Fourth of July eve. We headed out in the late afternoon sun to do run a few errands. Over the bridge to the mainland to Dick’s.
So much amazing sports stuff in one store, the vivid kaleidoscope of neon-colored soccer shoes dazzled our eyes. On the far left we wandered into a camouflaged world of muted greens and browns, accented with an isle of brightly bizarre fishing lures.
“This one would look great on a keychain!”, she said as she held one that made me think of those little rubber troll dolls with the long, wild pink and blue hair you could twist into a million different shapes.
We made our purchase and headed back toward the island, making a stop at her favorite fast food restaurant.
“I’ll have a cobb salad please.”, she confidently said to the young girl behind the counter. “How very far she has come!” I thought, remembering back to a time when she was too shy to order for herself.
After our poultry pit stop we crossed back over the bridge and headed to the French bakery down near the docks. “Bon jour Madame, je vousdres commander une gato chocolate pour mon famme’s bon anniversar.”
“I’m sorry I don’t speak French!”
“Oh, no worries... I’d like to order a chocolate birthday cake for my wife.”
After we completed the order we strolled along the docks, checking out all the boats, listening to the musicians and watching all the sunburnt tourists strolling by. That’s when we heard a girl making kissy noises and calling out “Come her honey!” She was down on a floating gangplank on the water with two of her friends. All three were staring at something into the shallows. It took a minute for me to recognize the massive pair on manatees lolling like large, barnacle-covered whales just below where we were standing. Very slowly one rose her head to the surface until her whisker-covered, muddy snout was exposed to the air. Her large nostrils expelled a bubbly burst of air and then drew in a deep breath before once again vanishing.
“Wow! That was amazing!” she said.