I beachcombed these toys during my daily walks along Rockport Beach over the past couple months. I found them in this order, from left to right, and it made me chuckle when I realized they formed a pretty accurate timeline of the modes of transit in my life.
I grew up with ponies and horses but my favorite was Pancho. After school and on weekends (basically, any chance I got) we’d meander trails through the desert. I preferred riding bareback as it was the fastest way to freedom. On our way home I’d drop the reins around his neck and lay back to watch the sky. I’d share my young cares and worries, as well as my farfetched dreams, with my sweet pony; my head lolling side to side on his rump as he’d carefully walk us home.
Later, as a teenager I spent one summer zipping around a small town in Illinois on a moped. Okay, so it wasn’t a motorcycle, but I still loved that feeling of the breeze flowing freely through my hair. I’ll admit the coolness factor of my moped was lessened by the basket up front but at least it came in handy. After I found a momma dog and her puppies at an abandoned farmhouse, most of my time was occupied collecting bottles along the roadside and redeeming them for the deposit so I could buy her dog food.
A few more years passed before I finally had my first car. The lure of the open road was (and remains) strong. I love that feeling of liberation when I open a map and follow a blue highway to anywhere. I’ve driven in all 50 states as well as through huge chunks of Canada. Along the way, I’ve logged 750,000 miles in ten different vehicles (yes, one of them was red and a couple were SUVs). Since I still love to explore, I have a shot at hitting a million in my lifetime.
Funny what you’ll find on the beach…