Seeking a warmer sun and consolation for our winter condition, we boarded a series of planes and landed in a country to our south, far from the cold and the snow and so much pale. The flights were without incident, though I would add that every time a large tinny cylinder is rocketed above the clouds ladened with bulk purchased gallons of jet fuel to land safely is to cheat death. Still, the flight was comfortable and I was secure in knowing that should the plane crash I would at least die with my entire family, leaving no one orphaned or widowed and in that I took at least some comfort. The people on our journey south were nice, the flyers capable, the person in the chair in front of me only deciding once that it was acceptable to recline their seat back, and by default, the top of their head into my lap. In all, the panic attacks were brief, the hot flashes limited, and the journey from cold to warmth completed in under a day.

It wasn’t the first day, but it was later that I’d be challenged to a game of bags by a local who wore the outfit of a hotel employee. I declined his first invitation and his second, but by his third I was already rotating my arms slowly. I warned him that I was a ringer, and when asked to explain what ringer meant I explained that I was elite in this sport. After I explained with hand gestures and facial expressions what elite and sport meant, the game was on. I quickly fell behind, and his joy was obvious. I was on the brink of losing when I found my rhythm. Steadily I scored and scored and scored, and when it was over I landed the bag in the 15 slot and captured the win. I told my new friend that I wasn’t sandbagging him, that I was really and truly behind and only caught up because I was somewhat lucky. I explained what sandbagging meant, but in the presence of those bags and a beach full of sand my explanation was, in no way, understood.

Later that night, when sitting in our hotel room, my wife ran a comb through my daughters hair. The mix of chlorine and salt and sand had formed her hair into a shell, impenetrable by any comb but whose breach my wife attempted anyway, with downward rips through that hair, eliciting screams from my daughter and a grin from my son. I recalled my bags victory, and bit at my fingernails and crunched the hidden sand between my teeth. Later that night, long after I had showered, and after much tossing and more turning, I jumped from bed to violently sweep my hand across the sheets to rid them of the sand that scratched at my sunburned back.

The next day, while my kids were thrown by the waves and my wife reclined in her shaded chair, my friend from the bags found me. He walked up with a grin, which is what, along with his white outfit he is payed to wear, and asked me to play. Again. Having greatly enjoyed my prior day victory I obliged, and quickly jumped out to a lead. My smiling opponent had narrowed that lead some before I sank the last bag into the 5 slot, claiming victory for a second straight day. We had bet $20 on the prior day match, and in this match we loosely arranged to pay double or nothing, in which case I was immediately due $40. Being gracious, I let it go, because we never defined whose currency we would be paying the prize in, and if it were in his currency I had none present, and if I had my currency and not his, how would be handle the exchange rate? I explained to him what double or nothing meant while he grinned.

At dinner, I crunched down on what I thought was a tortilla chip, but the crunch lingered well beyond the chip and after some consideration I determined it was sand. It might have been from when I was playing bags, or it could have been from when I was with my children and we let the waves push us into shore again and again, or it might have been from the pocket or fingernail of whomever served me those chips, or worse yet, it may have been from the fingernail or pocket of the person that made the chips at the factory, who could tell? Later, I left a tip on the table for our smiling waiter, and my bills had sand on them, some salt, too, but mostly just sand. Later, I woke and swept the bed again.

In the morning, my daughter had sand in her eye. It may have been both eyes, but we just washed water on her face as if it was both eyes. My son had a pile of sand in his swim short pockets, one pile in each. He dumped the sand out on the marble floors. That sand found its way onto my feet, and then in between my feet and my leather shoes, rubbing and causing a commotion while we walked to lunch. My tacos at lunch had tortilla and sand crunch, both gritty and both sticking in my teeth. Later, no one asked me to play bags. Word had gotten around that I was not to be trifled with, and my wife and I wondered if our white-clad friend didn’t come back to pay because he thought I would ask for the $40, in our currency or his, whichever. We sat on the beach, and when the neighboring chair lady shook out her towel, I had sand in my eyes to match the sand in my teeth.

Last night, some days after I have had no sand exposure, I put on a pair of shorts that I must not have worn since we cheated death and flew so high for so long until we were home. The sand spilled onto the kitchen floor and I quickly swept it up, but not before one of my two dogs ran through the pile. Later that night, I heard the dog scratching at his bed wildly and for a very long time. I understand, I thought. I understand.

About the Author

I'm David Curry. I write this blog to educate and entertain those who subscribe to the theory that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is indeed the center of the real estate universe. When I started selling real estate 27 years ago I did so of a desire to one day dominate the activity in the Lake Geneva vacation home market. With over $800,000,000 in sales since January of 2010, that goal is within reach. If I can help you with your Lake Geneva real estate needs, please consider me at your service. Thanks for reading.

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