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Carol Perkins: Families love the beach

Previous Column: Oh no, not again

By Carol Perkins

As my friend Connie and I sat in our rented beach chair, relaxing under the umbrella, loud voices approached. Two middle-aged men staked out a spot and parked their wagon. Their mother soon emerged. Dad, pushing through the sand with his prosthetic leg, had fallen behind, but by the time he arrived, the sons had set up his tailgating chair and Mama's beach chair. When I looked at their mother and the low beach chair, I sized up the situation. There was "no way" she could get in or out. (Been there!)

Mama was not a small woman. When she squeezed herself in the chair, it immediately sank. Her bottom imprinted the sand, and her knees were level with her waist. The boys then escorted their dad to his chair. He was trim and fit for his age but struggled to maneuver the sand with his prosthetic leg.

One thing I noticed about most vacationers is their lack of concern about appearance. One of the sons was noticeably confident.

His vast stomach hung over his swim shorts, and he constantly rubbed his belly like a pregnant woman in the final stages. He stood like a peacock for hours, turning to and from the sun.

By the end of the day, when they gathered up their belongings, the dad leaned back to gain momentum to get out of the chair. When he did, the chair fell backward, throwing him with it. His prosthetic leg flew straight up. He rolled over and forced the prosthetic foot into the sand so he could get up with his good knee, but he was stuck. During this time, his sons were "belly" laughing instead of helping him. Eventually, they hooked him under his arms and brought him to his feet.

Mama couldn't get out of the chair. Both sons pushed from behind, but her knees were too high for her to gain traction. The belly guy was ingenious. With a small plastic shovel, he planted himself in front of Mama and dug a ditch/trench. Sand flew behind him. When the gully was deep enough, she placed her feet in it, took his hands, and with the other brother pushing from behind, she stood. She couldn't get her leg high enough to get out, so both boys pulled her up. Finally, with Mama and Dad leading the way, the family left.

The lesson from this is simple. No matter the size or shape, families love the beach and are willing to go no matter their physical limitations. Another lesson, a shirt over a big belly is not a bad idea.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2021-05-13 11:09:43
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