Counting down the days until toes in the sand again. My daughter Sara and family will be heading to Michigan for their lake vacation in a few days. As I browsed through photos of previous fun-in-the-sun times, this shot of her toes transported me to many years earlier.
It was before her time and her father Lou and I were excited for our first oceanside vacation. The morning after we arrived in Panama City Beach, Florida found him fishing right outside our cottage. While I slathered on the sunscreen, he did not. Since he tanned easily and already had a good base from golfing and fishing a bit at home, he thought all would be good with a little dab here and there on nose, toes and shoulders.
Reeling in some big ones (that we shared with a local family) and a puffer fish or two (that we threw back in) was lots of fun when we went deep sea fishing the next day. And exhausting.
Sleep came easily and then he was up bright and early the next morning for some more surf fishing. What he caught was enough for a delicious grill-out dinner before s’mores at sunset. During the night, however, things got uncomfortable and before daybreak we were headed for a nearby Emergency Room.
The little dab of sunscreen hadn’t been enough to keep his feet happy. The lapping tide washed it off easily and then they were unprotected for the rest of each fishing session. Sun blisters covered the tops of each foot like freckles on a tow-headed child’s sweet cheeks. We were sent back to the cottage with cream to ease the pain and instructions to stay out of the sun.
Trooper that he was, Lou wrapped his feet in plastic bags of ice, covered them with a towel and plopped his beach chair in the surf so that his fishing line would still reach the “best spot”. I joined him surfside to sunbathe and read my summer book choices. Walking miles of shoreline smoothed my sunscreened feet (Nature’s pedicure) while he kept his elevated. Cooler nearby and fish jumping on his hook…what could be better than that?
A rousing round or two of beach themed miniature golf, that’s what. The Captain Bill’s win went to me, but I must admit I had an advantage, since hobbling around on his swollen feet zapped some of his strength. But not all of it. He was still able to win me a big stuffed bear at the boardwalk festival before we headed for home after our most memorable vacation ever.
I’d love to support you in capturing your summertime memories of vacations and other fun family moments. Have you shared those with the next generation? Let’s get started today!
Your JOTTINGS for Generations Coach
Capturing Moments That Matter…Energizing Your Reminiscence…Passing It On!