Tuesday 3 January 2023

Our Day at the Ocean by Maxine Flam, warm milk

 We pulled up in Daddy’s light blue four-door ’64 Chevy station wagon. That car had been through a lot. We came across the country in it from Pennsylvania. The poor car barely made it to my uncle’s house. Just as we got there, boom went the radiator and a white cloud of smoke came out of the engine. Daddy shouted, “Keep the kids away from the car,” as he and my uncle tried to make sure it wasn’t on fire. Daddy fixed the car and he said he was going to get another one, but I guess he wanted to take it on one more trip.


Ever since Mom left, Daddy spends every spare moment with me. He makes sure I eat good meals and am happy.  I am always happy when I am with Daddy.


I squirm in my seat; the lap belt holds me in. I can’t wait to get out of it and the car. I try to peer out the side window, but I can’t see anything because I am too little.


“We’re here,” Daddy says as he reaches over and unlatches the seatbelt.


Excitedly, I open the door. “Daddy?”




“This place is so quiet and beautiful. The ocean goes on forever.”


“U-huh,” he says calmly as he takes an El Producto cigar out of the small cardboard box in his shirt pocket and lights it with his fancy silver lighter that has the initials SF on it.


Oh good. Daddy’s smoking a good cigar today, not those smelly stogies he usually buys.


 “Can we go down to the ocean now? I’d like to take off my shoes and socks and run barefoot in the wet sand.” 


“There’s an opening a few yards from here with a staircase that will take us to the beach.”


“Can I make a sand castle?”


“Why not? This is our day to do whatever we want.”


“Daddy, this is so much fun. We can spread the blanket, eat sandwiches, and wash them down with cold soda. Then, I will make a sand castle. Oh, Daddy, this is the best day ever, but any day spent with you is the best day ever.”


“I am so happy to hear you say that. Okay, we better head over and claim our spot.”


“I love you, Daddy.”


“I love you too, sweetheart.”

He takes me in his big strong arms and hugs me. At that moment, nothing mattered except being here with Daddy.


I carry my sand pail and shovel, and Daddy carries the blanket across his shoulders, the red ice chest full of food and sodas in his left hand. In his right hand, he takes my hand as we walk to the stairs. It is a day I will never forget -- just the two of us having fun.

About the author 

Since becoming disabled in 2015, Maxine took up her passion for writing. She took classes at a local college in creative writing. Maxine has been published several times in the Los Angeles Daily News op-ed section, The Epoch Times, Nail Polish Stories, and most recently in DarkWinterLit

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