Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Seven Swans a-Swimmin'

During the years my family lived in Saudi Arabia, the days following Christmas were often spent on the beach. Despite the desert climate it was far from hot at that time of year, but the weather was mild enough that we could drive our Chevy Impala off the road and across crunchy sand flats to a stretch of coastline so deserted we might call it all our own for the afternoon.

The first order of business was to collect driftwood to fuel a bonfire, and then we would roll up our jeans and wade into the shallow water of the Arabian Gulf. The bottom was smooth sand so fine that you could feel the shellfish that had dug in there with your toes, making it possible to fill a bucket with perfect little clams in no time. A few minutes on the fire and a dip in melted butter bestowed a feast festooned with salt and smoke and fine enough for any holiday celebration.

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