by CLINT YOUNTS
Well, Happy New Year to all y’all! Yeah, I know you’re s’posed to say that at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, but I don’t talk in my sleep. There was a time in yesteryear when I could stay up ‘til midnight, drinking cheap champagne and being obnoxious with my noisemaker. Now, as I reluctantly hobble into my golden years, I usually spend New Year’s Eve sitting in a recliner drinking box wine, and my obnoxious noisemaker is due to a mess of refried beans. I know in Times Square it means something different, but at my age, if the ball drops, it’s time to see your urologist.
Now, I wouldn’t mind attending some party on New Year’s Eve, but they start so dang late. Seems like most parties don’t even get started until 8 p.m., and by then I’m normally in flannel pajamas, tipsy from a mixture of wine and Gas-X, begging Maw to let me back inside. If we’re lucky, we manage to stay awake until 11 p.m. to watch the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York (I sure miss Dick Clark). Then we say, “Close enough. Happy New Year!” to each other and turn out the lights. There’s no way I can party until the cows come home, not when I’m up with the chickens every morning.
Well, this year, Maw and I decided to bring in the New Year at our second home, so we spent a long weekend down at Port Aransas. What’s a better place to celebrate than a quiet little island town full of elderly tourists and funny-talkin’ snowbirds? Yep, it was nice and peaceful, and again, we were sound asleep when the clock struck 12. I didn’t greet 2013 until in the wee hours of the morning when my bladder thought it was time to walk the dog.
You might think that late December might not be the best time to visit Port Aransas, and you are right if you want to get a good tan and swim in the gulf, but there are several excellent reasons to spend part of your winter on the beach. As I sit here on the balcony of our rented retreat, a pen in my right hand and a frosty beverage in my left, watching the waves roll upon a deserted beach, I have jotted down a list of pros and cons to visiting a Texas beach in the winter.
Pro: The line to the ferry is extremely short.
Con: There’s no time to crack open a cold beer while waiting on the ferry.
Pro: There’re no drunk college kids playing loud music out by the pool
Con: There are old, drunk men with poor hearing shouting at each other in the hot tub.
Pro: There is no sweating under the clear Texas sky, hoping for a stray cloud for a little relief from the heat.
Con: There is some shivering under the cloudy Texas sky, hoping for a break in the clouds to thaw out your numb toes.
Pro: You don’t have to worry about getting run over by some kid chasing a Frisbee.
Con: You do have to watch out for some old coot with poor depth-perception driving a Rascal.
Pro: The gulf water is clear and clean, real nice to gaze at while drinking beer on the beach.
Con: The gulf water is real clear and cold, quite uncomfortable to relieve oneself of the beer he’s been drinking on the beach.
I can’t think of any more cons of being at the beach in the winter, but there are several other pros that I’d like to share: Even with a touch of gray in my hair and a little paunch, I’m still the youngest and fittest guy sitting by the pool. Being in a South Texas beach town in the winter allows me to practice speaking Yankee. With the shorter winter days, I don’t feel so embarrassed about going to restaurants for the Early Bird Specials. The beach is very clean and mostly deserted, so we can take long walks without dodging seaweed, jellyfish and unmanned boogie boards washing up on shore. And, finally, one good thing about relaxing on the beach in the winter is the cooler weather means drinking less cold beer. Naw, I’m just joking about that one.
If any of y’all want to try spending next New Year’s Eve on the beach of Port Aransas with me and Maw, feel free to wander over to our beach chairs and join in our festivities. Just remember to bring your own beer, ignore my obnoxious noisemaker, and the party ends promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Happy New Year, y’all!
Clint Younts is back in Hays County after his relaxing beach vacation. He still walks with bowed legs, but that’s not from the sand. Rather, that’s from years chasing cattle at the Crow’s Nest.