Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beach Brutality

So yeah, we went to the beach again yesterday. Since we're pretty close, and I adore the beach, I thought it was a fine idea to plan a beach trip about once a month, if possible. I was trying to get ahead of the stormy/rainy weather that's coming this week. Philip had the day off, and we took one of Julia's friends along too.
We arrived. We set up shop -- you know: chairs, towels, umbrella, little table, cooler, sun screen, boogie board .... It takes forever to organize yourselves. Honestly, it looks like you're moving in at the beach! Then Julia tried to get in the water with her boogie board.

Smack! She didn't make much progress.
Then Philip tried. He's a big, burly man-sized person. He made almost no progress against the water. He got out past the very first line of waves that were breaking right on the shore. In other words, he got about 6-10 feet out into the water, and couldn't make any progress.
The girls, meanwhile, decided the water was not for them, and turned to the sand for their fun.
Philip tried three times. It was disastrous. I should have known it was bad when we got there and we saw about four surfers with their boards ... way out. They were the only ones who were out there, stubborn, muscled men that they are.
I snickered at Philip a little, inside my head. "Poor boy," I said. "He didn't grow up going to the beach for a week or two each summer, like I did.  He doesn't know much about mastering the ocean."
Then when Julia's suit filled up with sand, I told her to just go out in the water to clean it out. I mean, how hard could that be? Ha! She returned with more stuff in her lining than she went out with.
I sat in my chair with a stiff, sticky, salty wind full in the face. Impossible to read a book. I fought a battle with the umbrella and gave up. Mostly, I slathered sunscreen on, and then slathered some more.
I tell you, the ocean was brutality itself yesterday. The water was churning and roiling. The surf was strong, and even the smallest waves, right off the beach, were big enough to overturn a grown man. Finally, like a complete fool, I decided (right at the end, mind you! when I could have gone home somewhat dry and clean!) to go out into the water and show my children how it was done.
I stepped into the ankle high water, proceeded a couple more steps, saw a big wave coming at me, and the next thing I knew I was under it, getting ground into the rough bottom. The water was full of sand, grit and tiny chips of seashells. I could barely stand up. We all went home with crud stuck all over us, inside our suits, in our hair, in our ears. We were disgruntled, outlandishly hot, exhausted, dirty, and we had to go shopping at WalMart.
Sigh.
I love the beach, I do. But next time I'm checking the surf conditions.

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