sides against the wind. This is the quiet floor. We watch the tidal ribbon wash toward us and we say nothing. The ocean makes us mute. The sun, readying itself for the transit of Venus, stuns us. We feel its heat on our arms, our faces. It makes our eyes heavy.

The sleeping, on and off, of the quiet room. We wake up stunned again into submission. Human voices wake us and we drown.

What can it mean that it’s this beautiful, and that when it tips over into this beautiful all we can do is fall asleep again?

It’s too much for us, the shadows on the field of water as the clouds go overhead. Elemental earth with umbrellas at the edges. How can that be? What are we, if not lovers of the earth – so full of love we can’t bear it? Once in the midst of our passion, we shut our eyes and let the atmosphere – air, sky, water and sand – drug us. Nature’s palliative palette.

Shall we gather at the river? The beautiful, the beautiful river. But that assembly prays, praises, implores; here we assemble to disassemble, to break apart under the sun into clouds that blacken the dreaming mind. Blacken, deepen… Anyway, discolor each blue serene with the mind’s own shades.

Let us all nod off. Let part of the beauty of this scene be the sight of our bedmates’ eyes in rapid dream movement. The sight of their bodies circled by gulls.

UD’s in Rehoboth Beach…

… for the weekend. Blogging continues
as she watches dredgers replenish the beach.

Her current view:

More Photos from UD’s Halloween at Rehoboth Beach.

UD‘s friend Tammy took
these pictures at the
boardwalk dog parade.

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