On his early evening walk, Mr UD…

… watched as a group of gray helicopters descended on the Rehoboth shore, while a Coast Guard boat idled on the ocean. Two of the copters landed on the parking lot at Gordons Pond State Park; one peeled off for the wild blue yonder.

For a little while, police guarded the entrance to the park, as Joe and Jill Biden arrived to celebrate Jill’s seventieth birthday.

After two days of gale-force wind and rain…

… the sun comes out in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Magnolias and roses …
… on a morning walk on the beach and through Henlopen Acres.
Where I’m blogging from.

Starting tomorrow, Les UDs will be (where else?) in Rehoboth Beach, haunt of current presidents. Their leave-taking preparations, after many three-hour drives to the Bay Bridge and the long Delaware flats, feature the now-classic Can’t you take the dog to the kennel yourself? Why do you need me to ride along?, How bad do you think it will it be on the Bay Bridge?, Where’s the orange beach chair with the wide armrests that I like?, and (even though we’ve stayed there for decades) When is check-in time at the condo?

One distinctive element of this trip is the presence at the beach of tons of friends and family. Traditional Rehoboth involves much quiet gazing out to sea and to the container ships on the horizon, followed by twosomes along the boardwalk. This time, while our first week will be relatively quiet (various Garrett Park neighbors; Di and Steve Elkin), the week around Memorial Day will be a real blowout, with both of UD‘s sisters, various cousins, and gobs of buddies. UD is thrilled, but worries about crowd control, plus the difficulty of dinner reservations.

Nu, these are problems anybody would want. As is also traditional, UD‘s gratitude for life having rigged up something spectacular for her is at the full.

She will, as ever, blog from the shore.

On a morning like this, with the sun shining on a heavy-lidded sea…

… it’s hard to leave. Les UDs had a wonderful, freezing, oceanside dinner with friends last night (the firepit, plastic sheeting, and heaters made it bearable), and now they’re on their way back to ‘thesda.

The stormy beach and ocean this evening…

… have the sort of fog that lends

.

everyone a French Lieutenant’s

Woman nimbus.

Everyone is suddenly a melancholy enigmatic apparition. Stepping out of the mist – – but then beaches and oceans have always been ghostly settings for UD, where her dead step out for a boardwalk up-and-back with her, and where she’s perfectly willing to engage them in the old themes, the old questions. People’s lives end and in so doing become closed narratives; and UD tells and retells the tales she makes of these rounded lives, because she wants to understand. “Anyone with brains understands that he is destined to lead a stupid life because there is no other kind,” says a character in Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater. And okay, c’est entendu, but it doesn’t discourage the search for meaning.

Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose…

The dead on the boardwalk with me listen as I try to finger just what that something was for this one and for that one; it’s like Ravelstein telling Chick that he has a fatum:

It’s hard, all in all, to find a less prudent person than you, Chick. When I consider your life, I begin to be tempted to believe in a fatum. You have a fatum. You really are one for sticking your neck out.

For everyone maybe, then, some heavy through-line over which they have no control. They can only play it out. It’s harder to credit fate in the modern affluent settings in which UD grew up — choice and privilege and freedom seem to abound — but this seeming good fortune probably just hides the hidden thing that much more deeply.

A colony of herring gulls at sunset.
Cold Moon Rising…

… and Mr UD smiling through the cold. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Smudgy Start to the Day…

… in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, haunt of presidents-elect.

A full moon, contrails, reflected-sunset pinks and reds, and a calm ocean with a container ship on it.

Les UDs greet the early evening on their Rehoboth Beach balcony.

Being There.

6:30 AM, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

A Cavalcade of Knishes at…

Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

UD Leaves Tomorrow for a Few Days in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

At this point, the trip probably looks like a pilgrimage to the summer White House; but it’s really just another in a long line of beach jaunts. The weather will be beautiful for the next few days, and UD could use a breather from all the political tension – that’s why she’s going. Walking by the president-elect’s house – on my way to dark skies/Taurid fireballs at Cape Henlopen State Park – would be fun, but I’m not going out of my way for it.

Blogging continues, of course.

Fantastic Morning Sky with Fighter Kite.
La Kid and Natasha …

… having lunch in Rehoboth.

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