Beach Memories

When I was a boy of about age ten,
my family had precious little money back then.
However, driving from Macon over to Savannah Beach
was a vacation within our family’s financial reach.

Now, as a grandfather at age fifty-seven,
that beach vacation seems like Heaven.
So many fond memories fill my mind,
a cheap week at the beach seems just fine.

I recall diving into the crashing surf,
caught in an undertow, swimming for all I was worth.
Mom and I got up each dawn to collect shells;
even if we found few, we spent the time well.

The family took long walks along the sandy beach,
where the fiddler crabs would keep just out of reach.
We built sand castles at least three feet high,
knowing the tide would swallow them by and by.

We caught blue crabs with string, meat, and a net.
The stench of them boiling I can smell yet!
The beach added many happy memories to my boyhood,
so that I wouldn’t have changed a thing, even if I could.

(Oh! There’s one more memory of that trip to tell about.
Mom, who’d gone to take a bath, suddenly let out a shout.
Then she ran screaming, buck naked out into the hall.
Next Dad was cursing, using the bad words all.
My sister and I watched in wide-eyed amazement, I’d say,
since in our entire lives we never saw Mom naked or heard
Dad curse but once - both in the same ten seconds that day!)

[ASIDE: Our bath at home had only a tub, no shower. That beach
apartment had the tub with the lever you lift to convert from tub to
shower. Mom had gotten ready to step into the tub, leaned over and
turned the water on, only to have a blast of cold water from the
showerhead drench her head and back. She panicked and ran out
screaming into the hall calling for Dad. Once he assessed the situation,
he ‘suggested’ she could have simply pushed the lever down herself.
My sister and I thought it was the greatest scene we’d ever witnessed!]

Harry Edward Gilleland      04.30.02