We were on a joy ride up the PCH.​ My family of 5 in an Avis mini van, making our way from Pismo Beach to San Francisco. It was the third leg of our West Coast vacation. 

We weren’t too far along when I saw the sign for Moonstone Beach and begged my husband to hang a left at the sign. But, it wasn’t that kind of joy ride. He wasn’t the one to make a quick left or right, off course and down the road to the unknown. He kept going and I wasn’t surprised. 

I didn’t realize it 24 years ago, as the years progress more and more I come to know that I’ve married my dad. I remember Sunday drives out to the east end of Long Island, I would see a sign for ice cream or a random food-stand… my dad would remind me of where we said we were going or the regular favorite stop for food. I would push and sometimes nag until I won. 

I was very much that little girl still — just now the wife and GPS navigator in the front seat choosing her battles and knowing how to win. This time, before I could put my foot down with this, just pass the little town, the view of the Coast opened up again. We spotted the beach with an easy pull in parking lot. He swung in as if overcome with the spirit of spontaneity. 

We all jumped out and made our way to a beach full of beautiful stones in every color, every color combo. They were absolutely AMAZING. We felt like we just landed inside a treasure chest. Yet, there was also the view of the rock formations and the breaking waves that seemed to guard the treasured moonstones. 

We wondered in all directions, studying the stones, each collecting favorites. It was the feeling of being in a field of wild flowers and someone said pick a bunch of your favorites. It we were all 8 year olds in a candy store picking colorful candies. God’s eye candy indeed. 

My daddy man suddenly looked at his watch and gave us the round up alarm. At the time, my stones in one hand, doing FB Live with the other. I felt compelled to share this beautiful stop with my friends. I cut it short, as we all hopped back in the van. We were like crazy clowns packing back into the vehicle. 

Our ride was a thrill! I keep reliving that moment. I can feel the energy, hear the joking and the laughter. But, what I can’t recall is what the hell I did with my stones!!!

I didn’t think about my stones again until I got back home and unpacked. They were no where. Not in a pocket? My carry on, my mommy bag, a sock… 

Everyone else — even my husband who is famous for misplacing his phone in the house or leaving his ATM card in the machine or misplaced his bag at the Las Vegas airport at the start of our trip. 

I don’t know if I left them in the van when we returned it. I was the one who cleaned it out. Maybe I left it in the hotel room in San Francisco. I was the one who double checked to make sure the family didn’t leave behind cell chargers, jewelry… I replay it in my mind and I come up with a blank.  

The stones my husband collected were beautiful shades of gray, white and black. He lovingly gave them to me. My daughter had her’s and she put hodgepodge on them and gave me a few. Their sharing touches my heart — truly and deeply. Still, I long to hold my stones again. 

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