Forecast was calling for heavy rains today - all day, but when I went outdoors there was a clear blue sky. I love it when they lie like that. I had a few errands to run, put off from yesterday because, well, just because.
Prescription pick-up, and eventually a stop at the liquor store to snag a bottle of a new Merlot (at least around these parts) from a company called Running With Scissors. Honest, that’s the name. There were only a few bottle left, so I bought two, JIC they are really good and not to be easily found here, again.
I was on my next to last stop on my swing around Gayberry; a stop for a few items at the supermarket that couldn’t wait any longer. As I strolled from aisle to aisle I noticed a youngish man, handsome, too, looking kind of frazzled and lost, as it were. Definitely a tourist, probably here on a day trip, I thought.
He had juice boxes and snack crackers in his carriage. I smiled at him and he pounced on me as a friendly kinda guy. “Where is the salad bar, the fruit and vegetable bar? And where can I pick up that 10 piece fried chicken special for $5.99?” Obviously, his first trip to Rehoboth and had - not. one. clue. about the area. Didn’t even know where the beach was. Turns out, he is spending the beach day with his kids, who were sitting quietly on the bench at the front of the store.
While he sort of sputtered, I took him in tow. Explained that there was no salad bar or cut fruit bar, but that he could purchase what he wanted in individual plastic packages and keep them in a cooler. He grabbed containers of watermelon, cantaloupe and mango. The chickens wouldn’t be ready for another 2 hours - in time for lunch - and this was disappointing to him at first. I suggested a couple of long sandwiches, hoagies, or heroes (take your pick of a name) and split them up to share which would hold them over for a while. Also, suggested bottled water. Juice only makes little ones more thirsty.
I got him to buy some fresh peaches, and grapes too. He didn’t have a cooler, so I suggested one of those cheap styrofoam jobs that many folks use once or twice. That a bag of ice would take care of his needs for the day and he could always get more if needed when he picked up the chicken later.
I led him to the paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, etc. Even got him to buy a small paring knife just in case he needed to cut something later on. He was thrilled beyond words and kept thanking me for helping him out, an off he went.
I finished my own shopping and ran into him again as he was putting his purchases in his car. With the help of the little ones, of course. Imagine my surprise when he ran up to me, threw his arms around me, gave me a big bear hug and said “Thank you. You’re the first white man who ever helped me out this way.”
I was taken aback, but I hope it didn’t show. I smiled as his little ones each came up, shook my hand, and gave me a hug, too. What could I say? I was speechless. I asked if he knew where the beach was, he didn’t. He’d just moved to Maryland and Rehoboth Beach was suggested as a “family friendly” town. I told him to get a shitload of quarters, (there’s a bank in the market) which he did immediately. Parking ain’t free, by any means.
I told him to follow me and showed him an easy way into and out of the town, the main street, and then took them to a part of the beach away from crowds of people. Up to the north end of the boardwalk by the breakwater, near the last lifeguard station. It was early enough (and a Tuesday) that he found a good parking spot close to the beach, which made me feel a lot better too. There’s lots of big rocks for the kids to play on and the water isn’t choppy today. Told him the way in was also the way out. He just shook his head and thanked me again.
Don’t know if he’s a single dad, but those kids are incredibly well behaved and well spoken. And beautiful, just like their dad. As I left them the little ones waved while struggling to put up a small beach umbrella in the brisk wind.
As I thought how nice it was to help out with their little adventure I made my last stop of the day - the local book store (the owner place a couple of special orders for me) - before coming back to the apartment. I really feel good, for some reason. I guess it truly is the little things we do that make the biggest difference.
Meanwhile, the site of the implant repair surgery is itching like crazy. I guess that’s a good sign.
And so it goes.