Scott waited impatiently as he skipped pebbles into the Atlantic Ocean. Not his fault being the fastest runner got him here first.
"Hurry up," Scott muttered looking up at several dark clouds playing leapfrog across the sky.
"Finally," he grinned. Jumping to his feet, he watched Uncle Larry lead a group of children from their family re-union campground.
As usual Troy was running ahead, always wanting to be first. Ha, not now.
Scott's older brother Pete was here too, along with two cousins, Joan and William. Pete was going to Dalhousie University in Halifax next month.
"All right," Uncle Larry said. "Now that we're all together, take time to look around. We might discover a little history by the seashore. No more running ahead, Scott," he added.
The Trenholm family had gathered once more at Cape Spear near Port Elgin, New Brunswick. Relatives had come mostly from Nova Scotia, PEI, and Ontario.
And this hike was a chance for cousins to have a little fun. Besides, they needed a chance to escape from mushy hugs and kisses.
The sky was now a dull blue. And the wind began to huff noisily across the pebbly beach. This kept the group in a huddle, conversations all going at once.
"Uncle Larry, would you carry my sandals?" Seven-year old Joan asked.
Scott didn't like the way she tried to take over. It was his turn to get a little extra attention. At school no one ever noticed him. But here, well...it was his turn.
"The magic word?" Uncle Larry asked.
"Please," she said, eyes rolling.
"Alright Joan. I'll carry them for you."
Scott shook his head and squinted as the sun shone on his tanned features. His brow puckered in concentration. The shoreline now received a thorough going over from the children. Nothing was missed.
Scott's eager rush brought him to some broken object. Hanging from one end was a piece of rope. "What's this?" he asked.
"It's a Bobber," Pete answered. "Once it was used with a lobster trap. It floats and marks the spot, so fisherman can recover it later. In fact this shoreline still attracts a few boats to harvest those crustaceans. Anyone here like to eat lobster?" he asked.
"Yummy," everyone agreed.
"My brother's really smart," Scott said to himself with pride. Pete lived most of his young life on the Cape Spear Shore before their parents moved to Truro, Nova Scotia. And he should know about these things.
It's sad, he thought, so many people also moved away to other cities like Sackville, Moncton and Amherst.
"Look at that!" Feet chased after Scott as he pointed to a bright green rock imbedded in the sand.
"That's just a piece of rock. No good for nothin'," bellowed Troy.
"Come on Troy," Uncle Larry said patiently. "Take a good look at what Scott found. Use your powers of observation. You might learn something really interesting." Each person examined the narrow green object. Its edges were smooth as if someone filed them down.
"It's a neat piece of glass," said Pete. "Good work, Scott."
Scott felt special as everyone looked at his discovered treasure. This was a moment of glory. And he loved it.
"Sharp edges were worn down by friction," Uncle Larry said, passing it around. "Think of how many years it must have tumbled back and forth with the waves to get to this stage."
It was hot and Scott had a great suggestion. "Lets go in for a dip." The idea made a lot of sense. The day had turned very warm with white sand underfoot.
As uncle Larry nodded yes, shouts of "YAYYY!" led everyone's charge into the ocean. Joan and Scott were tied for first and their shorts and jeans were quickly soaked.
"YIPES! It's too cold!" several decided. Maybe this swim wasn't such a good idea.
"Last one out gets eaten up by lobsters!" Troy shouted. And the whole band of adventurers returned to shore. Uncle Larry couldn't coax them back into the water.
"No way. Too cold," they said as they dried themselves off with warm towels.
"How about a story?" Scott asked.
"Alright," Uncle Larry said. "Each pick up a piece of driftwood for a chair and make a little campfire circle."
Then he began... "One day a brother and sister were on a beach. Just like this one," he said. "Except it was dark and they were lost. They walked a long way along the shore until they came to a deserted fisherman's house..."
"Why didn't they just go home?" Troy interrupted.
"SSHHH!" said Scott. "It's a story, silly."
"and a loud Rapping sound led them upstairs to one of the rooms," uncle Larry continued. "In one drawer, they foundWRAPPING PAPER!!" he suddenly screamed. Everyone gasped and fell backyards into the sand.
"What a corny ending," Troy said, watching the others laughing and rolling around on the sand.
But Scott had fun. It was neat being here in a circle with everyone by the Atlantic Ocean. And Joan seemed to enjoy the surprise ending too. Yes, he thought scratching his chin they were having a great time.
This was more fun than watching a video movie. Or eating a bag of salted chips.
By now the tide had begun to move out. And everyone, including uncle Larry and Pete ran around stamping bare feet in shallow pools of water left behind.
"Hey, look at here," Uncle Larry said suddenly, bending down. He reached under a clump of seaweed and brought out a handful of 'Krill' or tiny shrimp.
"Whales eat these in huge gulps," he said. The 'Krill' looked like tiny pink spiders.
Then he pointed to large clams called 'Bar Clams' scattered along the beach. Smaller 'Sea Clams' were more numerous and many of them had been forced open by hungry sea gulls.
"More treasures from Nature," Scott said proudly. He leaned forward and picked up some souvenir shells to show mom and dad. Dark Mussels, another type of clam were in bunches. They hid among water-drenched foliage.
No matter where they searched, something special made itself known. Scott's eyes were large with each new discovery.
Soon, parents were calling, "Troy! Scott! Joan!" It was time for everyone to return to the family campsite. Each raced back with answering cries of, "Coming!"
Uncle Larry and Pete stood for a few moments. They were lost in thought watching children rush off.
Scott turned and yelled, "Thanks guys!" Then he was gone, not really caring if he lost this race. He had a fun time. The ocean remained calm as the afternoon came to a close.
"Race you back!" Both adults hollered like children as they chased after Scott, determined to beat him to the supper table.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2008
NOTE: This is a fictionalized account of the family get-together held in the same place and time, as recorded in the story. R&E
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.