Alright. The Summer of 2008 Beach Bag System has now been established. Sometimes I'm convinced that 99% of my job mothering is directly related to organization. Okay, so I really don't believe that. But...there IS an awful lot of time spent "organizing": shuffling schedules and kids, puzzling out how to fit two beds and two bureaus and all the toys in a tiny bedroom, or figuring out the right stuff to put in the right bag in which each child can carry. Luckily, and especially when it involves a beach plan, I'm totally game for the challenge. The beach bag "system" (which I say half tongue in cheek, you know) changes each year of course, based on who can walk, who's on the hip or in the sling, and who is of the right weight, age and temperament to help carry the load to the beach (and most importantly, to carry it from the beach to the car when leaving).
So what am I rambling on about? I'm not really sure. But there's this new bag in my life, and sometimes just the right new handmade bag can make me very happy. This one does. It's the Mama Beach Bag, because that's my revolutionary beach packing idea of the year (last year it was consistently remembering to pack a wet sack. The year before? Carabiners clipping the bags to each other, trailing behind me as I held a babe on the hip...oh, what a sight). The idea of The Mama Beach Bag, of course, being that the stuff in here? It's just mine - and therefore it's not mixed up with half-eaten granola bars, and "treasures" of sticks and seaweed. Nope, you'll find none of that in here. You'll find all MY beach essentials - and hopefuls - like knitting, a book, a journal, maybe perhaps (just maybe) a tiny bit of chocolate, and anything else I deem necessary for the beach. It's wonderful and simple in the way it helps me - I can now stop being a freak about the kids pawing through a big bag looking for whatever they need, while worrying about stitches being dropped. Or that granola bar being smeared on my moleskin. They've got their bag. I've got mine. Brilliant simplicity that makes things just a little bit easier.
So, yeah, it's kind of huge. But I love that about it. The fabric is a super soft vintage cotton that I got at the sale (and already used! Yay!), with linen straps, so they're really sturdy, because man, that bag can be full. And heavy. And I had every intention of keeping it ultra simple, but in the end, once I had all the pieces cut out, I couldn't stop myself from slapping (uh, handstitching) a doily on there. It was nearly compulsive and I didn't realize I had done it until it was done (true).
Okay, then. So now? Now we go to the beach! Oh, summer in Maine...I love you. You are so very worth the wait.