Early morning rays of sunlight have just begun to sparkle down through cloudless blue skies and onto the empty beaches below. It's way too early for most people to be out and about, but it’s the perfect time of day for me. Intoxicating ocean breezes deliver a potpourri of sea scents; sometimes salty, other times seaweedy and occasionally, the briny stink of fish permeates the air. Whether shared via soft breezes, billowing gales or stormy winds; it’s all the same to me.
This morning, seagulls are making their obnoxious presence known, soaring effortlessly above the ocean waves. Their high pitched screams last far too long, distracting me from the beauty all around me.
“Love the hair today,” shouts Emile, the best milkman in town. In fact, he’s the only milkman who still delivers dairy products throughout New Moon Beach.
“Thanks, I’m going au natural today,” I answered, smiling back at Emile. I’d tied my blonde curls up on top of my head this morning with a patterned red scarf and left my house with just a wisp of mascara over my lashes. Why worry about trying to contain my curls any further, when I so love the way the wind plays with it and naturally brings color to my cheeks. I’m not much of a fashionista. I prefer flowing cotton peasant blouses over wide bell bottomed jeans to more formal attire. I have a growing passion for embroidering and love adding as many colors as possible to the flowers and designs I create. My sisters think I’m caught up in the hippie generation and they might be right. Give me a wrist full of jangly bracelets and t-shirts tie dyed in psychedelic colors and I’m in heaven.
As I stop to take in the morning’s glorious scenery, a feeling a contentment washes over me. I truly love everything about living at the beach. Caught up in my emotions, I’m momentarily tempted to give in and head down to the shoreline, already imagining the feel of sand between my toes and tasting a hint of the wind blown salt that clings to my tangerine lip gloss this morning. The ocean shores can be incredibly enticing and normally I’d be seriously considering grabbing a good romance novel and my beach chair and taking a seaside detour. But there’s no time for that today, I’m on a mission.
Mild breezes guide me toward town and the sound of my flip flops echo unapologetically down still empty streets. There’s a slight chill in the ocean air and I zip up my flowered sweatshirt, knowing that it won’t be long before I won’t need it anymore. Summer is almost here.
Traveling past shops filled with beach wear, artwork, jewelry and other touristy stuff, the sun begins to warm my back. Or maybe it’s the excitement building in me that has my blood pumping today.
I slow my steps, take a deep breath and look up, only to be blinded by a bright yellow and purple sign announcing the upcoming Grand Opening of Mystique Creations. That’s my shop!
Today I’m opening my very own shop and I cannot be more jazzed. It's going to be a special place where people can craft and sew and be magically inspired - or just enjoy a cup of tea with me in one cool spot.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved crafting. We never had a lot of money, so at an early age, I became an expert in turning junk into gems. What others saw as trash, I instantly saw as treasure and would drag home all sorts of interesting paraphernalia. That’s where my imaginative wizardry took over as I transformed each tattered or tired piece into something new and useful and often, quite pretty too. I guess you could say, I’ve got a knack for magically breathing life into things that have long since been forgotten or discarded.
While other children were off on their bikes riding to the pier, making sand castles on the shore, or bouncing playfully in the waves, I was designing housing and a fashionable line of clothing for my Midge, Barbie, Ken and GI Joe dolls using every scrap of wood, fabric, tissue paper or paper towel in the house. No abandoned box, table cloth, towel or pillow case was safe from my designing eye.
You may find it kind of a bizarre thing for a kid to do, but I once transformed an empty refrigerator box into a high-rise apartment complex for my dolls. I discovered the empty box outside a local hardware store and spirited it home on my wagon. My high rise real estate had five stories, each floor painted with a different color marker pen and decorated with furniture fashioned from old spools of thread, empty boxes, cans and bars of Dial soap that I whittled into couches and beds. I played for hours with my architectural masterpiece, until I forgot one day and left it out in the rain. Sad to say, all of my tenants and their furnishings had to be evicted, but not before being permanently washed in the scent of clover from Dial soap.
My two sisters thought my fascination with resurrecting junk was kind of weird, but thankfully they never stopped me or made me feel bad about myself. Together, we formed quite an unconventional triangle of sisterhood, although for being such close sisters, we couldn’t be more different from one another. I may be the odd one, but the other two have their own distinguishing quirks that make them rather unique too.
My middle sister Constance, otherwise known as the “Culinary Queen”, owns a deli and you’ll easily recognize all five foot eight of her by her predictable work uniform of jeans, t-shirts and various colored shop aprons with images of pickles embroidered on the front.
Constance is forever trying to force feed me one of her gourmet concoctions that usually include breads, strange smelling cheeses and any kind of beef, pork or fowl that she can smother in one of her hearty sauces. She really is an awesome cook, but if she had her way, she’d be stuffing me with one of her blue-plate specials every day of the week.
Harmony is the oldest one of us. I call her simply, the “Captain”. Controlled chaos rules Harmony’s life and nothing is ever allowed to be out of place in her kingdom or ours. She’s a statuesque five-foot ten with the body of a modern day goddess and she dresses herself impeccably in nothing but designer suits and heels; quite appropriate for being the Mayor of our little city. I guess you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Harmony has a Type A personality, although bossy might be a better way to describe her. I love my sister dearly, but she can wear me out in no time at all. Always going at full speed, she is a never ending ball of energy.
If you ask me, that makes me, not only the youngest of the trio, but also the least quirky of us all. What I do actually results in fabulously recreated stuff. My passions don’t cause overeating, or anxiety. However, if you hang out with me for very long, you might need to find additional storage in your home for all of the re-purposed products I can generate.
I read somewhere that, “The things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.” Perhaps my weirdness has come full circle and I’ll actually be able to make a satisfying, prosperous career out of it. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. So here I am, the same oddball girl, just all grown up. My college degree in hand, I’m ready, anxious to help other people indulge in their own creative fantasies.
Sadly, I have to admit that it took me way too long to get to this point. After graduating from college, I should have come right back to New Moon Beach, my family and my dreams. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t. Instead, I took a detour and ran head first into a major stumbling block. A mysteriously handsome stumbling block named Jonathan Maxwell. Even now, thinking about him makes my heart hurt.
But what’s done is done. I'm not going to let anything ruin my new life - not even thinking about what might have been with some guy. Some guy I’d foolishly fallen head over heels in love with. Some guy who shattered my heart. The same guy I dream about every night, no matter how hard I try not to.