Tag Archives: Little Bookstore

The Ocean’s Apology

Jack and Wendy are on holiday with friends Oliver and Barbara, from Britain, and Brandon and Beth, from Virginia. Herewith a tale of their adventures.

66460144_691467604631963_6907103243638145024_n(1)The Atlantic and I had a disagreement about how I should reach shore, day 4 of our holiday. I felt riding in on Oliver’s borrowed board was best, but the wave said I should plow to shore on my face doing about 12 mph and let the sand stop me.

The wave won that toss, but since then the sea has behaved handsomely. This morning, when Brandon and I got up early to walk to an old lighthouse, we found many things on the beach, tossed up by last night’s storms.

65906883_1075559982832263_8633267998813061120_nFirst up was a strange shell I thought was  a clam, but turned out to be a pair of sunglasses. Versace, new. Brandon looked them up: $280.

“The sea is apologizing for beating you up,” he said. “It sent you a gift. And you can hide your black eye at the restaurants in Savannah.” (That is our next stop.)

“Versace, smersace,” I responded. “I don’t use name brands.”

There was a loud crash as the calm ocean suddenly produced a nasty wave.

We walked on.  A few hundred yards later, I said, “That’s not….”

“It is,” said Brandon. “The sea is trying really hard to make it up to you.”

67223035_2507246095994420_7284640253460086784_n(1)These sunglasses were more, as Brandon put it, “a Wendy-friendly style.” Aviators from Old Navy, $20 new.

“I like the heart-shaped frames, but you know I really don’t wear sunglasses.”

A strange sucking sound came from the ocean, for all the world like a frustrated sigh.

We soon reached the tidal pools around the light house coast. The storm had tossed up massive hermit crabs, a few jelly fish, numerous large scallop shells and some broken conch.

66411678_444782456368010_7061261830483607552_n“Look at that.” I pointed to the edge of a tidal pool. We waited to see if the leopard crab shell moved. It did not. I picked it up. Empty, perfect, rare.

“Oooh, this is nice,” I said aloud, holding the shell to the light to admire its colors.

“Apology accepted.” Brandon addressed this to the waves.

The sea gave a small self-satisfied sigh, and took the tide out.

 

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Things I Vow Never to do Again

Note to self:

Dear Self –

The next time you are asked to speak as the visiting author at Allandale Mansion in Kingsport (a historic home of castle-esque proportions now reserved for weddings and Junior League flower shows and the Kingsport Women’s Book Club to which I had been invited) do not wear Birkenstocks. Your long flowing skirt and flowered blazer were fine; retro is always somewhat charming in an author and you had the good sense to braid your hair so that it looked like you weren’t trying too hard. This worked in your favor amidst those lovely Spring Pastels and beautiful stylish bobs. But there are limits, and you should not try to find them. Next time, wear ballerina flats.

Dear Self II –

The next time that man who collects cans in the neighborhood asks if he can sit on your porch and drink a beer, say no. It is one thing to be nice to someone life has clearly run over; it is another to watch him spend the next fifteen minutes drinking from a can the size of Texas, spitting over your porch rail, and panhandling customers going out the door. Learn to say no, dear; it is a life skill you must acquire now that you are in your forties.

Dear Self III –

The next time you demand your husband fix something and he heads off with duck tape in hand, follow him. That way you will learn just how he intends for those el cheapo fly screens to last the summer, or the water hose on the washing machine not to flood the garage. And you can save time, and possibly your marriage, by not having to cope with a sudden new water feature in the garage. The sound of water splashing over rocks is lovely–outside. Indoors on concrete, not so much.

Thank you, self.

Best wishes,

Self

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