Sunday, April 3, 2016

B is for Beach

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge for Genealogy Bloggers.

I live in Florida, which means there are beaches within driving distance (30 to 50 miles).  I grew up accustomed to going to the beach in the summer, with family or friends.  My sister and brother did, too.  One day, my sister got into some belated trouble for that.

My mother was a widow, and we moved back to Jacksonville from California after my father died, so my mother could be near her mom and sister.  We had a 1951 Packard.  My sister would borrow the car from time to time for excursions with her friends.  When she went to the beach, my mother told her not to drive the car on the beach, because that leads to corrosion.  Salt water is not good for cars, and the sand at the beach was full of salt water.

One day my sister took her friends to the beach.  She had taken some pictures there that day.  A week or so later, she went to the drug store to pick up her pictures, and brought them home.  Without thinking, she showed the pictures to Mom.  There was the Packard, sitting right on the hard-packed wet beach sand.

My sister was grounded.

I learned that lesson.  When my friends and I went to the beach in my Mom's car, by that time a 1965 Plymouth Valiant, I parked in the parking lot and we walked down to the beach!  I got into the habit over a couple summers of taking two friends, Sharon and Sandy, to the beach in Mom's car.  We had a great time, talking all the while, during the ride to the beach, at the beach, and coming home from the beach. 

I was a member of our church's Episcopal Young Churchmen youth group.  One afternoon, we had a beach party.  My best friend Ellen and I were sitting on a towel on the beach, having a great time.  A seagull flew overhead and opened the bomb bay doors.  "Eww!" we screamed, as we scrambled to the water to wash ourselves off.  That was one of the less pleasant beach moments I had.

Another unpleasant beach moment was sunburn.  That was in the days before sunscreen, when the habit was to slather oneself with sun tan oil, which actually exacerbated the burn.  I learned how painful sunburn could be, and peeling was unpleasant, too.

The last time I went to the beach was with my husband.  He was a computer programmer in civil service, working for the Navy Department at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.  There was a weekend conference he was going to attend at Naval Station Mayport, which is about a 100-mile round trip from where we live.  I suggested that, rather than make that 100-mile round trip both days, he just stay at the Navy Lodge out there.  I also suggested that he take me along.  I could amuse myself during the times he was in the conference, and we could spend the rest of the time together.  He thought that was a fine idea.

It was fun.  I took a book to read while he was in the conference.  However, there was one aspect of the trip that was decidedly unpleasant for me.  I do not like a too-hard mattress.  He loves his mattress to be hard.  The mattress at the Navy Lodge must have been inspired by the soldiers' accommodations at the Castillo de San Marcos, the ancient coquina fortress in St. Augustine, Florida.  That "bed" in the fort is a replica, and it is literally a wooden table.  That's how hard that mattress felt to me.  I slept sitting up in the easy chair in the room.

But the most pleasant part of the trip was an evening walk on the beach.  It was downright romantic.

1 comment:

Deepti Agarwal said...

very down to earth.. enjoyed it.