If I am going to stay, I need a list. I see that now, why am I staying? For what?
That needs to be documented reason and a well thought out one. Over the next year, my well-being is critical, if here serves the purpose, than so be it. Ahh, I would write more freely right now, yet I am tired. Exhuasted as thought the last week has just caught up to me. Two hard days of tearing down and packing in Matthis. Three days of cleaning the car at mustang island. Followed by two nights of sleeping in my car, then a very full day today.
Moments after I clicked publish on the last post, Erin drove up and greeted me with a hello and a gift.
I think she values new friends. So do I and I returned her favor with another gift. Sadly I’m not as thoughtful, and in my condition, the best gifts I can give are green gift cards. Was hoping she would do something nice with it.
We talked for a while and it came time for me to take a walk and I invited her to join me, which she did.
With conversation and my metal detector in hand (dual joys of finding gold and also camouflaging my walking issues,) the walking went especially well, slow and relaxed. I was really nice to have someone to walk with, and she happily walked at my pace, often pausing to rest and converse.
On the walk down I noticed that the beach was very busy today and filled with a range of children, being Monday, I asked Erin about the schooling in the area, I though perhaps a year round schedule gave a mid winter break. Her guess was homeschooling, these being the children free of public education.
I am really tired, it’s only nine forty three, yet I’m going to go quick so I don’t fall asleep!
A bit down the beach we ran into a bunch of boys. One asked me about my metal detector, and if I’d found treasure yet. I was quick to respond with a quick story, (with no details!) have found a penny (actually, I just missed an important detail, at the beginning of our walk, I found another penny today) and showed him my recent score. I even offered him my treasure – the penny from my open hand. He declined.
I learned that they were all college students with the day off to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day. I thanked them for celebrating responsibly, as their adult beverages were all in cans, and at least one of them was having a little less fun, he seemed tasked with ensure the safety of the bunch. I could write ten more paragraphs about this interaction, yet I won’t, the next one was much better. However, in a good conversation, it’s hard not to share something.
One of the boys, a well built young man with a toned athletic frame (topless, at the beach..) screamed sports. I asked if he played ball. State Champs in two thousand and twenty two at London Highschool right here in Corpus Christi- with the bravado of youthful – well earned – pride. Feeling sporty myself, I jabbed back with Lumen Christi’s State records over the last thirty years. He was impressed and also let me know that they had also done just as well in baseball- all of them, as he motioned to his friends – the class of twenty two was something special.
Also, back to this Texas being polite thing, it is holding true. One of the boys, with a red beard that reminded me of someone from Parma/Western area was having his own well spirited fun, yet altogether him, and each of the rest were most polite and seemed to end most of their sentences with ‘sir’. On down the beach.
Erin and I have a lot in common, she has endured pain to the point of collapse and she has found her own way out of it, her own journey. After we had turned around and on the way back, we wandered closer to the water. Walking barefoot in the sand has been great, yet exhausting, it makes so much more of my leg work. Walking with my feet in the water was absolutely amazing too, it felt like my very first time.
We ran into two young women walking with two young children, a maybe eighteen month old adorable toddling girl and a four year old boy with blonde wavy hair. The little girl greeted us with “hello” and the cutest baby smile you can imagine. I slouched and shortened myself and gave that little one my biggest smile and hello to you too! The boy (her brother?) went to business with his words – “What is that?” pointing to my metal detector.
Answering with my smile still in place, I told him it was a metal detector – yet those words were right over his head, a concise explanation did not help. Looking at the moms (the two ladies, not sure if one was mom, other was friend, or maybe the children were friend, not siblings..doesn’t matter) to gauge their reaction to my interactions, I asked if I could continue with a demonstration. Consent granted, I slouched a bit more (I didn’t dare take a knee and leave the wrong impressions if I couldn’t get back up.)
Taking the recent found penny (the first I’ll likely save for a very long time, it’s in a safe place with my little cross now,) the one with no value to the older boy a few minutes earlier, I pressed it an inch into the sand and handed the detector over to the child. A bit much for him, I left my hand on it guiding it side to side until it beeped – that excited him. Telling him what it did, did nothing. Letting him learn what I did meant everything. The beep now gone as it only detects when in motion, asked if he knew how to use it now to find treasure?
