15 November 2008

I worked so hard my sandals broke

Broken sandalsI've been out collecting sand crabs on South Padre Island for a few years now. Today was probably the most unpleasant collecting trip I've made. And, just for perspective, one of the last times I was out was while Hurricane Ike was advancing towards Texas.

The waves were pretty high last time, but today there were whitecaps and wind.

It wasn't exactly cold, but the wind was whipping sand around like snow in a blizzard. Seaweed was rolling down the beach like tumbleweeds. My eyes were watering, particularly the first few minutes on the beach. It felt like I was back in southern Alberta, shoveling sidewalks during a snowstorm. Except that in Alberta, I probably wouldn't have needed sunscreen, which I did today. But the top of my right foot is pink... I know, worrying about sunscreen and sunburn in mid-November? Crazy, crazy, crazy. It does violence to my Canadian internal mental calendar.

Unlike the last time I went out before Ike, the pickings were poor. I found one small sand crab in the first hour, and after three hours had only four live ones.

And when I was walking back with my few spoils, I started to wonder, "Why does my foot feel funny?" Then I looked down and realized the sole of my sandal was detaching itself.

And I was literally still feeling sand in my ears and around my eyes tonight.

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