I took advantage of a gap in the weather yesterday to shanghai Riley and his best friend Alec to our go-to shellfish beach. The snow had mostly melted and high winds and rain were yet to arrive. Even crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge the two second-graders ignored the world outside, too wrapped up in trading their Pokemon cards to admire the dramatic view of Puget Sound’s glacial pinch. They haggled in the back seat like a couple of old geezers.
But once on the clam beds the twenty-first century’s kiddie distractions began to slip away: Pokemon characters and Nintendo gave way to the visceral pleasures of working a shovel into the sand and uncovering a nice littleneck clam. The boys found sand dollars, caught a sculpin, and engineered a network of canals and locks as the tide receded. They dug clams and found mussels. They got a laugh out of a thieving gull that pilfered my container of shucked oysters the moment I turned my back.
When we got home, Alec proudly presented his mom with a limit of clams. I’ve got plans for our own haul: full limits of clams, mussels, and oysters will be part of tonight’s feast, which will incorporate a few other wild delicacies from 2008. More on that next year.
Happy New Year everyone!