THE UMBRELLA MANA Story by Shari Vaudo
A day at the beach can prove to be anything but...
I believe we are exactly where we’re supposed to be at any given moment, for various reasons; sometimes it’s to learn a lesson, sometimes it’s to help someone, sometimes we don’t ever know why. Sometimes we just have to take from our experience what we can and move on.
I’ve lived in several cities in several states and had some strange experiences; however, I experienced more strange happenings during the time I lived in northern Virginia than all the other places I lived combined.
While living in Virginia, I worked two jobs for about two years so when I was lucky enough to get a precious day off, I wanted to spend it relaxing at the beach. A day at the beach is so rejuvenating; the smell of the fresh ocean air, the vibrant ocean waves lashing against every part of my body, cleansing my very soul from too many weeks of work without time off. The sand molds itself to your body as you allow your concerns to drift away. The sun warms you after being cooled by the blue salt water.
I had taken a weekend off from my part time job so my daughter and I could take a planned drive to the beach.
After stopping at a pancake house in Williamsburg for breakfast and to un-kink our legs, we forged on through the usual heavy summer traffic, on our way to Virginia Beach.
We arrived about eleven a.m., parked the car and walked the block and a half to the shore. We spent the day playing in the surf, tanning on the beach, eating in one of the local eateries and refreshing our spirits.
It was around three o’clock in the afternoon when suddenly and without warning, the sky grew very dark and threatening. The wind went from a gentle breeze to almost gale force, instantly. There were grains of sand flying through the air, making it very difficult to keep our eyes open. We decided to gather up our belongings and get back to the car before the storm hit.
Just as we stood up and began packing up our items, we noticed a multi-colored, open beach umbrella extricate itself from the sand and sail, still open, through the crowded beach; as sun worshipers screamed and ducked as it flew past. Some were grabbing for it as it soared past them, unable to catch it, but they made a valiant effort.
There was a young couple walking along the beach when suddenly the point on the tip of the umbrella pole embedded itself into the chest of the young man, knocking him to the ground with a vengeance. Hid female partner let out a blood curdling scream as she witnessed the horror.
The lifeguards appeared out of nowhere and pulled the umbrella point out of the young man’s chest and began administering First Aid. Within a couple of minutes, the young man was upright, chest bandaged up, smiling and shaking hands with his rescuers. Then, he and his companion were on their way once again.
My daughter and I analyzed our experience for much of the way home. Gradually, as we merged in the heavier traffic typical of northern Virginia, our day at the beach faded into the file cabinets of our memories as the realities and responsibilities of our lives crept back into the day.
© 2012 Shari Vaudo
AboutI am retired and live in Virginia with my husband, also retired. We have two grown children, both married and a beautiful granddaughter, born June 26, 2012. She is the apple of my eye; I just love h.. more..