Monday, July 4, 2011

A Mermaid's Tale

I've been thinking all day about about an incident I left out of my original post. The first full day of vacation, my youngest buried herself in the sand, which for some reason prompted me to go into Hulk Hogan mode. I kept hurling myself down on her in that wrestler's move -- although I was not springing back up. I was cracking myself up while she obviously thought it was too lame to even remark upon - she just kept rolling her eyes. I might have been literally cracking myself up though: a full 14 days later, after a pound of BC powder, I still feel like I cracked a rib. Which reminds me of doing the same thing several years ago at the Clinton Library: the girls were rolling down the hill and kept saying "Come on, mom! It's so much fun!" Again I couldn't resist: I brought my hands to my chest (to cut down on wind shear), rolled down the hill and suffered for two weeks.

The moral of the story: don't roll your chickens before they are hatched.

I wish I'd saved the blog I started in the middle of our beach vacation last week - I had my laptop on the table outside and couldn't even read what I was writing because the sun was so bright. It had something to do with bliss.

Now that I'm back to reality, I can't recall the exact feeling - I published it by accident and frantically called my daughter to come NOW and delete it. It might have had a spelling error or something, and I can't afford to lose any faithful fans.

The funniest image I have from the trip is me, rolling around on the beach in my old-lady bathing suit, as shown below. It's a one-piece with a skirt almost to my ankles.

The waves were very strong the whole week we were there. They battered and bruised me, and in the end took something precious from me. At one point they almost succeeding in ripping my left arm from its socket; at another point I almost chipped a tooth; several times I was spun over so many times I didn't know which way was up. A couple of times I felt as if I'd been punched in the face, which was painful but an effective way of clearing my sinuses. Then I would head out again - this is my idea of fun. On more than one occasion, I almost staggered to the safety of the beach, only to have the waves cut me down at the knees. I can't spring up gracefully like I could in my youth. First I have to make it to all fours, get my balance and then do the old heave-ho. This particular time I was knocked down and then just for fun, the waves hit me again and again so that I was literally rolling around on the beach, flailing, in shallow water. John and the girls missed it, but I hope someone who was feeling kind of blue saw me, because I laugh every time I think about it.

For a little night music, we headed to the beach to listen to fiddler crabs play their tiny fiddles; a crowd-pleaser was Some Enchanted Evening. They played their little crab hearts out until tourists with flashlights hunted them down and accidentally stomped them to death. They died doing what they loved.

We also entertained ourselves with a new family tradition: squeaking in the sand, which involves shuffling around in circles and making the sand squeak. We even learned how to do it backwards. I couldn't tell whether onlookers were jealous or thought us pathetic. Certainly no one asked us to teach them the moves.

I did something I've always wanted to do: parasailing. The sea was supposed to be brimming with life that day - sharks, turtles, rays - although all I saw was a dark hump in the ocean that might have been a turtle or a ray or a patch of seaweed. I told my youngest daughter that I should have nicked her a few times so we would have sharks circling below.

My oldest daughter thought it bizarre that we risked our lives on some frayed rope handled by men who spent eight hours a day with the sun beating down on their heads.

My friend Lynette, who has known me since my 20s and takes certain liberties with me, drove twice from Pensacola to visit. She also experienced a great loss on her second visit: the use of a couple of her toes, which she broke while frolicking in the waves with us one evening. We got up to find a scribbled note on a paper towel saying she would love to stay but had to seek medical help.

I was reminded that I have a habit of posing like this with my girlfriends, even when we're not at the beach.

As to what I lost at the beach: my wedding rings. I forgot to take them off for our last night swim. As I was howling in the sea at my loss, my girls held me tight (as much as they could, since we were still being battered about) and comforted me, while my husband dived repeatedly to look for my rings, reminding me that this was a loss I could bear. I hope a mermaid found my rings and treasures them as I did. Maybe she'll return them to me one day.

As for me, at that moment I realized what I had not lost. And I hope the mermaid who inherited my rings is as lovely as the two below.

 -- this is dedicated to my husband John and my girls, who remind me each day of my bounties.

1 comment:

  1. awwwww. :) Love when you write - hate it when you wait so long to do so! Judi