Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yesterday was a glorious beach day

Yesterday was a glorious beach day. It was less hot and less humid, and the waves flowed much more gently. I like to stand in the water about up to my waist and jump into the waves as they bulge towards me. My favorite is when the waves don’t break, but just loom up around my neck and lift my body in a rolling motion. I told Shawn, “I just love these waves that don’t break!” He grinned at me and said, “They are called swells… because they are swell!” He is so full of puns. Usually I don’t laugh at his puns, but I laughed at that one.

We stayed out for a very long time yesterday. Lu and I set our chairs in the edge of the ocean and sunbathed while the waves randomly hit us and cooled our lower portions. She asked, “Why have we never done this before?” I suppose it is because it was only last year that we decided to go with a cheaper house further back from ocean-front and use some of the savings to rent a beach wagon, chairs, beach umbrella and gas grill. I think it’s a good trade.

We stayed out so long I didn’t know if we were ever going to go back, it was just so nice. And then a big wave came along and hit me before I had a chance to plug my nose. I was quite calm under the water, and never lost my sense of where the top should be. But when I came up, I had the weirdest sensation in my head, all itchy and scratchy in my throat and ears. I didn’t taste any salt water, so I had apparently kept my mouth shut. I’m not sure what happened, but the discomfort in my throat and ears began to build. I stumbled out of the water and sat in my beach chair with my towel over my head, finally gathering myself enough to walk back to the house. I guess that’s the way with all of life. We rarely stop doing what we are enjoying until something unpleasant comes along and forces us in a different direction.

Two more days here and today looks like another beautiful one. I woke up at 7:30 and went to see if DJ wanted to go for a walk. He needed ten more minutes, so I read my Bible on the deck: Psalm 46, which was a nice break from Revelation and a great comfort, besides. Then we took a beautiful walk under the newly risen sun, dabbling in the edge of the gentle morning surf and watching the little birds with skinny beaks like big, black pine-needles, scuttling around, poking into the sand for their breakfast. There were a lot of senior citizens taking their morning exercise; I guess pretty soon I will be one of them. It is heartwarming to see wrinkled, white haired couples walking hand-in-hand down the beach. On the way back, we walked into the sun, and the whole ocean in front of us shone with its reflection. I think in heaven it will be bright like that, but when we are there, we will have eyes strong enough to look right into the brightness and love it without getting a headache.

When we got back to the house, it was quiet. Yesterday upon arriving back, we heard a female voice belting out operatic notes. DJ said, “That sounds like Laura.” Actually, it sounded more like Shannon, but since that clearly wasn’t possible, we figured it must be Lu. It definitely had the ring of our family’s unorthodox style. But when we went inside, everyone was still either sleeping or quietly doing morning reading in their respective rooms. The song was coming from the house behind us, the one where little children roll out their play-dough on the back porch and the men play cheeky baseball in the empty lot next door. It was kind of nice to realize that there are other people as quirky as we are.

So today is Thursday and the food is almost gone, even though the checker at Walmart sneered at us when he saw our cart on the night we arrived. That was a nightmare of a trip, 7000-plus clueless tourists wending their way through the mixed up aisles at Walmart with no sense of purpose or direction. I had a list, which I had made from a menu plan I had developed especially for our trip. It included meat for Jon to grill five out of our seven nights here, along with ingredients for side dishes and items from which we could produce breakfasts, lunches and a few snacks. We had a big cart full of food, but not as big as many a cart I have seen people buy. We are here for a week with two big, hungry sons, one 20 years old and one almost 16, both over six feet tall.

“You’re gonna need two carts,” the checker growled at us as we arrived at our turn in line. I thought this vaguely ridiculous, but Shawn obligingly went and got another cart to hold our bagged groceries. “You people,” said the checker, the metal jewelry in his pierced tongue dulling the pronunciation of his words, “You people waste so much food. I have friends who clean the vacation rentals you people stay in, and they don’t buy food all summer long because they can eat off what you people leave behind.” I thought he should be thankful, or at least, his friends should be, that they didn’t have to buy food. But I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be wasting much. I plan meals and pray for leftovers. I told him, “I have two big teenage sons, and they will eat this right up.” I guess it wasn’t strictly true, since DJ is now 20, but the checker just growled and said, “Humph. I’ve heard that before.”

I’m pretty sure all the meat will be gone, except for maybe just enough to pack some sandwiches for the trip home. I will probably have to get more bread to accomplish that, though. The fruit will be gone by the end of the day today, and the fresh vegetables are gone except for a few baby carrots; we’ll be moving on to canned veggies today. I can take canned food home with me if we don’t eat it, too. Jon said, “I hope his friends like mustard, because that’s about all we’ll be leaving behind.”

Well, here’s another entry that is too long and precludes advice to my daughters. Maybe later today I’ll write something to them. I need to get back to the beach, take some pictures, soak up some salt, sand and sun.

And Jon says I have to eat my last nectarine soon, because it is getting shriveled up. I was trying not to run out of fruit.

1 comment:

Ruth MacC said...

I think that I have never 'felt' you so relaxed before in your writing before now. You must really have had a good time. Today it's raining in Ireland, today, yesterday, tomorrow...
Ah well.
Glad you are having a good summer too :0)