If You Fail to Plan
A Mystery


I love swimming in the ocean; I really do! Actually, I guess it's not so much "swimming" as "splashing, jumping waves, and floating".

I like to sit on the beach and get nice and hot, then stand at the edge of the water as the surf comes in and soaks my feet. I creep forward until the surf is high enough to soak my thighs, then I run into the sea. If I'm lucky I don't have to dive through a breaker, but that's okay too.

I commence to floating and jumping over the waves. When they start to break and white water begins to bubble over the top, I have to decide whether to risk getting slapped in the face with the top of the wave or just dive through. Either way is fine!

I usually stay in until my fingers go pruney.

When leaving the water, I wait for a wave and let it propel me forward the first several feet, then scramble out ahead of the next breaker. Most of the time I make it.

Last weekend I didn't.

The "let a wave propel me forward" worked just fine; the scrambling, however, did not. I was almost out of danger when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a big wave start to break. I knew, with complete certainty, that I was going to get thumped. I had enough time to close my eyes and take a deep breath. The wave knocked me flat on my face into the roaring surf where I got dragged and corkscrewed up to the shore. I tried to get up; a new breaker pushed me back down. My sister tried to help me up but the next wave pulled her down too.
Every time I tried to get up, the strong ebb of the surf pulled me back. I finally had to crawl out of the surf and on to the beach. All this time, the lifeguard sat on his perch, not noticing my epic struggle.

I plopped into the beach chair with a towel and caught my breath.

I then discovered that my hair was full of sand. My ears were full of sand. Even my nose was full of sand! I finger-combed my hair and dug as much sand out of my ears and nose as I could without looking like a classless rube.

A school of dolphin swam close to shore, leaping and playing in the water. Watching them was lovely!

Shortly afterward we went back to the house to clean up and get ready for dinner. I called dibs on the shower and went directly to it. I kept my bathing on, planning to peel it off and rinse it out in the shower. As I did that, huge globs of sand plopped out into the tub, way too much to let it go down the drain. Finally, after much washing, I was mostly sand free. The bathtub, however, was not.

Jul 28, 2016
All of this came out of my bathing suit.

Mind you, this was not a single layer of sand. I had to use a little sand shovel to move it to that pail.

But at least, almost a week of showers and shampoos later, I think I have finally gotten all of the sand out of my hair, nose, and ears.