Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beach Chair Madness



   It's 5:30 a.m. and a single beach chair sits alone on a long stretch of beach.  Peaceful?  Not at all. There is craziness behind this picture.  It is sudden onset beach chair madness that drives me. If one waits a minute too late, the entire beachfront will be covered with rental chairs and umbrellas.

   When my alarm went off this morning, shortly after five a.m., I fell out of the bed and landed feet first on the floor, much like a cat.  Wide-eyed and focused, I went straight to work.  My goal was to arrive at the beach before the rental chair company and secure a place in the sand for a family of ten who will follow later with towels, floaties, speakers, a cooler, tropical drinks and maybe a kayak or two.  Space is a hot commodity here and those who wait will take back seat to the ocean front seating.

   By 6:30 a.m., the beach will look like this...

   In the early morning hours, there is a race amongst grandfathers, young men working for the beach chair rental company and one crazed mother.  The grandfathers can be seen setting up large tents and toting multiple chairs at once.  The distance between youth and old age becomes blurred as these family loving men crisscross the beach weighted down with outdoor furnishings, driven by a newly returned strength from their younger days. They look at me. I look at them.  We smile with respect for one another.  It's an early morning acknowledgement that we understand the principles of finite space. Tents and umbrellas pop up along the water's edge as we all work to secure the proper amount of shade for tender skinned babies and those smart enough to stay out of the sun.

   Why do we do this?  For these people...
 

   It is important to have front row seating to watch your children play.  This photo was taken just before one child took a paddle to the face while the other tried to retrieve a jelly fish from the sea. One bloody nose later, I was able to step from my shady spot by the water, assure my child that no stitches were needed and send her back out for more fun in the sun.  Had I been a few rows back, I would have missed it all.