Thursday, October 4, 2007

Galveston Part 2


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

"Beach!" yelled Amy, her mouth full of cantaloupe and juice running down her chin.

Other affirmative responses were vocalized and I ran out of the house, careful not to slam the front door, and thundered down the stairs to get my bathing suit off the line. After grabbing it and attempting to shake some of the sand out I saw Carter, Clay and Dawson tear past the house on the golf cart, weaving in and out of neighbor's driveways. I ran to the end of the driveway.

"Clay! Carter! Dawson! Come on! We're going to the beach!" Not waiting for a response, I turned and sprinted up the stairs to the deck where I almost ran into Hilary who was on her way to get her suit. She clattered down the stairs and yelped. I turned just in time to see her narrowly avoid getting clipped by the golf cart, the boys laughing maniacally. I grinned and ran for the front door as Hilary yelled at her cousins for their carelessness.

In the kitchen, Amy had already changed into her faded blue and pink swimsuit and was standing still as a statue as her mother sprayed suntan lotion on her back and rubbed it in.

"Val, do you want to go ahead and make your sandwich?" Mom asked, loading a cooler with ice packs and water.

Ginger and Shannon were making their lunch at the kitchen table, whose contents had magically been transformed from breakfast food to sandwich fixings. As I started on my own ham sandwich Clay came through the front door having already changed into his swimsuit.

"Clay, I made you a hot dog to take to the beach, do you want anything else?" Mom asked.

"Do we have any chips?"

As the food dialogue continued between them, Hilary, Carter, and Dawson had all come through the front door and Shane and Aaron came down from upstairs, having donned their board shorts and the appropriate grungy beach t-shirts.

"Grandma do we have any grape jelly?" asked Aaron, grabbing a jar of peanut butter from the pantry.

"Umm.... What is this?" asked Shane, holding up a zip lock bag containing a smashed looking sandwich with mustard smeared on the inside.

"That's my sandwich!" exclaimed a grinning Amy, who, have been sufficiently covered in sun block, was attempting to tug on a sandy pair of aqua shoes.

"Hi, Mrs. Apple-head," said Dad, coming in from outside.

"Hi Uncle Steve," Amy answered, rolling her eyes.

"How many cokes can I take?" Clay chorused.

"Just one," Mom answered.

"What? Mom, that's not fair!" he whined. "I always have two cokes at the beach!"

"Where does he get these rules?" Dad asked Grandma, shaking his head.

"Do we have any turkey?" Carter asked.

Ginger tossed it to him and handed Mom her sandwich to put in the cooler.

"Did you get my suit too?" she inquired, looking at me.

I stopped spreading the butter on my bread to look incredulously at her. She rolled her eyes and walked outside, passing Grant who also had returned from retrieving his suit. Kathy came downstairs and began chattering about the seaweed as she adjusted a visor over her hair.

"Is it really bad?" asked Joannie, who luckily did not notice Hilary's obvious disapproval of her mother's choice of a cover-up.

I turned my attention back to the other side of the kitchen. Dawson was struggling to be heard over Clay's insistence that he didn't need sunscreen. Shane was saying something to make Aaron and Grant laugh, and Shannon, having finished making her sandwich and already in her suit, was leaning against the sink talking to Grandma.

I hurried to cram my sandwich into a zip lock and scribbled a giant V on the outside in permanent marker. Having tossed it into the sandwich cooler I grabbed my suit and scurried into the bathroom to change and slather myself in sunscreen. I opened the door and almost tripped attempting to step into my beach shorts.

"Val, do you need a hat?" Mom asked, putting a book into her mesh beach bag. I made a face and started to shake my head but seeing that I was about to enter a losing battle, I instead nodded and let her put a cap in the bag for me.

"Dad, you got it in my eyes!" Clay wailed from the living room. I turned to see Dad laughing as he smeared Clay's face in one fell swoop with white goop and moved on to his back and chest, his large hands almost matching the circumference of Clay's tiny torso.

"Why don't Shane and Aaron have to wear sunscreen?" Clay asked, wiping his eyes with the back of his hands.

"We put it on at the beach!" said Aaron, throwing one peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the cooler and cramming half of another one into his mouth.

"Ha ha!" Shane taunted as they both walked out the front door.

"Cute suit, Hil!" said Shannon.

"Thanks," said Hilary, entering the kitchen from the stairwell.

"Y'all ready?" asked Kathy. She and her enormous basket of a beach bag were heading toward the front door.

"Come on, Dawson, let's go!" said Amy, slinging her own beach bag, full of what looked like a doll, some cd's, and a handful of beaded necklaces over her shoulder.

"Wait, Ame," said Greg, passing Kathy through the front door. He attempted to get her to leave the bag behind as Hilary attempted to get Grant to carry her towel and Pam attempted to cover both Dawson and Carter in greasy sunscreen.

"Ready?" asked Shannon, her towel tucked under her arm and her beach bag in hand.

"Let's do it!" said Ginger, and I followed the two of them out the door. As soon as it had shut behind me it opened again and Hilary and Grant emerged.

"Did you see what my mom was wearing?" Hilary laughed as we all trooped down the stairs.

"It's not bad!" Ginger called over her shoulder.

My excitement for our trip to the beach heightened as I entered the garage in search of a good boogie board and a solid beach chair. This would be a very good day.

Stay tuned!

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