Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bermtopia-by-the-Sea: Ben's best walk ever and pride goeth before a pie

Christmas Eve

There's nothing like a Chuck-It to persuade a dog, chronically suspicious of anything remotely liquid, that The Place of Noisy Water (as the Pacific Ocean is known in Ben's mind) is A-OK.

And there's nothing like boys, ages 25 and 31, to operate said Chuck-It.

Chuck-Its don't work quite as well at Comstock Park. Maybe because a soon-to-be-59-year-old matron is behind the wheel. Maybe because there any number of trees which the matron manages to clip when chucking. Maybe it's because the matron chucks like a girl. Anyway. This is all by way of saying, we don't do much Chuck-It at the park.

Christmas Eve was mind-numbingly beautiful. We came to Bermtopia-by-the-Sea prepared to burrow in and enjoy the winter storms blow in one after the other. Instead, the Wonderfully Patient Spouse and The Numbers played H-0-R-S-E in shirt sleeves and I traded my winter coat for a sweat shirt when we walked in the morning.

Low tide fell around 3 p.m. so we packed up Ben and his Chuck-It and headed to the beach. The Numbers dazzled us with their innovative Chuck-It improvisations. They bounced, threw and skipped the tennis ball. They performed fake Chuck-Its, pirouette-ing Chuck-Its, picket gate Chuck-Its. And Ben ran and ran and ran. And ran some more.

There were hi-jinks.

The Wonderfully Patient Spouse falls for the old

Sand Down the Pants gambit.

High spirits.

New friends.

Ben begged for more and more Chuck-Its. The Numbers happily obliged.

And Ben ran and ran and ran. Again.

He didn't wake up for two days.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was another matter. Ben actually did wake up -- around 4 a.m. to inform us, quite emphatically, there were gale-force winds and torrential rains racing sideways past the living room picture window. He did not approve.

Eyeballing the situation -- and the turkey brining in fridge -- I dared the gods watching over Bermtopia-by-the-Sea to shut down the power on Christmas Day.

And then decided, it was a good time to make a pie.

I was pretty much full of myself after my Thanksgiving pie-baking triumph so I brought the other half of my wonderful pie dough with the thought of reprising Nutella-Pecan Pie for Christmas dinner.

Bermtopia-by-the-Sea Word to the Wise: Pie dough doesn't travel very well.

Houston, we have a problem.
No worries. I'll just whip up a new batch -- without the food processor. Bad idea.

Forty minutes later, with the help of a Number 1 Son intervention with an electric beater, we had a serviceable pie dough. And then I remembered -- I forgot the candy thermometer for getting the pecan mixture to 130 degrees. And then THEN I remembered -- I forgot the meat thermometer to assure we wouldn't all die from the evils of undercooked poultry.

But least we still had power. For the time being.

As with most of life, things tumbled together quite nicely. Before a cheerful fire, we celebrated Christmas while a wild December storm flung itself against our windows and the furious steel-gray sea heaved and rolled across the road from us.

The pie baked. The turkey was cooked.

OK, maybe a little skinnier than Thanksgiving.

We discovered holly tangled in the hedge along the driveway.

And, then, at 4 p.m. the sun came out at Bermtopia-by-the-Sea.


  1. Sounds like you had the perfect Christmas by the sea. Love your pictures! And the pie....well it all goes to the same place, right?

  2. Looks like the Oregon coast! What a great place to spend your Christmas.