The weekend was here after a long, challenging week. My friend and I decided to go to supper and take her kids to the beach for a long walk. The idea was that we could relax and walk while the kids could run off some energy. Great plan, but things don’t always go as planned.
We started with dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant. The kids were playing as we talked and munched on chips. Suddenly there was a big “Oh no” and the overturned cup of Sprite was making its way across the table. Napkins were thrown on the spreading path of Sprite before it could hit the seat and kids.
We regrouped and had a nice meal while our conversation took us across a variety of subjects. The kids played while we continued to solve the problems of the world. Somewhere along the way some salsa made its way onto the table and splattered on the seat. We tried not to laugh but sometimes you just have to.
Time to make our way to the beach. More conversation as we drove across the bridge to the islands. We made our way to the beach area, parked the car and walked along the boardwalk to the beach. My friend asked if I knew what the pretty yellow flowers were called. “Yellow beach flowers?” I said and laughed. The weather was perfect as we walked out into the sand. The lighthouse was operating and the spotlight revolved out on the ocean. The sky still had some of the purple and rose hues from the setting sun.
We found some ghost crabs and one very large intact horseshoe crab. We had a very intense discussion with one of the kids about how you could take the dead animal part out of the shell. We saw a large container ship that appeared to touch the shore. We walked closer and watched as it moved out to sea.
We started to be attacked by some kind of sand flies and decided to head back. We moved closer to the water in hope of escaping the flying predators. I moved over and walked in the very shallow water’s edge. Everyone was quite for the first time. Suddenly I put my foot down and I sank into a hole up to my thighs. It was like quicksand and pulled me down completely. A wave came in immediately and pushed me forward. Everyone turned and asked if I was OK. Crash..another wave came in and soaked the rest of my body. I tried pulling myself out of the hole and it was very difficult. I eventually had to almost crawl up and out of the surf.
After being sure I was not physically harmed, we were all able to laugh a bit at the absurd accident. I was drenched from head to toe. I looked like one the women on wet T shirt night. I had sand in every crevice of my body. My friend assured me she had some towels in the car as we walked back along the boardwalk. One of the kids grabbed the towels and arranged them on the seat for me and we began our drive home. I mentioned that I didn’t plan on a baptism tonight. My friend laughed and said that she didn’t use the proper words for that and we share a bit of theological humor. That is the price you pay for having a pastor as a best friend.
I had my I Phone in the pocket of jeans shorts and was very concerned that I might have killed it. It was still on and appeared to be working but soon began to shut off and have problems locating the signal. I took the case off in hopes it would dry. My friend said we should stop at the store and get some rice and a baggie. It is a remedy for drying out electronic devices and we hoped it would do the trick. She ran into the store while the kids stayed with me in the car. We poured rice into the bag and tucked the I Phone in safely.
We now needed to find a place to use the restroom. We pulled into the parking lot of the fast food restaurant and I waited in the car as the sand began to shift in all parts of my clothing. The stickiness factor was setting in. My friend returned to the car and announced that the restaurant was closed. We must find a place soon. I picked up the bag of rice and checked my phone. It seemed to be drying out. I closed the bag, or at least I thought I did. I turned the bag and rice started to fall everywhere. The kids thought that was particularly funny.
My friend broke into uncontrollable laughter. I followed suit. We both know that once I start laughing I sometimes can’t stop. One of the kids said that we were out of control and we laughed harder. We finally arrived at another place for a bathroom stop and were able to complete the mission. We made our way back to my car and the laughter seemed to follow us.
I got out of the car and tried to arrange the towels neatly. I was going to take one of them with me for the ride home. As I picked up the towels the rice I had spilled moments before fell out all over the seat and floor causing more laughter. I am not sure what the kids thought about all of this.
I started to drive home. I turned off the highway and decided that was I was really miserable at this point. I had a bag with my other shirt in the front seat. As I made the turn onto a rather long back roadway with very few lights, I decided to pull of the wet shirt and put on the dry one. Just as I pulled the wet shirt over my head I saw some blue lights ahead. I pulled the shirt back on as quickly as possible and it was backwards. I saw more blue lights and a sign that said “police check ahead.” As I pulled into the line of police officers I wondered how it would look to have a backwards wet t shirt. I was going to find out quickly. The officer shined his light on me and said they were doing a license check. I pulled out my license and handed it to him with the kindest grandmotherly smile I could muster. I felt compelled to explain my appearance. He smiled, handed my license back to me and I was on my way.
As I ripped off the wet sandy clothes and jumped into the shower, I started to giggle a bit. I knew I had to write this story as it is one I want to remember for a very long time. The ability to relax, spend time with one of my best friends, laugh, and be silly is a true gift. I haven’t had that much fun in a quite a while. We often talk about very serious and personal issues but we seem to bring out that playful child in each other as well. The night may not have gone as planned but I wouldn’t change one minute of it.