|Dad's house is on the extreme right with the giant tree and the cliff can be seen on the very left edge of photo. This beach is Twin Lakes State Beach, Santa Cruz, California.|
My father and Gale married in 1966, then bought a beachfront house in Santa Cruz. I fell instantly in love with it. Three sides had multi-paned windows which poured in sunshine (after the fog burned off.) The first summer visits back to California from Biloxi were to this home.
There were many 'firsts' here; the yellow marguarite daisies lined the walkway to the alley in the rear, planted by Dad, and taller than I was. Mikey, their German Shepherd, taught me how to play fetch with his dog toy. Their VW camper bus was like a playhouse on wheels, it had a stove, sink, closet and loft. The beach was already familiar, having been on the Biloxi beach many times since the divorce.
The Santa Cruz beach had exciting tall, scary cliffs, and giant waves, unlike the Mississippi beach of reclaimed flat marshland (and no waves taller than ten inches.)
Dad and I went for beach-stroll one afternoon. We walked down along the water and around a prominent jut of cliff. Past that was a smaller, secluded crescent of beach with seaweed and driftwood.
I had trouble keeping up with his long strides and had to run to catch up. I quickly tired of this, so on the return walk, I sat down on a large driftwood log and waited to see what he would do.
He never looked back. I watched him walk around the cliff and disappear. I waited, and waited and waited.
A voice yelled from high above. It's Dad! I yelled back and waved but don't remember exactly what was said, although I'm certain he was not happy. I expected him to retrace our path, but he was up on the top of the cliff in someone's back yard. No, he was not happy at all.
An 8-year-old teaching her father a lesson! Dad never left me behind again.