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Narrative nonfiction

Beach History

Harmful UV rays my butt, in Toronto we get three months of summer (if that) and I’m milking it! So this past long weekend I dedicated myself to exposing my pasty skin to the sun. A few friends and I cruised down to Woodbine Beach and then proceeded to spend about 45 minutes of precious tanning time looking for a parking spot…turned out, half of Toronto chose the same day and beach to recover from their sun withdrawal.

Finally, we were laying out our towels on the pebbled shore (nope, white sand isn’t good enough for OUR lake!). I lathered on my sun protector and sprayed my tanning oil over top…ok, so I am a little health conscious. There I was, relaxed, feeling the sun’s warmth against my skin and in great company. Something was still missing…

I reached into my beach bag and retrieved my phone. Perfect. Now I felt complete. I was away from all the stresses of life, but still completely connected to the world as long as I had my cell. “Hey, you’re blocking the sun with that thing.” I had held my phone up to check for messages and my friend was now frantically waving away the shadow I was casting over her face. I threw it back into my bag. We continued basking in the sunshine. A few minutes later, I pulled out my phone again, this time lowering it closer to my face as to avoid my friend’s protests. “You girls are ridiculous with those things,” another friend complained. As I turned to my right, I realized all three of us ladies lay there in a row, phone in hand. Our friend continued, “Back in the time of slavery in the US, plantation owners would tie a ball and chain to their slaves’ ankles so that they wouldn’t escape…” At this point, I’m thinking, why are we even going there? This is supposed to be a superficial experience, my brain is on vacation! He continued to explain that this ball and chain symbolized the fact that these people were to be enslaved for the rest of their lives, that they would work in the cotton fields until they died.“ And do you know what this ball and chain was called?” We all shook our heads unknowingly. “A blackberry.”



About Little Miss Spanglish

Bright-eyed dreamer, set in her ways... enjoys working-out to slow jams. Hates being called by her full name by people close to her. Has never had a pet, yet has names picked out for her future fish, cat and Teacup pig (name of future dog still in the works). Loves receiving handwritten letters in the mail (long, handwritten messages in thoughtfully picked out cards also result in a smile). Will stare in disdain at her plate if it is inhabited by: brown rice, asparagus or beets (coming around on the beets). Finds skipping-down-a-sidewalk to be a lost art in adults... refuses to let that happen to her.


One thought on “Beach History

  1. Nice looking site you have here, Heidi. I’m proud of you.

    Posted by Pete D | July 18, 2011, 10:23 pm

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