We went to the Hunting Island beach on Saturday with Justin’s grandparents and sister. We set up our camp with our umbrellas and chairs and settled in. Actually, Justin’s grandma and I went shopping in Beaufort while the rest of them went on to the beach to set up and we caught up with them a couple hours later. But that’s not the point.
The point is that while we were sitting there, enjoying the cool breeze off the water, the couple next to us started smoking and the smoke drifted over to our seats and caused some irritation. So I watched them for a little bit to try to decide if they were going to quit anytime soon, and I noticed that they were both using sign language to communicate. My ASL is really rusty, but I can identify it when I see it, and I thought it was interesting. I tried not to stare too much, but I kept peeking over at them. Plus, I kept hoping that they would stop smoking.
After a while, they went into the water, and when they came back to shore, I saw them taking pictures of each other with the ocean in the background, and then trying to take a picture of the both of them by holding out the camera backwards to take the picture. I caught their eye and gestured that I could take the picture for them. So I took the picture, counting to 3 with my fingers, and it turned out that they’re both hearing impaired. They told me that it was their first time in the ocean and tried to tell me a story about what had happened while they were in the water, something about the waves, but it didn’t go very well. I couldn’t understand what they were trying to tell me and it was frustrating for all of us. But they were happy that I could take the picture for them and I was happy that I could help.
They sat down and went back to smoking until the water started coming up as far as their blanket. Then they packed up and waved to me as they left. The smoking was annoying, but they were a cute couple and it made me happy to help take their picture.
Taking pictures for people on the beach is almost a recurring thing for me. The last time it happened I was on Hilton Head Island with my friends Becky and Julie and a family of four was situating themselves on a dune and trying to figure out how to do their picture. So I took that picture for them, too. They were visiting from Ohio and were surprised that I actually lived in the area.
I’m working on a long post about what’s going on around here. I’ve been working on it for three days and it’s running onto the 3rd page in Word. I’ve still got some work to do there and then I have to go back and figure out if I can shorten it some or if I’m going to make it a series of posts or leave it one whole long essay.
I left it at home to work on there instead of working on it over my lunch, which was a good plan because it’s taking some thought. But I wanted to at least get on here and write about the couple at the beach while it was still a fresh memory.
1 thought on “People at the beach”
Lovely story and a good reminder about not pre-judging people for one reason or another.
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