GULF SHORES, Ala. – The six-year-old kid in me is dead. I’m not sure when he died, but he did.
You see, 6-year-olds LOVE the beach and the sand. A day spent turning beet red beneath the broiling Florida sun, playing in the surf and building sand castles is akin to a brief visit to heaven on earth.
Me, however, almost considers it a visit to the opposite end of the afterlife spectrum.
I know. I am officially an old curmudgeonly party-pooper. Don’t get me wrong. I love LOOKING at the beach – searching the seas for various fish, birds and other sea creatures. I also enjoy the fact that people on the beach don’t wear too many clothes (although in some, or many cases, they should).
What I hate is sand – sand in my shoes, sand sticking to EVERY part of my body (even those I try hard to protect), sand in my clothes, my hair and whatever assorted paraphernalia I carry to the beach (including my adult beverages).
My wife and daughters, however, are polar opposites in that respect. I never see them happier than when they first set foot on a sunny beach – probably the same look I display when I arrive at a duck blind.
If I could find a beach without sand, I’d probably love it. And you will find me making rare forays to the beach with a cheap metal detector, or a fishing rod.
Otherwise you can look for me on the balcony or lounging by the chlorine-filled, yet sand-free, swimming pool.