Monday Morning Musings:
“Like as waves make towards the pebbled shore,
so do our minutes, hasten to their end.”
William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 60”
“The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbable ideas it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit.”
–Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
Fantastically, wildly improbable,
but worthy of consideration,
a plan to get my mom to the beach for the day.
A notion hatched by H.
on Saturday afternoon, for the next day.
Younger daughter and I already had plans
because we like things set in advance,
definite, not tentative,
we decide to go along with this wildly improbable,
but worthy of consideration idea,
despite the weather forecast.
Isn’t it supposed to thunderstorm?
(My first question to H.)
Texts and phone calls back and forth.
“Jewish guilt will always force a change in plans.”
(Daughter says to me.)
So plans evolve.
We’ll travel in the morning,
have lunch there
and return home early to avoid the traffic.
Husband and I will still get together
with daughter and her husband later for dinner.
A horrible, wonderful, wildly improbable idea,
a beach day for my mom.
Three cars from three destinations travel to Ocean City, NJ.
It’s a Seinfeld episode,
or any sitcom,
the human comedy,
the comedy of errors
What could possibly go wrong?
My husband and I are the first to arrive in Ocean City.
We drive around, looking for a place to park the car.
The downpour begins.
I text the others
We’re sitting in the car
Waiting for the rain to stop.
Trying to be optimistic.
Oh, I hear thunder now.
There’s a flood watch in effect.
But the skies clear,
the sun comes out
and my husband and I walk to the beach.
The sun is shining.
The beach looks washed and clean.
It is beautiful.
Daughter and her husband arrive.
They have met
H., her family, and my mom,
who have decided to walk on the boardwalk.
They will have lunch there.
We have packed our lunch,
but I expect we’ll see them soon.
Daughter and I walk on the beach,
walk and talk,
gazing at the ocean
looking at the gulls,
the little boy who wanders in circles,
shovel in hand,
smile on face,
I keep expecting H. to text me
so we can help them
get my mom onto the beach.
I don’t want them to miss this beautiful day.
But no text.
We return to our beach chairs.
Daughter sits down with half a PB&J sandwich,
she takes one bite,
I hear a scream,
a gull has snatched the sandwich from her hand.
Scary, but kind of amazing.
We wait for H.,
and watch dark clouds moving in.
We wonder where they are,
she hasn’t answered the texts.
It’s getting close to when we planned to leave.
A beach checker comes by.
Do you have beach tags?
We decide to pack up,
and wait for H and family on the boardwalk.
Daughter sees them then–of course.
H. has paid for a special wheelchair contraption to get my mom onto the beach.
My mom can’t get into it.
So my mom holds H’s arm on one side
mine on the other, and
we begin a slow walk over sand,
a few feet that seem like miles.
H’s husband sets up their umbrella and chairs,
and it begins to rain.
My husband and daughter have packed up our things.
We leave my mom with H’s family on the beach,
but it stops raining.
at least for a time.
In the evening, after showers and rest
my husband and I eat pizza and drink wine
with our daughter and her husband,
dog and cat sitting with us companionably.
We watch an old Star Trek movie,
it also involves fantastically, wildly impossible ideas,
but we know Captain Picard and his crew will triumph over
the creepy Borg Queen,
love, friendship, kindness, and creativity
humanity will be saved
a comforting thought.
I haven’t heard yet what happened
with H., her family, and my mom.
I hope they had a great time on the beach.
It’s a fantastically, improbable idea
but one worthy of consideration.