His eyes and his face lit up as I pulled my hand away, and his second arm came up to strengthen his grip (it is four point seven pounds,) and he hovered it side to side inches off the ground perfectly (I had adjusted the detector head for the angle from his height) until he heard the beep more, and really zeroed in on the penny to hear the constant beep.
I asked if he knew what to do with buried treasure- a miniature forehead wrinkle then- “do we dig it up?”
I said, well yes, but first you need to ask your mom if it’s okay to get a little dirty. He looked at her, so excited, “mom, can I get a little dirty?” The two friends, just standing and watched, easily to tell they were enjoying this too, quick okay’ed his request and he looked back for his target. Do you remember where it is, offering him the detector again.
“Nope, I got it, right as he looked as his mark and dug in with both hands to find his penny. (I hadn’t showed him as I buried it.. tried to be a bit sneaky even.) To say this very young man was excited could be then understatement of the year.
Do you want to keep your buried treasure that you found with a metal detector?
His whole body nodded yes and it was his, tightly clenched in his fist- I could only hope that penny made it home and becomes a special trinket for him. A quick conversation with the ladies, explaining my new purchase a few days ago, and how much gold I have found with it. Giving that boy a detecting lesson and a penny just paid for my entire investment in this tool. The moms thanked me for my time and we continued on.
Walking away, Erin commented on how nice that was, and I told her more about the gold I seek. Yet, she had also told me when she returned, that she had read my website – including what I wrote about her when I thanked her for her surprise return “after what you said about me..” she had joked.
I told what I have learned about how important our interactions with children are, even as strangers. My best smiles and sincere exchanges only with young children.. one of those “when a five year hands you a toy telephone and says it’s for you – you take it and say hello” kind of things. It is important that children are not raised to fear the world – or even the strangers in it. Rather see the world as an open and beautiful place ready to be explored, with their parents permission.
Our walk ended back at our cars, and some more conversation as Erin departed.
I am so tired, ten thirty two. Packing up my car and checking the air pressure all around (still no new rims, lol.) I kept noticing repeatedly a young woman to my left. A pretty college aged brunette alone with her surfboard. Yes pretty, yet I was not ‘attracted’ to her, yet, my eyes kept noticing her on my left, each time as if she had just walked up. My peripherals just kept re-alerting me to her presence.
And I think I’m figuring out why, she reminded me of Allie. Not Allie in a memory from the past, rather a what if.. what she would be like now. The third time, afraid she would notice my glances as be put off by them, I stood and walked a few feet closer (of about a thirty foot distance) and asked about the water. How do you know when the surf is good I asked.
It is odd I think – well firstly that they surf at all in Texas- I feel completely uneducated about the state, yes I am and have always been aware of the gulf, yet every notion I had about this state in my mind was geared (and fulfilled) in Mathis. I never considered the ‘beach life’ here… yet the surfers are not here every day, yet when they come, they all come.
An app. That’s it, I asked a few more questions about surfing, how to learn, where to start. It does interest me, yet I know I’m a ways off from it still. Her name is Kennedy. In the beginning I could tell her radar was up, yet after a minute or two, she was more smily and super friendly. So much like Allie would be. My littlest sister has been gone six years now, and my mind or eyes or whatever it is, still makes me think I see her. Another “problem”? I don’t know, it makes me feel weird to keep noticing someone that way. So my new solution, say hello.
I don’t want this to go away necessarily, yet the hello means I can stare at them for as long as I can hold a conversation. Real nice girl, student at the local college and has taught herself how to surf in only two years. A skydive story or two and an explanation of my interest in surfing, led to directions to a local surf shop that rents boards to beginnings. Ha.. when walking become too easy, I’ll learn to surf if I stay here. I could have kept talking all night, she was pretty or easy to look at, one might say, yet I was not looking at parts of her, rather all of her. A person that reminded me of another person.
My mental popcorn timer went off and I thanked her for her time and apologized for the interruption, no problem at all she said and wished me good luck on the PT and surfing.
All together, a good day, a very good day. I feel good. Went to walmart, not so much that I needed anything but a long walk on a solid surface and holding a cart is nice to let me focus on my feet. Ate a steak, drank a beer, wrote this post.
Tomorrow, the “stay here” list, whatever that means.. sometime the assignment comes before the words. I may have to find a quiet place tomorrow. Today was great, yet I feel poured out, I might take a day off from beach life and find a place to hide and rest.
Time to rest.