I'm having trouble writing this column this time. Part of me wants to write my response to Dave's last column. I wanted to write about how I seem to be the chronic late-bloomer, and am just entering the business world, while Dave is retiring to carve out more personal time. I am a late-bloomer and am just as thrilled to be the new owner of a business as he is to be out of business ownership. The article I ended up writing was too personal, but in the process I feel I learned something about myself. Ultimately, I felt it was not column material.

Another theme I wanted to write about was how, on a sunny day, our beach has an idyllic look, families and dogs and kites. Norman Rockwell would be inspired.

So squeeze in between these two topics another topic. It dawned on me what a strange place we live in. We are somewhat dependent on those that visit (aka: tourists) to sustain our businesses and to populate our beaches in a fashion that warms one's heart.

We are in one big relationship. I never really saw that before in such a multi-faceted way. As business owners and homeowners, we become part of the "landscape" for those that visit, and in some sense, vice versa. When someone vacations here, be it for a weekend or a week or several weeks, we (the people of Manzanita who live here, work here) create a place for them to be. We are part of their experience and they become part of our experience.

Maybe this thought came to me after I gained ownership of Overboard, and maybe it crystallized when I saw the beach looking as a happy refuge, one that resembled many artistic dreams and visions. It warmed my heart to see such seeming happiness.

That day I stood and looked at the beach, I tried imagining it at other times of the year- desolate, often wind and rain swept, sometimes wild and lonely in its barrenness. What a difference people make.

I know when the season is over and the town reverts to its quiet smaller population, we'll talk over our beer at the San Dune and remember the visitors who came and went, those that had an impact on the town in some way.

The beach will be less populated with only the occasional runner or dog owner/dog combo.

While many of us will be breathing a sigh of relief for the quietness, part of us will miss those who were often funny or poignant or kind or outrageous.... and always entertaining.

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