THIS Is Where I Grew Up

This is Redondo Beach with Torrance Beach and then Palos Verdes in the background. If it was clear enough or the angle was a little different you’d be able to see a faint outline of Catalina Island just past the peninsula. It looks to me that the truck is probably at about Avenue C (wouldn’t you say, Rowena?) and I hung out at Avenue I, just around the first bend there.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Okay. I didn’t actually “grow up” on the beach, but I did spend nearly every summer day of my teenage years here. From 10:00 in the morning until about 4:00 in the afternoon. These days consisted of sitting and chatting with friends, rollerskating on the bike path, playing volleyball and either body surfing or boogy boarding. It was a splendid way to spend my summers.

As soon as I was able to drive, my friend, Cindy, and I would drive to the beach and roller skate from Torrance Beach to Hermosa Beach and back nearly every day after school, weather permitting. And because it IS Southern California, that was the majority of the time.

This particular photo was taken from the Esplanade. When I was feeling that typical teenage angst I would sit on a bench overlooking the ocean and watch the sunset. There’s a peace that comes with seeing such beauty – a small glimpse into the glory of God. Sometimes it was almost overwhelming and I knew if it was any more beautiful I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But somehow it put my problems into perspective.

When I got married at the age of 22 and moved 1600 miles away, THIS is what I missed. Oh, of course I missed my family and my friends. That just goes without saying. But as for what I missed about California – this is it. It was a part of me as sure as my brown hair and sarcasm.

I left Cali nearly 19 years ago and there are times I still miss it. The kids and I enjoyed the Jersey shore last summer and I felt some of the same thrill, but it wasn’t MY beach or MY ocean. Or maybe it’s because I’m older and that was MY time.

Regardless, it was a great way to grow up and I’m so glad it was my life.

**sigh** Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. It’s so much better with someone else!


  1. Jen on January 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Jen! I have been to the beach on the east coast, but never the west coast. Beautiful! I would love to find myself there anytime!

  2. Kris on January 21, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    That is a beautiful pic. I grew up on the Florida west coast beaches which have peaceful sunsets but no waves. It was still nice though.

  3. April on January 21, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Jen,I am about 1.5 hours from Redondo Beach and I am guessing that is how far you are from my homestead. If we could just switch spots whenever we wanted… I wish.

  4. The Book Girl, A.K.A. Jodi on January 22, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Since I have lived in Indiana for the majority of my life – what you called home is what I call vacation. So, I guess, welcome to my world now(?) *evil grin*

  5. Jenster on January 22, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Jen – It is pretty, isn’t it? Of course, in the summer it’s extremely crowded and not quite so serene.Kris – I love Florida. Of course, the fartherest South I’ve been is Pensacola – so not too far. lol But I like being able to walk so far out into the ocean. Until I think about sharks.April – That’s spookily funny. Too bad we don’t have teleporters in our homes!Jodi – Honey, I haven’t “lived” a vacation for nearly 19 years! Which is kind of good because then you REALLY like and appreciate your vaca. And HEY! You’ve been to ROME!! So yeah. Quit your whining! :o)

  6. Sheila on January 22, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Hello from where you grew up! The beach is as beautiful as you left it. Coincidentially, Tom and I were on a bikeride yesterday looking out at the same beautiful ocean talking about you!!! We were discussing writing and how difficult good writing is and how many people are out there who thing they are good writers but are not. Tom said, good writing is a combination of technique and perspective – like Jenni – she is a really talented writer. How is your recovery coming? I am sorry to hear about the additional injections and future surgery. Haven’t you been through enough! You are in my prayers and thoughts. Love you, Sheila

  7. Jenster on January 22, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    SHEILA!!!!! Oh my gosh, Girl!! I got your card and I tried to email you, but it got bounced back.And give Tom a big ol’ hug for me, ‘kay?As for the further surgery and injections and crap, whatever. It will eventually be over and I’ll be FABULOUS! LOLLove you and miss you!! When you comin’ to Jersey??

  8. Sheila on January 22, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Hey girlie!I am not sure which e-mail I gave you, but I started a new job and this should be correct: smagnus@fwhb.comPlease e-mail me so I will have your e-mail. I would love to see photos of Katie and Taylor, as well. As you know I have not been much of a blogger, to date. But, I have been thinking about you a lot lately. Also, I was working at home today writing a lengthy (boring) legal analysis and report and suddenly felt compelled to check out the haps on your blog page! I’ll try not to be such a stranger. It really is addicting! Since this is a new job, I will have to put in some time before I take a vacation. I would really like to make visit back east in Sept. – I hear it is beautiful at that time of year. Love ya, She

  9. SeaSpray on January 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Loved the post! I have always wanted to see a sunset on the Ocean. they must be magnificent! one of my friends was out in LA for a convention and they never once went to see the Sunset on the ocean! Priorities!!! i would’ve found a way. :)Being an east coast girl and growing up 5 or 6 miles from the Ocean, I had days like you – sand skateboarding though.I know exactly how you feel being your beach. Because I grew up there and lived there for 11 years, I felt like it WAS my ocean/beach. I was heartbroken when I had to move up here. I actually got 3 baby food jars and trapped sea air in one, put sand in one and ocean water in the other. I also brought home two jetty rocks and I brought them up here with me. I cried every night and prayed for months that God would let me go back home.Thank God he doesn’t answer all prayers because my moving up here with my aunt and uncle was the best thing that ever happened to me. i actually like living in the mountains of NJ much better but love to vacation at the Jersey shore. Manasquan, Point Pleasant my old stomping grounds but also love Cape May and Wildwood Crest. Cape May A favorite! Renting a Manasquan beach house and then going over to Point Pleasant boardwalk also a favorite. There are other beaches too but those are the ones I now frequent the most. Sorry so long Jen…ya stirred up some memories. :)I think ocean with mountains is so beautiful! We don’t have that in NJ.I’d be curious to know what you think of my latest post/comments I put up by Trench Doc. I admit it…i DO have a warped sense of humor sometimes. ha ha…some people probably think…THAT girl needs HELP! 😉

  10. SeaSpray on January 22, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Haha! I didn’t go SAND skateboarding though! What an image…LOL!I meant sans skateboarding.Yeah…I was so good at skate boarding I could get those wheels flying across the sand! 🙂

  11. His Girl on February 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Hope you get the email alerts, or this will get lost in the post graveyard….anyhoo, just browsing through…not sure what brought me here. totally enjoying the oldies. BTW, I grew up in Gardena… totally hung out at Del Amo… wonder how many times we’ve crossed paths? Can’t wait til the fall!

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