My mother hated sand. She suffered no sand in her house, no sand in her car, no sand stuck between our toes to be tracked inside. I could not understand her intolerance for the small, grainy particles. Granted, she had grownup in the hills of Kentucky, far from the ocean, but we lived within walking distance of Long Island Sound, and my brother and sister and I were sand people, through and through.
When we were little, my mother would take us to the beach, but we knew she was just being a good sport about it, sitting in her chair under the beach umbrella, big-brimmed hat shading her fair freckled face from any ray of sun, and biding her time until we were old enough to walk to the beach ourselves. Then she would greet our return with the garden hose turned on full force to remove every grain of sand from our bodies before we were allowed inside. However, sand inevitably settled in our bathing suits, and we knew enough to stand in the tub to disrobe before we showered and washed the enemy down the drain.
I think about my mother and those sunny, sandy days of summer now that my husband and I live in Virginia Beach. I find sand everywhere. When I open the trunk of my car–sand. When I take the last of the groceries from my shopping bags and peek in the bottom–sand. Sand in my slippers, sand in the sink, sand on my floors and in my drawers. Sand in my chairs and on the stairs. And after a day at the beach, when I crawl into bed at night and stretch out my legs so nicely tanned, what do I find? Sand.