You know living near the beach in a freaking hot country brings its own kind of problems. (You may need to get a hanky for this one, or have a friend there to hold you while you weep.)
In Canada, we worry about things like, "if you don't put enough socks on when you go outside, you could lose all your toes to frostbite." Then you end up with stumps and you walk funny. People always blamed the cowboy boots and riding horses for the funny way cowboys walk, but the truth is they didn't listen to their moms, lost their toes to frostbite and now have stumps to walk on. You try walking in Cowboy boots with stumps and see how funny you look. (Please feel free to give a big shout out to moms here and the fact they do, indeed, know it all and should be obeyed. Not MY mom necessarily, but me .. as a mom…)
And when your toes are freezing to death and turning black, you actually don't feel it … because your toes are frozen … so it is like your mouth after needles at the dentist, nature appears to be gently taking you in her loving arms (despite the fact she is a mom too and you disrespected your mom by not listening to her, she is so benevolent that she holds you anyway) and shields you from the pain. She even does it without a needle jab that takes away from the "painless" part of their advertising because the needles themselves hurt like hell but somewhere someone sees logic in saying, "let us stick you over and over again with this huge sharp metal, in places in your mouth where we are probably poking bone, so that we can keep you from pain." Ya, you are out there tobogganing and snowmobiling and having a great time and someone says, "hey Bliss, how are your toes?" You can't feel them so being as you tucked them into socks and a boot, you say, "they feel great." It is only when you go home and take your socks off and see these blackened lumps attached to your foot, and then they begin to thaw, that you realize that all mothers stick together and Mother Nature was just playing with you in a really sick, sadistic kind of way. And then your mom follows you around while you are crawling around on the floor, trying to crawl out of your body and escape the pain saying, "I told you so. Why don't you kids ever listen to me?" Even when you have a slight freeze, if you are stupid enough to stick your hands in warm water thinking, "I am so cold, I want my hands warm now!" you will learn about pain that can blow your mind.
That is what life prepared me for. I was raised by stump people, so basically, what the heck did I know about beach sand?
I do now.
I trotted after hubby as he walked out to the water. I had my special shoes on for swimming. They quickly filled with sand and were half on and half off my feet. Sand drifts are much less fluffy than snow drifts and unlike boots which can keep snow out, sand gets in everywhere. I tried to walk with them sliding this way and that and the sand was getting deeper and deeper and my shoes would not even say on my feet. So I took my shoes off.
Then about half way between the car and the water I felt the burn on that really tender part of the foot that normally never touches the ground … and the more I ran, the more the sand seemed to mold itself to that exact spot. I tried to put the shoes back on but I was standing out in the middle of a whole desert of sand that had been in the sun for a bazillion years and that sand was so hot that I could feel it through the shoes and when it flowed into the shoes they just held the heat right against the spot. I took them off again and looked at the car, looked at the water and panicked. I could run to the water and cool them or run back to the car and cry. And then everything got blurry and I guess I ran to the water because I came to with my feet steaming in the ocean.
Hubby wanted to know what was wrong. I looked at his feet and hated him.
And I tried to enjoy my day at the beach, I really did.
But I couldn't let go of the knowledge I had to walk back across the sand to get to the car and I was not sure the blisters on my arches were going to withstand sand ripping them open and pushing its freaking hotness against the raw skin.
I am beginning to think there may be some organic type reasoning behind why Australians drink as much as they do - snakes, sharks, spider and sand …..
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