Friday, June 27, 2014

Sepia Saturday #234: Wading


Here we are, my Dad and I -  up to our ankles in water! I guess that's a good enough match for the prompt this week. My Dad was not exactly in his milieu at the beach.  More comfortable in a suit and tie than bathing trunks, he'd have been far happier with a glass of whiskey in his hand than with the inner tube we're carrying here. From his determined look,  it must have been close to cocktail hour.

Dad never drank before 5 o'clock; that was a hard and fast rule. I have memories of sitting around with him in the kitchen on a Saturday waiting for the hands of the clock to reach 5 so that cocktail hour was ON. I would assist by getting the ice cube tray out of the freezer and putting a few cubes in a glass for him. We didn't just sit and watch the clock in silence; he talked and talked and talked while waiting. Dad was never at a loss for words which I'm sure was a blessing for all of us. He served in both World Wars and if he'd been the silent type and bottled up his emotions,  he might have ended up in the "nut house" as we used to call it. How politically incorrect can you get? The alcohol was palliative (I think in retrospect) and he controlled his consumption.

Most of our old family pictures have my Dad's white ink writing on the front with the date recorded and sometimes the place. Nothing noted on this one, but I'll guess about 1950 from the size of me. Oddly I have few memories of "playing" with my Dad at the beach so this is a very special photo. My beach day memories are of my mother, my sister and myself, who are the main players in the summertime stage play in my head. Mosquitos, fish flies and horse flies are the secondary characters. The whole memory is overlaid with snippets recalled of sun burns slathered with butter or lard to ease the pain; baking powder paste plastered on our bites; skinned knees with scabs we weren't to pick; slivers in our hands from swinging on the wooden fences; wet wool bathing suits scratchy, stretched to the limit by entrapped sand and the ambrosial smell of vintage cooking oil wafting over the "fish and chips" counter while we waited for our weekly treat of skinny french fries, limp with grease, soaked with white vinegar, loaded with salt and served in a newspaper cone. Such happy days!


Jill, Eilleen, Helen

Wade on over to Sepia Saturday for more stories. 

18 comments:

  1. Your dad sounds like a real character. Waiting til 5:00 for his whiskey. I guess that would actually be a good plan. You'd never get too carried away.
    Your beach outings didn't sound like much fun - what with the sunburns, bugs and scabby knees. Maybe the fish and chips made up for the pain.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is amazing to me at how much fun we had despite all discomfort. Above all, the sun was shining and it was warm!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice pictures - one impromptu, one posed, but both full of memories I'm sure. The sunburns I can relate to, & fly bites that itched like crazy, but luckily, mosquitoes don't like me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your memories of your dad.

    I had to google fish flies as the only fish flies I knew were in regard to fly fishing. We have sand flies dragon flies and march flies in Australia but I have never seen or heard of fish flies until now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can smell those french fries!!!
    Thanks for dropping by and visiting me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My memories of family beach holidays are that they were not that great, especially if we were unlucky and struck a wet day or two. We children would be in serious trouble with our Dad if we unintentionally touched the tent wall and water started leaking in!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds uncomfortable but I know that there was more fun than discomfort. Getting out of town to the beach...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks like a great father daughter moment, even if your Dad was eager to get to his whiskey.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Enjoyed your pictures and the memories that go with them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely photos. And it has made me realize I don't think I have a photo of my parents in bathing costumes after they were married - plenty beforehand, but none after. I wonder why.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The first photo really captured your father's movement and your leaning to hang on. I don't think I have any beach photos of my parents.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your dad certainly looks determined. And yes, the physical discomfort of summer and a beach are usually easily forgotten…until you dump the sand out of your shoes all over the floor of the car while you suddenly realize your body feels like it's been roasted on a spit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that roasted on the spit feeling is inextricably bonded to my beach experiences. When I got older and read at the beach, I'd usually have my back side burned to a crisp and a pale white face. Ah, the agony of pulling on pantyhose over those sunburned legs.

      Delete
  13. "It's always 5.00 somewhere else" is a saying I've heard to justify opening the bar early! I'd say he deserved a little reward after playing with an adventurous grand daughter in the water. Beside the sea is the very best place to eat Fish'n'Chips wrapped in paper - doesn't have the same feel the cardboard boxes they come in these days.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have no beach photos of my parents, indeed I only have vague memories of one seaside visit with them. Fish & Chips at Whitby is always a treat for us.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish I had a picture of the day my dad tested the water at the beach, a thing he always did before we went in - checking the temperature, the current, whatever. One day he went running and dived in. When the water receded, he was trenched in the sand like a beached whale. Naturally, being the nice people we are, we were laughing too hysterically to go help him.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You description of your father was poignant. But your description of your day in sunburns and skinned knees, scabs and slivers, scratchy wool suits and skinny fries took me there. Fine post. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Must have been Grand Beach?

    ReplyDelete