Friday , 17 November 2017

The Mum Diaries, or: Life’s a Beach

I am happy to say this report comes to you via lovely Galveston Island, Texas, and is proudly sponsored by rum and sand. Yep, this week I’ve morphed into a combination of Erma Bombeck and Hunter S. Thompson with a healthy dash of Jimmy Buffett: I’m on my very first beach vacation with the family. And man, are my changes in latitude having a positive whammy on my attitude. I could totally get used to this.

Yep, you heard me right. I’m 140 years old, and I’ve never been to the beach until this week. I haven’t avoided the seaside in the past; don’t get me wrong. It was just on account of the poverty. But thanks to Hubs, who does not share my compulsive spending problems, enough was squirreled away this year for me to enjoy my first official family beach week.

And life at the shore, it seems, it quite pleasantly different than my land lubber existence back at Land Locked County, Texas. I’m getting quite an education down here seaside. Indulge me and allow me to share a few nuggets of wisdom I have learned about beaching it:

It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity. So, it turns out there’s a lot of water around here. As much in the air as in the ocean, evidently. Who knew? I am a terribly shiny person anyway. I have learned I can create more grease on my face than a pound of bacon frying up in a skillet. I have become a serial blotter. And it seems my thin, fine hair has decided to try to escape my head by plastering down my neck, perhaps planning an escape down my shirt. My workout felt like I did it in a wet bathrobe.

My inner dude. The minute I started strolling around beach side, I fell in love with the energy, the beach vibe. The casualness is so refreshing. If you’re wearing a buckle on your sandal, you’re over-dressed. Tie-dye is plentiful. The less clothing worn here, the better. I write this missive to you resplendent in a new sundress Hubs got me at the surfer souvenir shop. There seems to be no hurry, no schedule. With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel, it does indeed seem that there are no deeds to do, no promises to keep. All is groovy.

Bitey things live in the ocean. I’ve decided despite its amazingly healative and soothing natural qualities, the sea itself is best left to the creatures who live in it. I don’t like not being able to see whatever it was that gave me a sting on my derriere. He can have the ocean. Give me a good old fashioned, over-chemicaled concrete pool any day. If it lives through chlorine, it wins.

Sand. It can and will wedge itself into nooks and crannies you previously did not know you had. You will find it in your drink, your phone, and indeed, somehow in your bed after you shower.

I can eat my weight in shrimp and oysters. Not necessarily a flattering description of me, but frighteningly accurate. Enough said.

It’s five o’clock somewhere. Did I mention rum mixes with just about everything and goes particularly well with sun?

Vacation meals are dishes best served by others. My family trashed an IHOP this morning. And then we just walked away and laaaaaughed.

There is not enough sunscreen in the world. My little cracker children fry like so much Caucasian bacon no matter if the SPF is 250. I might as well be smearing them with olive oil as much good as it seems to do them. Related: two words. Bring. Hats.

Last and best of all: The world is wonderous. When you work with people in pain, and you are exposed to the horrors of the world through that work, you can become jaded. And I do confess, I’ve heard and seen the worst of the man-made world. You can lose that sense of awe, of the magick (and I didn’t misspell that) of the natural world, that life is ordered and beautiful.

But then I looked out at the ocean’s endlessness, might, and power. Experienced how a wave is mightier than I was as it took me off my puny feet. I laughed at three funny dolphins swimming all over each other to chase our ferry and show off for us.

And that, my friends, when it’s good? Is why they say life’s a beach.

 

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