Friday, June 29, 2012

in the toes

I think of it nearly every time I'm at a beach, and definitely every time my toes tingle on sun-baked sand. For me, the image is synonymous with summer, and is the clearest memory I have of my grandpa. 

It was a day when you could see the heat sucking steamy vapors out of Okanagan Lake and dancing on the sand. My cousins, sisters, our parents and I splashed and squealed in the water, and grandpa sat in his chair in the shade of a giant pine. His button down short-sleeved shirt, pressed pants and fedora was both anachronistic and comfortably familiar. I imagine he smiled a lot, watching his family enjoy rare time together. 

I wish I had a picture from that day - I
bet my swimsuit was AWESOME
At some point he beckoned a big cousin - or did we dare ask? - to come get some money from Grandpa and get us all ice creams. A small troop of us set out, not content to have our treat selected for us. The searing sand under our feet is a pain I can still feel. We walked as far as we could along the cooler water's edge before dashing across the stretch of beach to the ice cream cart.

We didn't know he'd leave us soon after - that gentle generous poet in the gentleman's hat. And yet he's always with me - in the ringing of an ice cream bell, a line of Irish poetry, the angle of a jaunty hat, and the sand between my toes.
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Write on Edge Prompt:

It’s the first full week of summer here in New England, so to celebrate, take 450 words and write about sand. Whether it be beaches, backyards, or hourglasses, think sandy thoughts and come back on Friday to link up!

14 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing how seemingly insignificant things can withdraw from us the most touching memories? This is a beautiful way to remember him... :)

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    1. Thanks, Alissa - it was a very special day.

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  2. Sounds like he had great style!

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    1. Funny, when I see a man in a fedora now it seems like an affectation, but it's hard for me to pictures him without it.

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  3. awesome post...I teared up a little...

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    1. Me too ;-) Wish you'd had a chance to know my grandpas - they were both wonderful.

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  4. I cried.

    I would give anything for memories of my grandparents (mine passed on before I was born)

    Hold tight, for fortune favors you. This post had so much to love in such a few words. Very well done!

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    1. Thanks, Shelton. I am very blessed with a long-lived and connected family. It's such a miracle to me that my sons have known my grandmothers, one of whom is still with us. :)

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  5. Wonderful post. Apple jelly reminds me of my great grandmother. She made her own from the apples in her orchard. I miss her but it's wonderful to have the memories. Great work.

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    1. MMmmm, I bet your grandmother's apple jelly was wonderful. My grandma had a sweetooth and would make caramel corn without a recipe ... always amazed me.

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  6. Grandparents spoil us, love us and somehow manage to give us the best of our childhood memories! thise voked some good memories of mine. :-)

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    1. Yes, grandparents are a wonderful blessing. So glad this connected you to your own grandparents.

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  7. I love this! This is so sweet and simple. What a great memory!

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