This explains so much…
First, a little music to set the mood…these were the songs playing on my mom’s transistor radio…
I don’t go to the beach much anymore. I don’t really like it. When I was a kid I went all the time, with my mother and sister and friends. Mom and one of her best friends (Barbara or Linda) would pack up all the kids and woven bags and sunscreen and toys and sandwiches and plain chips (we didn’t have flavored chips back then. Well, maybe BBQ. But my mother didn’t buy them, that would be spoiling us) and towels and bathing suits and t-shirts and we would get into her car and drive to Crescent Beach. Back then it only cost a dollar to get in, with a whole car full of yelling children. Then, we would all rush out of the car and onto the beach, wincing with the heat of the sand, to walk around for 30 minutes finding the perfect spot to set up camp. Once we did, it was down with the blanket. Down with the shoes to hold the blanket to the ground. Down with the old cooler full of food and drinks. Down with the towels. Slather on the coconut sun screen, spf 5. Remember digging out space under your towel to make it more lounge-y?
Then, after we ran to the water (too cold), ran to a red water runoff area (that in retrospect was probably industrial waste) but was warm, ran to the snack shack (no, you cannot have two dollars for an ice cream), ran from each other, and finally ran back to the blanket, we had lunch. And I always got sand in my lunch. Think of that nasty gritty sand grinding between your teeth. There ya go. That’s why I don’t go to the beach. I have post traumatic stress syndrome from chewing sand.
After baking in the sun for a while more we picked up the shoes and blankets and toys and bottles and towels and bags and shook off as much sand as we could and we all piled back into the car to go home. And everyone was quiet. We were all a little sunburned and a little tired from running around and a little frazzled at dealing with the kids all day and we just sat. We didn’t have A/C in the car, but we didn’t know any better then.
When we got home and cleaned the sand out of our various crevices, Mom would go around the house and close all the blinds to keep out the heat. We would have dinner at the table in the kitchen with no lights on, ’cause they made the house too hot. I love the dimly lit memory, everyone moving slowly due to the heat, everything in perpetual twilight.
At night my parents would allow me to get some A/C if it was still muggy. They only had one unit and it was in the room between our two bedrooms. I would lie in bed, covered only with a thin sheet, the light outside still fading, and fall asleep to the air conditioner hum.
It was perfect.