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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Roast Chicken

I think it was Friday when Andrea suggested we go to the beach. She was thinking Norfolk but I’d just read a random, Richmond, Facebook post that suggested the beach in Yorktown, Virginia which, the poster pointed out was closer. The forecast called for rain but so far, so good. The last 10 minutes of the trip take you on a road made of stones that’s flanked by trees on either side. There are various lookout points you could stop at, each one is named. You eventually pass the Yorktown battlefield from the Revolutionary War and then Victory Monument.


Then, a small village and water emerges. There’s free parking that we take advantage of and it’s a short walk to the beach. The beach has bathrooms - real ones, not portapotties. And, it’s handicap accessible which I like. We aren’t the first to arrive at the beach but we are early - arriving around 9 AM. We have new beach chairs for the occasion. Although Target is already selling autumnal decor, we were able to snag 2 Coleman chairs, each with a cup holder and a pocket for your phone. We bought new beach towels too, ours had taken a beating when we had our pool in MA and didn’t make the move. Because, clearly, summer is almost over, these were $5 each at Bed, Bath & Beyond.


There are large jellyfish floating in the water but they are easily spotted so you can avoid them. The water is much warmer than any water you’d come across on a New England beach, but still cool. Andrea orients us by consulting Google Maps and learns we are actually at the York River, which is where fresh water and salt water meet. It’s nice, because you don’t have to worry about being taking out by the waves or the undertow. They have marked off a designated swimming area. The water gradually deepens as you head to where the water is marked. At a certain point, a few feet before I reach the roping, it’s over my head. I find a frisbee ring with my foot and we play with it until the water claims it again and it once more sinks into the murk. We try to find it for a few moments before Andrea points out that we can’t even see our feet.


The beach is busy but I wouldn’t call it crowded. It’s a diverse group which makes me happy and sad - this is how America should be. One woman is here wearing a white hijab. She lies on the sand and pulls it over her face & head, shielding herself from the sun. I wonder if she’s hot. A teenage girl is with the woman, and other family, and the teen wears a white cover up with long sleeves and a hood as she splashes in the water with a man and 2 boys. Andrea gazes at people from her new chair and declares, “That man looks like a roast chicken.” And he does. A roast chicken with a cowboy hat atop his head.


I’ve begun to work on writing my book. I eased into the process in June but now that it’s July, easing is behind me and I am diving in full throttle, which will mean early mornings. Not my favorite but my brain has dissolved to gruel by the conclusion of my work day so mornings it is. The program I am in recommends that we interview some well-known subject matter experts. They advise against Oprah, “Everyone wants to interview Oprah!”


I wrack my brain trying to think of someone credible, but not Oprah level famous. I reach out to numerous people who aren’t quite Oprah level and hope someone will spare me 15-minutes. I have others to reach out to as well but it’s kinda nice not to think too much about this today.


Yesterday, Andrea and I got our feet beach ready with pedicures. It had been a long time so we were overdue. We tried an experiment with the dogs, gating them in the sunroom with a tall gate we had in Massachusetts and then in Forest, VA. Only by the time it arrived in Richmond, it was missing a few parts. So by the time we returned home from pedi’s and securing beach provisions, it sounded a lot like the dogs were right behind the front door. Because they were. They had somehow busted through the gate.

This morning the gate is hanging askew before we even reach the beach. Our older dog, Wrigley, is the culprit. Our camera captures him working on it later in the day.


“Yell at him!” I say to Andrea, since our camera can transmit sound.


“Wrigley!” Andrea growls and Bogart runs over pressing his face to the camera. Needless to say, we’ve ordered a new gate and will strip the current gate for spare parts.








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