My Dad whipped open the blinds to let the sunshine in first thing this morning, as we all tried to ready ourselves for the beach.
Dad: He’s eyeballing us…
The four of us:Huh?
Dad: The alligator out there.
We all crowded around the sliding door.
Jannie: Want me to take a picture.
Me: I’m not going out there. How fast can those things move?
Dad: He’s eyeballing us.
Jannie: He’s 20 feet from our door. I’ll get a picture.
Dad: She does things like that.
Me: I’m not going out there.
Jannie heads outside…
Dad: Good Luck Hon…I’ll be in here if you need me.
After getting ready, we hopped into the Trusty Honda and headed for the beach. I’m just grateful our old hunk of junk made it down to Hilton Head Island, with 200,000+ thousand miles on it.
Matter of fact, my son has been harassing me over it. Because the car has manual locks, I am a broken record of ‘lock the doors.’
Son: Yeah. We’re parked between all these nice cars, and somebody’s going to want to take the Accord?
Me (thinking in my head): Okay. Good point.
We are surrounded by very nice vehicles–this is Hilton Head, after all. And I’m fairly sure my car is the only one with peanut shells littering the floor.
Remember the graduation party peanuts? And my recent blog about them? I was given a whole bag last week after that posting. I brought them on our road trip—and my Dad drove my car for hours…eating peanuts the whole time. (The kids along with him.) Already a heap, it now looks like The Ground Round on Wheels…
At least the Trusty Honda is dry now. The night before we left, somebody left the windows open. And there were torrential downpours all night.
We traveled yesterday with towels on our seats. It was like sitting in a damp bathing suit…for twelve hours!
Anyways, they have a guard stationed at gated checkpoints in all of the private condo complexes—called ‘Plantations.’ We passed through one such place on the way to the ocean.
The Guard Shack at Palmetto Dunes…
Son: Doesn’t he look like a he could be a stripper?
Me: He looks like he could be in The Village People.
Mirrored aviator sunglasses. A navy ‘police’ look-a-like uniform. Dark skin. Muscular. My son has a point…he looks like he could rip off his pants from the front exposing a g-string, while gyrating about. He could be that guy in a heartbeat.
Past the checkpoint, we arrive at the ocean and the crew starts to assemble down on the beach. I have just gotten situated in my beach chair, book in hand.
Along comes my cousin, already making fun of his lovely wife. At it is only 10am.
Cousin: Carissa thought somebody from the store opened her jelly.
Charming Carissa: All I said when I went to make my toast was, “Somebody probably had some, right?”
Uncle Joe (who had in fact had some): I left it out. With the butter knife. And spoon. So she would know…
Cousin: That wasn’t what she was thinking…she was wondering if there was a Jelly Robber around somewhere.
And it went on from there…for a while. They had a field day with their Jelly Robber theory. Not that I minded. The focus was on somebody else. I read my book, while they had at her.
You can imagine what a beating I take in this family. I give them continuous material ALL DAY LONG.
In fact, I took a pounding the evening before for commenting that I should put the bologna in the fridge. It was in the cooler during the trip from Ohio to South Carolina.
Aunt K: But it was in the cooler.
Aunt K: I don’t want any. Don’t bring it over to my place for lunch.
Cousin: Do you know what’s in bologna?
Daughter: DON’T. I already TOLD you that today!!!!
I’m just there…listening to things go down.
Aunt K: I’m not eating it anyway. It’s been in that cooler for what…12 hours? Is there even any ice in there?
Daughter: It was just about melted.
Aunt K: It’s GOT to be floating in water by now.
Daughter: Yep. It was last time I looked.
Cousin: And anyways, we’re not eating that over here. Bologna is like, mystery meat.
Son: Yeah, they put…
Daughter (who was in fact planning to eat it): STOP!!!
Aunt K: I’m going to have to have a look at that stuff. It can’t even be cold anymore…
Me: ENOUGH about the bologna. I’ll throw it away. I wish I never even bought the bologna.
There is good reason my brother has only been on the family vacation to Hilton Head once. Back many years ago when he was married and his wife (now ex-wife) put him in charge of sunscreen—which he purchased, special for the trip.
Sunscreen is important for my brother because he is one of those pasty white people who burn easily. He didn’t like the sun…even when we were kids.
On Day 1, they were like boiled lobsters. And they just couldn’t understand it. You have never seen anything like the way they slathered on that sunscreen—and with such frequency. None of us were burnt. Puzzled, we asked to see their sunscreen several days later, when they finally made their second trip to the beach. Let’s just say my brother bought tanning lotion, with zero—yes zero sun block in it. This did not make his very, very red wife happy. He has never lived it down.
Then there was the time he went a#@ over teakettle after dropping down into a beach chair. It was a mess—he was all tangled up in the chair, legs in the air, head in the sand…and we did help him…eventually—when we caught our breath and could contain the laughter.
The best thing about my family?
We laugh at ourselves. And we do it a lot. We find humor in most anything.
As I sit typing this my daughter is flinging pillows about looking for bedbugs. Tossing the blankets back. Her face inches from the sheets…This is quite the investigation.
I can tell you one thing. It isn’t going to be pretty for her come morning, when the crew gets a hold of that one.
Again, I need to do all I can to keep the focus on others…
It’s all I’ve got.