Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nature or nurture?

January 4, 2011 - Looking at the Atlantic
I love being near an ocean. At the end of our January trip to Tallahassee, we went quite out of our way, on a cold, rainy day, so that I could see the ocean.

Even for thirty minutes, it was worth it.

In a perfect world, a world in which family and work were still close, I would live a block or two from a beach.

I was born and raised land locked, smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma, except for a couple of years that our family lived among Yankees. That's when, age eleven, I walked the boardwalk of Atlantic City and later in the year  had a Saturday outing to a Maryland beach.

Fast forward and my next view of the ocean was my freshman year of college. There were many trips to Galveston and a trip to Hawaii during the college years.

Fast forward to married life and we've been to Jamaica, Hawaii, Grand Cayman, the California coast,  Cancun and back to Galveston every now and then. On our many trips to Disneyworld we usually detoured off the interstate to drive along the coast of Mississippi.

My decorating style, if I wasn't too cheap to buy furniture not on sale, would be British Country. I finally figured out why it appeals to me. It's the same style used in the elegant island homes of the Caribbean.

Keeping the fast forward, I still live land locked, still think some day of the retirement home near the beach and only half-jokingly consider exploratory trips to Costa Rica. Realistically, I hope to spring for a month-long rental every now and then, maybe when I'm sixty-something. In my home, I settle for tropical themed decor.

I don't know the source of this oceanic compulsion. Maybe we always want what we can't have.

Longer than I've loved the ocean I've enjoyed watching and playing basketball. I read biographies of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell and wore No. 6 in junior high. I grew up watching college basketball and the Celtics, one of my mom's passions.

This season, busier than ever, I've watched a few pieces of tournament games. My first loyalty is to the old "Big 8" with the "Southwest Conference" schools close behind. Anybody but Duke, North Carolina, UConn.....give me an underdog, instead.

So Texas goes out of the tournament unable to throw the ball inbounds. Counting on Kansas to keep me interested another week, they just lost to the much lower ranked Virginia Commonwealth. If I was Coach Self, I would have my players shooting 1,000 free throws a day this summer. Once again, their offense stumbled and their free throw percentage stank.

There's one more game to go - Kentucky vs UNC. I like Kentucky. If they win, I'll end up watching some more ball next weekend. If they lose, well then I won't have to live with the guilt of sneaking tube time when I should be working.

Another March, a lot of madness here. Wish me luck.


Susan Balthrop said...

Wonderful part of the world to love -oceans fascinate me too! I know part of that was growing up without one near! I feel very blessed to have lived in Charleston -so near the beach we went often. It was hard to realize so many people there didn't. Thanks for reminding me to think of it! Love, Susan

Ricky Balthrop said...

I love this picture of you so very much. Something in your look, posture - this is one of the many images of you I keep in my head, that thrill me to know that you are my partner, my wife, and my love.