Snail Trails

Sunday July 29th

As I typed the title for Saturday’s post,I accidentally reversed the two vowels in the word trails. I suppose trials would also be an apt title from the viewpoint of the tide stranded snails we discovered. A Day of Discovery would describe the day as well. The children were busy discovering, the contents of the shed: beach toys, flippers, floating basketball hoop, bicycles with flat tires that must wait for Jason’s arrival and sea life of course.

We walked along the beach with the children mid-morning as the tide was receding. The rocky shoreline now spread into large flats of sand. I noticed an interesting pattern, like a tiny path left by a snow plow in the sand. Looking closer I saw it was a trail, left by a snail as it made its slow way back to the ocean water that had left it stranded. We watched as the tiny head and claws(?) reached forward from the shell to drag itself towards the water. The rapt interest of the snails plight turned to action, Leah and Ethan took it on themselves to rescue the stranded creatures, well as many as they could, until they lost interest in the project. We discovered tide pools, mostly tide puddles, among the rocks and the next project was to create waterfalls to send the stranded water back to the ocean.

The tide of course continued to recede and it left the dock stranded and tipped on several exposed rocks. What once had seemed like a long swim, now presented itself as an easy walk. Mandy and Ethan took a walk on the exposed sandbars in the cove which turned into a half mile run. Emma and Leah began digging and building and Ethan soon joined them, creating several pools with a canal between. Mandy and I dragged chairs onto the beach and were content to sit and read. Except every paragraph or less, I had to look up and out and simply watch. The water, the birds, a dog racing along the sandbars, clouds forming, floating, dispersing and forming again, the kids digging and making trails of their own on the beach, what I watched hardly mattered.

And then there were/are the people in the beach house next to us. They are not noisy or disruptive. They are there and close enough to let me ease drop. It is two families with three children between them. The littlest girl they let run around outside naked. She just turned three today, I could hear them singing happy birthday to her this morning as I drank my coffee on the back deck. The chorus of voices chanting, “are we one, are we two, are we THREE?” was a clear give-a-way.  Anyway yesterday the mom came out and ‘suggested’ clothes might be a good choice to keep her from getting sunburned. What the little girl said I could not hear, but the mom did manage to place a sunhat on her head. That was the extent of the clothing. Shades of our old Cambridge neighbor, Rosy! Interestingly enough this morning all the kids ran to the edge of the beach, the girl included, in pajamas! Apparently while the day is clothing optional, the nights are not.

After lunch Mandy and the children napped. I lay down to read and was out for about 20 minutes, woke up with the opening paragraphs of a story in my head and spent an hour on the computer. When they got up we played a game of Thirteen on the picnic table and then cleaned up the beach and yard. We had to go into Charlottetown to pick up Jason and Joey from the airport.

We drove along the coast, stopped at two lighthouses and stopped at a dairy bar for supper. All the dairy is produced on the island. The ice cream I had for dessert was delicious, shades of Babcock Hall delicious.

Mandy needed to do some grocery shopping for the week so we found a large grocery store. The kids opted to stay in the car and watch movies as opposed to enduring the ordeal of shopping with Mom. It turned out to be a wise choice. We were done with the movie, had gotten to and over the kicking seat, saying outrageous and gross things and were on the third round of the game, The Bear went over the Mountain, also and excuse for outrageous and gross things, before she emerged.

Shopping in a foreign land is a trial and she most likely left a trail of rolled eyes and exasperated sighs behind her. How much is half a pound in grams? What is their name for hard salami? How come in the US the produce is a product of Mexico and the Canadian produce is marked from the US? Where is all the locally grown stuff the guide book recommends? And WHY was she struggling in a strange store to find the stuff she needed for two recipes featuring island favorites?

We were still an hour at least from plane arrival and we headed north out of Charlottetown to Brackley Beach on the North Shore. It was a fairly short drive and we had about half an hour to enjoy the sight of the Atlantic and a beautiful sand beach. Here the sand while it had a red tint, was not the heavy red of the beaches along the strait. We also saw three of the sixty-two light houses on the island.

Another wait in the parking lot for the plane to arrive. Emma and Ethan went in with Mandy to the airport but soon returned. There was NOTHING to DO in there. Jason and Joey came at last. Security had to take them and Mandy aside and be certain that Jason had permission from her as the mom to be bringing Joey out of the US. He was suppose to be traveling with a note from Amanda.

Back to the beach house and quickly to bed. There will be a cleanly rinsed beach and more trails to follow in the morning.