Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I Learned This Summer

The kids spent their first week back in school, but it’s still hot outside. I hope we remember that the beach is still there. It would be nice to enjoy it a couple of more times, especially now that the crowds are gone.

This summer I learned that the first thing you need to do upon arrival at the beach is: (1) use a shovel to draw a giant rectangle in front of your space and (2) throw some sand in it. This is your sandcastle plot. More importantly, it’s what prevents a family of eleven from erecting seven camping chairs (with double cup holders), a playpen and a pup tent right smack in front of you. You don’t even have to finish the sandcastle, but it’s aesthetically more pleasing if you do.

I learned that the more time you spend working on your sandcastle, the more likely it is that a kid will drag a boogie board right through it.

I learned that the arrival of seagulls means it’s twelve o’clock on the dot.

I also learned that you can’t leave a bagel with ham and cheese sandwich unattended on a towel, not even while your son just quickly runs down to the water to rinse the sand off his hands. Not even if it’s still in the plastic bag, and you are sitting right next to it.

I learned that watching a hundred gulls fight for one bite of a ham and cheese bagel is so entertaining, you might be tempted to pack an extra one next time.

I learned a new game. Actually, my daughter and I invented it. We call it Try to Guess Why of ALL the Possibilities, That Person Chose THAT Swimsuit. The name is self-explanatory. I can’t help trying to imagine a person standing in front of that three-way mirror in the dressing room and thinking, yes…THIS is the one! Especially if ‘the one’ is solid orange, and the person is shaped more like a pumpkin than a carrot. I’m no supermodel, but I do know when a little strategic detailing might come in handy.

I learned the same thing happens every summer: no matter how well I try to plan, we never squeeze in enough beach trips before school starts, and everyone gets so busy we almost forget it’s still there.

17 comments:

Suzanne Casamento said...

This is a great list of lessons! And I feel like that every summer too. I only went three time myself. Kinda sad...

Hope you get a couple more trips in!

MG Higgins said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post! I have many similar memories of not enough trips to the beach as the summer ends.

Kelly said...

I can't believe summer is over either...
I love the Guess why they picked that swimsuit game. Hilarious!

Grissell said...

Sounds like a great plan LOL.... I hope you took lots of notes for next time that maybe you will remember to block off the space around you with caution tape LOL...

Have a great week.

Grissell
stay-at-homemomwhoknew.blogspot.com

ICQB said...

You learned a lot this summer - and I am VERY envious of your classroom!!

Lilfix said...

I play a game like that when I go to the mall...its called, why in the world did your parent's let you out of the house dressed like that...grin...great summer lessons...Hugs...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think these are great lessons--and perhaps next beach trip you grab some of those bright orange construction cones to mark off your turf!

Anne Spollen said...

Oh no! We're not the only ones. We play, "Does that house even HAVE a mirror?"
Usually makes me scared to go anywhere near the water. We've always wondered if other people were as weird as us.
Now we know...

adrienne said...

Suzanne - On the other hand, imagine how many people would love the chance to visit the beach three times over the summer.

MG - I wonder if it comes from being close enough that we think we could go any time - and then we keep putting it off...?

Kelly - There are few places better than the beach for people-watching. :D

Grissell - Love that idea! It has the added advantage that people tend to keep their distance if they think you are a little bit nuts. :)

ICQB - It IS the best classroom - but I'm not sure if I learned anything that has any practical applications. :)

Lilfix - Oh, gosh, the mall can be a scary place!

Green Girl - Great idea! Much less subtle than a sandcastle...

Anne - I like your version better - you can play that anywhere!
For sure the stingrays were not the only scary thing at the beach this summer.

Rena said...

LOL -- great post! We went to the beach while we were in CA and I saw a seagull literally attack a little girl for her hamburger. Those things are vicious.

LOL @ the swimsuit game.

Kim Kasch said...

I hate it when people move right in front of you - at the beach or . . . movies, or. . .

Ara Burklund said...

You crack me up, Adrienne. All so true! : )

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You are hilarious.
I want you to come along next time I go to the beach.
Oh, and I have no lawn chairs with cupholders, just so you know. :)

adrienne said...

Rena - There's a restuarant on the docks in NY where the gull problem is crazy - they'll steal the crabcake right out of your sandwich!

Kim - I always get the tallest people sitting right in front of me at the movies, too.

Ara - You've been there, obviously :D

Becky - I'll be there! I'll bring an extra shovel.

Keri Mikulski said...

Love it! Sounds like you had a fun summer. :)

Mary Witzl said...

You thoroughly entertained me with that list.

My sister and I once ended up with a plastic bag full of stale sandwiches. The bread was too tough for us to break them up to feed the ducks with, so we discarded them as was and marveled to see eighteen seagulls all vying for one sandwich. We had so much fun watching that, we really were tempted to throw out more. And my sister and I are HUGE cheapskates.

As for swimsuits, I'm convinced people go into denial mode when they go to buy them. I've got a fail-safe method of selecting a swimsuit: I take a teenage girl with me when I try it on. Better than ANY mirror, though somewhat tough on the ego.

sruble said...

Great beach tips! And funny too :)

I'm going to the beach next week; I might need them.