Cashing In

This is a story all about Cash. In the new beach community where I live, cash is in. I hadn’t carried cash for years, but here, it’s preferred and sometimes, credit is not given, not even when it’s due.

Cash Or Consequences

A few examples: cash only at The Little Chef. $4 fee to pay with credit at the swap meet. $1 charge to pay with credit at the nail salon, and you can only tip with cash. $30 up charge to pay the movers with a credit card. In some cases, it’s cheaper to pay the fine…I mean, the fee…for taking money out of a non-friendly ATM.  A corner liquor store even boasts that they won’t charge you a fee for paying with a debt card.

Cash Flow

To keep the cash flowing, Ocean Beach has as many ATM machines as they do restaurants, maybe more.

Cash Advance

In this credit based society, cash still has a place in Ocean Beach. And yes, I’m referencing cash the dollars, not Cash the dog. At this point, I can’t really write about one without thinking about the other. So, while cash is here in OB, Cash is not (until his next visit.)

Pets Have Money Names

On that note, perhaps I could have predicted a cash trend based on pet names. My brother has a cat named Penny, but I don’t know of any pets named Visa, Debit, or Credit. I wouldn’t mind meeting a dog named Bitcoin, even though I’m still not quite sure what that means.

Journal, if you wish: Do you carry cash? Why or why not?  Know any pets named Card, Million, or Bank?  Or, write about how two words that sound the same connect.

Making Waves

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I took this photo from inside a wave at La Jolla Shores beach in California.

There’s nothing more beautiful than the ocean waves.  Except maybe being inside of one.

On one self-expression Saturday, I decided to explore the waves from the inside out.

As you know if you’ve ever gone to the beach, the experience of being inside a wave is completely different that observing the waves from a distance.

There’s a physical energy within the waves that you can only experience by being inside of one.


If you choose, journal about something from outside of it and from inside of it.  How is the experience different?  What do you see, hear, feel from both vantage points?

I recently did this creative writing prompt with students in one of my classes.  We had fun exploring what it’s like to be inside and outside of a street fair or local event.  You can use this as a starting point if it works for you.

Family at the Beach

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My beautiful girls at the beach. There’s something about being with your family during a sunset that can be magical.

Self expression can happen with a camera as well as a journal, I think.  Here, I’m capturing the girls capturing their view of the sunset.  If you looked at both of our photos, they’d probably look different.

My thought is that creativity is simply looking at something in a different way.

Journal about these moments, if you wish:

  • A moment you witnessed a sunset
  • Time spent with family during a sunset
  • Seeing the same view through three sets of eyes

Magic of Palm Trees

Palm Tree

Creative perspective on a palm tree.

I’ve always been intrigued by palm trees.  As a little girl growing up on the Midwest, I think I saw them for the first time when we visited my grandparents in Arizona.

Later, I’d see them again in Texas.  I was 17, and I was enchanted by the ocean.

It took me 33 years to make my big move to the California coast, and I love it that I now see palm trees every single day.

I love shape of palm trees and how they sway in the wind. I’ve seen them be strong in fierce winds, and I’ve seen them be flexible on sunny days.  When I lived in Utah, there were people who just couldn’t get enough of the mountains.  I’m kind of like that with palm trees.

If you wish, journal about your favorite tree and what it means to you. Or here are more choices:

  • Go to a park and observe a tree.  Make a list of ten things you notice about the tree.
  • Did you ever climb a tree?  What was the experience like?
  • Write about the variety of trees in your neighborhood.
  • In general, what do trees symbolize to you?  If you had a dream about a tree, what might that mean to you?