There’s a lake near where we live, and the landlady claims you can get to the water in ten minutes (although the beach access is further away). So yesterday afternoon we decided to go for a walk and find it.
You can indeed get to the water’s edge in ten minutes, although it’s not very accessible, particularly for pregnant women and small children. A long series of paths runs the length of the lake and eventually leads to the road, and the public access beach. We walked for almost 45 minutes enjoying the beautiful scenery, pointing out plants to Tempest and watching her flirt with every jogger who ran by. She insisted on wearing her white princess dress and mock-birkenstock sandals for this nature walk. She originally brought a stuffed rabbit with her, but eventually her and Curtis ran ahead and she handed off the rabbit to mom.

She and I lagged behind, eventually losing ten minutes or more to Tempest and Curtis. We were still searching for the beach access, so I pulled a man aside when he passed us on the path.
“Excuse me, where’s the beach access?” I asked.
He started to answer me, but then stared at my mom and began to stammer. I wasn’t quite sure what his problem was. He had a very thick accent so I wondered if advanced English wasn’t his best subject. Finally he told us that the beach was about ten more minutes down the path.
As he left around the corner my mom nudged me. “He kept staring at me, and then looking down, and looking at me…” she said, “He had the oddest look on his face. I forgot – I’m still clutching Tempest’s rabbit.”
I laughed at her and she thrust it at me, “Here! You carry it for a while!”
“No way! If you keep cuddling it people will think I’m such a nice daughter; out for a walk with my mentally impaired mother.”
“I take my wabbit everywhere.”
“Sucking your thumb would really make the image complete.”
“Oh, shut up.”

We reached the access around 5:30 and realized it was actually a really nice-looking beach. Tempest was inappropriately dressed for swimming, but desperately wanted to go in. We let her wade in with her diaper still on; it was also getting cooler outside so I didn’t want her soaking wet.



She threw a royal tantrum when we had to leave: she desperately wanted to go swimming. We promised her we’d go the next day for a real swim, with towels and bathing suits and everything, and she liked that arrangement. Curtis carried her home on his shoulders ahead of us and mom and I struggled to distract ourselves from the pain of totally overdoing it. I made smalltalk with her about random subjects after we both realized our hips were going numb.
“It’s nice to have someplace to talk a really nice walk that’s close by. When the baby gets colicky I have an escape route to go on with her.”
“… and a place to walk when I go into early labour, although I’d be a little afraid to start out on the path.”
“Why’s that?”
“Well, my labour with Jericho was only about two hours, really. I’d be worried that I’d start getting my twinges and think, ‘gee, this could be labour – how about I take a walk and help it along?’ and get thirty minutes out here and end up giving birth on the path!”
She laughed. “That would be kind of fun, though.”
“Then the trick is getting back home without anyone noticing and calling 911. I’d never leave the house without warm blankets and a change of underwear.”
She mimicked a conversation, “Aww, what a cute baby, how old?”
I answered, “About three minutes, I just had her on the path back there. Watch out, it’s slippery!”

We were dead by the time we got home. Almost literally. I went to bed early and woke up at 5am from a dream that a monkey was biting me and realized my leg and hip were in excruciating pain. I hobbled to the bathroom and took extra strength Tylenol and prayed for relief. It was so bad I got delirious and imagined waking Curtis and having him drive me to the hospital for Demerol and morphine. I ended up falling back to sleep a half hour later and by real morning it was at an acceptable level.
Curtis decided we should drive to the beach today instead of walk, given the condition of mom and I after pushing ourselves a tad too far.
During Tempest’s nap Curtis and I went down and paid bills. Woo for some money! I also mailed the soap packages for four people. For the first of you who paid: I’m sorry for the delay, I was waiting on two e-checks to clear before sending them all off at once instead of making four different trips and four different money transfers out of my Paypal. Suffice to say, those of you who got supplemental orders you should have them in 3-7 days if you’re in the USA and within two weeks everywhere else.

When Tempest woke up we ate a quick lunch and went to the beach. We were there for hours. It was great. Tempest ran in circles with other kids and splashed in the water.
About an hour in she walked up to a little girl walking with her younger sister. The older one was about five, the younger was maybe one. The older one told Tempest to take the baby’s hand and help lead her down the beach. The older girl occasionally tugged on her to get her to move faster. When Tempest copied her the mother came over to me and complained, then also complained when she tried to play with the ball that her husband HANDED TO HER to play with not five minutes earlier. Other than Mrs. Mom being annoying, it was lovely. I took a load of pictures, none of which are particularly stunning because it’s hard to get good photos on a crowded beach.






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