Saturday, April 19, 2008

At the Beach

One of the things I had fun with in my early blogging efforts was blogging about life in Florida. I have decided to add that subject to this blog, too. I am probably breaking all the rules of blogging by writing about so many different subjects, but, I'll deal with that when the blog police come around. In the meantime, I'll continue to do as I damn well please.

Daytona Beach is famous as a great beach for driving. I personally do not like to drive on the beach, but I do like to walk on it. It is wide (at low tide, anyway) with hard-packed sand and it is very level. Usually there are not too many shells. It is perfect for long-distance barefoot beach walking. I don't especially like sharing the beach with cars, prefering to walk on those parts of the beach where driving is not allowed, but at one time or another I have walked the entire 24 miles of Daytona Beach.

I love to watch toddlers or other small children who are either first time visitors or at least not familiar enough to take the beach for granted. Now that spring break is over and the summer family vacationers are not here yet, our visitors tend to be families with preschool children or couples with no children (or grown children). This morning a little girl in a pink bathing suit with a huge floppy sun hat stopped to wave at me as I passed her. That was noteworthy because most of the time really little kids don't notice adult walkers.

Slightly older children will often stop me to show me pretty shells or sand dollars, or to occasionally ask me questions about what something is. I must look like a beach expert. I have been asked questions about the names of shells or birds (I never know those answers), the tides (I check the tide charts before going to the beach so I almost always know the answers to those unless they're too scientific), the names of fish or other beach critters (I sometimes know those).

The best conversation I ever had was a few weeks ago. A little girl ran up to me and showed me a broken sand dollar she had found. She was so excited she was jumping up and down. I explained to her where and how to look for whole ones. I so hope she found at least one.

Adults ask me to take their picture. My husband says no one has ever asked him to take their picture. It happens to me at least once a month, usually more often in the summer.

I don't feel as though I am very approachable. Frankly, I don't really want to be approachable when I am at the beach. I like to walk far and fast; I don't especially like to stop. The only thing I can think of is that I am so happy when I am on the beach, I must forget to throw up that "leave me the hell alone and don't bother me" protective shield I wear everywhere else.

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