Monday, October 8, 2007

Galveston Part 3

Soon the back of the vehicles were loaded up with beach mats, pails, shovels, tarps, balls, coolers, chairs, boogie boards, and everything necessary to build a veritable beach command center in the sand.

"I wanna sit with Shannon!" Amy yelled, making a bee line for Shannon's side.

"Shane, where are you sitting?" Clay called.

"Who's leaving now?" I asked, wiping my already sweaty face.

"Let's go!" Snuf said, climbing behind the wheel of one of the vans. I jumped in and grabbed a window seat, and before I knew it Amy had climbed in beside me and laid her head on my shoulder.

"No Ame," I said pulling my shoulder back, "It's too hot for that!"

"Leave her alone, Amy!" Carter shouted, climbing into the seat behind us.

"Yeah!" said Dawson, sliding in next to Carter.

"Shut up, Dawson!" Amy shouted back. "Shannon's sitting by me!"

"Who else?!" yelled Snuf, starting the engine.

I looked over to the suburban Tim had just climbed behind the wheel of and spotted Hilary in the front seat leaning forward to adjust the radio. Soon Aaron had leaped in our van and sat next to Dawson. Kathy had claimed the front seat, and Greg sat next to Amy. Everyone else had piled into other vehicles, and as soon as Amy realized what was happening, her panic set in.

"No, Dad!" Amy screamed as he pulled the door shut. "Shannon!"

"I'll come in the next car, Ame!" Shannon explained, waving as we pulled away from the house.

"Noooooo!" Amy screamed, the tears beginning to roll down her face.

"Ame," Greg said in a warning voice.

"Amy, shut up!" Dawson insisted.

"My, what a happy way to start the day!" I said, straining to be heard over her wails.

"Dad!" Aaron called. "Air!"

Snuf answered by flicking the AC to high, the sudden wind making my eyes water.

"Ow, Carter stop it!" yelped Dawson.

"I didn't do anything!" insisted Carter.

I looked out the window and tried to focus on the passing golf course, not quite able to tune out the ever increasing noise of Amy that Snuf was not succeeding in drowning out by turning up the radio louder and louder.

Sooner we had passed the Cha Cha church, the fire station, the general store whose name was constantly changing but to us would always be Sasser's, and were crossing the intersection into the beachfront neighborhood of Pirate's Beach. Amy was still screaming "Shannon" but her brothers had abandoned bickering and Dawson had begun a new career peppering Aaron with questions . Snuf, Kathy, and Greg were discussing how much of the beach had been washed away this year, despite the fact that Amy's cries had taken on a decidedly desperate "Streetcar Named Desire" quality.

When Snuf came to the last street parallel to the beach he made a right and we began our search for the cul de sac with the least number of cars. As we made the final turn into a satisfactory cul de sac, Snuf reminded, "Everybody help!"

"Everybody take something," Kathy echoed.

"Carter, Dawson, that means you too," Greg said.

"I know, Dad!" Carter replied, his eyes rolling.

Greg opened the door and Amy, as if realizing where we were for the first time, abandoned her quest to scream "Shannon" louder than a jet engine and excitedly jumped out of the van almost knocking her father over and ran laughing for the bridge over the sand dunes.

"Amy, you have to help!" Carter yelled.

We all grabbed for the beach equipment as Tim pulled the suburban up behind us and jokingly pretended to almost run us over.

I tucked a towel under my arm, grabbed a cooler, and slung an old, moldy orange boogie board that was undoubtedly older than I over my shoulder.

As I followed Aaron up over the sand dune bridge I couldn't squelch the excitement that was rising up within me. I reached the summit of the bridge and grinned at the sight of the ocean. Bliss!

I traipsed down the ramp and let the orange boogie board trail behind me. I shuffled through the sand behind Aaron and picked up the pace as the baked sand engulfed my feet and did its best to burn off a layer of skin.

We found a free section of beach and began setting up our camp for the day. Soon four holes had been dug, PVC pipes had been inserted, and the tarp was tied with bungee chords to the top. Kathy rolled out the beach mats, Tim began setting up chairs, and Snuf was finding an appropriate radio station on the small yellow stereo.

Clay, Carter, and Dawson made a bee line for the water and Amy sat on the sand right in front of the chairs and began digging a hole. Hilary and I walked down to the edge of the shore and put our toes in the water and I grinned, just happy to be standing on the beach.

1 comment:

*DC* said...

You know you have a friend who can see the California beach from her window... just sayin'. :)

COME SEE ME!