Throwback Thursday: a day at the beach in 1984

old photo on the Gulf Coast

This photo is from June, 1984. Thanks, handy Sharpie marking at the top!

While I don’t have any specific memories from this particular photo, I would like to point out my mom’s adorable blue bathing suit (which looks like some current styles I’ve seen, actually) and my dad’s short-shorts as proof that this is absolutely in the 80s. I’m about 20 months old in this photo, and (finally) growing in my hair (remember the weird face photo and how I had none? yeah, that lasted a while…) and my dad is holding the same blue bucket that appears in the photo from the following year (taken in the dining room).

(I like parentheses today, apparently. Hope that’s okay.)

This photo is from the Florida Gulf coast, near my grandparents’ house. I know that from the sugar-white sand and green ocean water that you can generally only find on tropical islands but because of GEOLOGY also happens along the Gulf. It’s much prettier than the Atlantic is in a way, though nothing quite beats the Atlantic for a gray, stormy day with plenty of lightening. But I’m getting off track.

I remember that there weren’t usually shells of any sort on those beaches, because of the ocean floor dropping off about a mile off shore. I remember that it was hard to make sand castles because the sand was so powdery, but it was soft and nice to play in nonetheless. I remember my dad pulling me out on a raft to the sand bars where he’d find sand dollars and put them on the raft with me to crawl around and I’d watch their tiny feet wiggling and was terrified of getting in the water myself for some inexplicable reason (I’ve never been afraid of sharks so… water maybe?) and we’d ride the waves.

I remember clumps of seaweed washing up after high tide, or storms, and shaking them to get the little animals inside to fall out onto the sand and then scooping them into the blue bucket (filled with water, of course) and I’d have my own little aquarium until it was time to dump them back in the water and go home. I found fish and hermit crabs and tiny shrimp and even seahorses! When I was a kid, I thought they were baby seahorses because they were so small, but I learned recently that they were a species of dwarf seahorse, the smallest kind in the world. How about that?

I remember playing in the sea oats (when I wasn’t supposed to probably, though my grandmother was never big on rules if there was fun to be had) and running along the hot pavement between the house and the water.

And I really wish that beaches around here were as pristine (and empty) as that one in the photo looks. Gorgeous.

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