Sunday, September 30, 2007

Galveston Memories

The following does not take place in a specific year or time period. It is a mash-up of Galveston memories and summers at the beach. These are the images I see when I close my eyes and imagine the Beach House.
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I vaguely heard the door open and lifted an eyelid just in time to see Ginger leaving the room. I tried to fall back asleep but now that I was faintly awake I could hear a barrage of noises and feel the sunshine straining to pour through the hurricane blinds. After several minutes my eyes fluttered open and the sound of odd video game pings came more into focus. I stared at the piece of plywood above me that was supporting the mattress of the top bunk and reluctantly swung my feet out onto the floor.

I crossed the room and opened the door, squinting at the brightness that flooded the beach house. Stumbling down the stairs I grunted a hello to Tim as he walked out the kitchen towards the front door.

"Good morning, Princess!" Grandma said softly, opening her arms to me. I leaned in to her and let her stroke my hair for a moment before pulling away and asked the all important question-

"Is that sausage?"

"Yes," she answered. "I made the boys leave some for you."

"Thanks Grandma." I smiled and bit the end of a link.

"Would you like some orange juice? I'll strain it for you!"

I nodded as Greg came through the kitchen and began loading ice into a blue disposable cup with his name scrawled in Sharpie on the side.

"You guys and your strained orange juice," Greg laughed, filling his cup with water.

"It tastes like hair!" I insisted, quoting my mantra and trying to decide between Cocoa Krispies and Fruity Pebbles. Any cereal that can turn your milk into a shock of pinky orange or a murky tone of chocolatey brown equals a great way to start the day.

As I slurped the last of my cereal, Grant appeared bleary-eyed at the foot of the stairs. Grandma began laughing at his hair sticking straight up and Grant answered with a sleepy grin. He sat at a chair at the end of the table just as Amy entered from the living room with one of her colorfully tattooed dolls.

"Hi Grant!" she said as she approached him. "Sleep okay?"

"Mhmm, I- auggh! Amy no!"

I looked up to see that she had leaned in to kiss him on the cheek and I chuckled to myself as he attempted to push her away.

"Amy, space please, darlin'," said Pam, entering from the next room.

She and Grandma began talking by the stove as Clay, Carter, and Dawson, having abandoned their video games, came barreling in from the next room and swarmed around the breakfast table. In a flash, Carter had his hand in the Fruit Loops box, Dawson was grabbing a piece of banana bread, and Clay was reaching for a sausage link.

"Hey, you boys! Shoo! You already ate your breakfast!" said Grandma.

"But we're still hungry!" Carter laughed, stuffing a handful of the colored cereal into his mouth.

Just then Kathy came in the front door, sweating from her walk and clutching a handful of orange and purple wildflowers.

"Good morning!" she said smiling at everyone. "Hi Mom, are my boys up yet?"

"No I don't think so," said Grandma.

"Grandma, I wanna go to the beach," insisted Amy.

"Do you boys want to wake up Aaron and Shane?" asked Kathy with a devilish grin.

"Yeah!" Clay and Carter chorused.

"Can we jump on them?" asked Dawson, but he was already running up the stairs with the others.

"Sure," called Kathy.

"Come on, Grant!" Clay yelled over his shoulder.

Grant looked up from his bowl of Frosted Mini Wheat's with a conflicted look in his eyes.

"Go!" said Kathy as she opened the cupboard in search of a plastic cup for her wildflowers.

"Beach!" said Amy.

I headed into the living room to the strains of Pam attempting to appease Amy. As I flopped onto the couch next to Hilary and Ginger, who were engrossed in an episode of "The Price is Right," yells and thumps began erupting from upstairs.

"What's going on?" asked Hilary.

"They're waking up Aaron and Shane," I answered, snuggling into one of the scratchy couch pillows.

After a moment of Bob Barker lecturing us to spay and neuter our pets, Shannon pushed open the front door clad in a strapless bikini clutching a magazine and a bottle of tanning oil in one hand and a portable CD player in the other.

"Goooood morning, sleepy heads!" she sang out.

Ginger looked up from the copy of People magazine she had been perusing. "You've already been out this morning?"

"Since 8:30!" Shannon answered excitedly as she tossed her things into a chair. "Gettin' a jumpstart on the tan! What do you think?" she asked, walking closer to us.

She grabbed Hilary's hand and pressed her finger's to her stomach. And although Hilary pulled her hand away, her white finger marks remained emblazoned across Shannon's stomach and heightened the reddish brown tint of her skin.

"Oh, gosh, Shannon!" Mom exclaimed as she walked in the room. "Burn yourself already?"

"Trying to!" she answered, crossing her fingers.

Soon the sound of thundering footsteps filled the house. Clay, Carter, and Dawson came tumbling down the stairs, giggling and falling on top of each other at the bottom. Dad told them to settle down, so they raced out of the house each yelling that they would be the one to drive the golf cart. They made the mistake of slamming the door behind them, and I glanced out the window just in time to see Grandpa point to the door, point to them, and shake his finger.

"Did you tell them to do that?" Shane asked accusingly as he stepped off the last stair into the kitchen.

"Who, me?" asked Kathy, laughing. "No, I think it was Valerie."

"Whatever!" I called, rising from my cuddled seat on the couch. "That's a lie!"

Kathy grinned at me as I walked in to the kitchen.

"Where's Aaron, didn't you boys wake him up too?" she asked Grant, who had returned to the kitchen and his bowl of cereal moments before.

"No, they woke me up," mumbled Aaron, coming down the stairs rubbing his elbow. In one motion he had slid into a chair, grabbed a tiny box of Cocoa Puffs, and started pouring its entire contents into a bowl.

Amy, who had engrossed herself in coloring in her Pocahontas coloring book, tore out the page she had just finished writing her name and few other random characters on and set it in front of Shane.

"Here Shane, that's for you," she said.

"Thanks, Amy," he said through a mouthful of banana bread.

"Here, you boys finish this cantaloupe," Grandma said setting the bowl on the corner of the table between Aaron and Shane.

Before either of them could make a move toward the fruit, Amy had taken a piece and put almost the entire thing into her mouth.

"Amy, love," said Pam, drying her hands on a towel. "No more."

"Alright, who's ready to go to the beach?" called out Snuf coming in from outside and clapping his hands several times.

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To be continued...

1 comment:

*DC* said...

LOVE this. love you. :)
Remember "Smartie poker"? :)