The Unknown Stories of Beach Glass

This is Cal and Elaine. They keep to themselves for the most part, but they have an incredible story.

If you were unaware that each piece of beach glass has a story, then you’ve come to the right place. These are the Unknown Stories of Beach Glass.

Cal and Elaine have been friends for a very long time. In fact, the love they share has seen them through difficulties not unlike those which many others have endured, but it’s worth noting they are still going strong.

Cal and Elaine are different. Very different. But their difference has only been noted by others. Cal and Elaine hear whispers again and again. Some are just downright rude and say they shouldn’t be together, but Cal and Elaine don’t care. Their love is not blind, but it is unconditional. Their only interest is for each other. Giving to each other is their highest goal. Need is not a word they use when communicating with each other. The two words they use most often are love and share.

Maybe no one would have expected Cal and Elaine to find each other. Elaine is very sharp, has angular and beautiful features. Many have accused her of being too transparent. She doesn’t care. Cal is round, quite overweight. He doesn’t plan and is often late for the few events he does attend. Elaine says he is her perfect soul mate as he tempers her obsessive tendencies.

Cal and Elaine were meant for each other. Perhaps not in anyone else’s eyes. But their eyes are the only ones that matter.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric met at culinary school. Oddly enough, all three decided on a career as a chef against the wishes of their parents. Eric’s mom has worked in a restaurant most of her adult life and has never really enjoyed it. When Eric was little she used to take him to work with her. He spent his time sitting in a booth drawing pictures while his mom waited on customers. Sometimes he helped wash dishes.

Bjorn’s father patented a kitchen gadget that separates the egg from the yoke before the shell is broken. It’s the craziest thing! Use the gadget, crack the egg, the yoke is on the side of the white instead of the middle.

Bjorn’s father spends all of his time in kitchens talking chefs into buying his ingenious gadget. He can’t understand why Bjorn would want to spend a single day in a kitchen.

Ted’s parents own a pancake house franchise. They opened the first pancake house in their home town of Amshover, Missouri. No one has ever heard of Amshover and the pancake house is the busiest place in town. There isn’t even a grocery store in Amshover. There is a gas station, an urgent care center where Dr. Phillips actually delivered Ted because his mom waited too long to head for the nearest hospital forty-two miles away, a small elementary school, a bakery that closed last year, and the pancake house.

People came to the pancake house from many miles away. It wasn’t long before Ted’s parents decided to create a franchise and allow others to use their name, recipes, table linen designs, and logo for a huge franchise fee. They now have twenty-seven franchise partners. Ted’s parents were hoping he would become a doctor. Ted didn’t believe it was a wise choice because he becomes very dizzy at the sight of blood. He chose to become a chef.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl have been singing together for thirty-nine years. Ammon plays the dobro, Wilkey plays harmonica badly, Doug plays piano and guitar, Earl plays bass and doesn’t sing very well. There were five in the group for the first seventeen years. Ammon’s younger brother Ogden played drums, which was actually just a snare and cymbal. He had to quit after he got married and they never replaced him.

The group decided early on that if they were going to be on the road constantly it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to get married. They were right. After Ogden was married he continued playing shows with the group but Sylvia, his wife, threw such a fit about him being gone for two weeks he quit.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl still drive the same bus they’ve been traveling in since their first year together. The bus is part of their family and they don’t feel like they can let it go. The steering wheel is about the only thing that hasn’t been replaced. They got a ticket one time because the exhaust left a huge cloud in a little town. The engine was replaced, at huge cost, not long after. The guys are inseparable.

Rita and Francine can’t stand each other. They can hardly be in the same room before one of them says something critical about the other and away they go! Yelling insults and bringing up things that happened years ago. Someone suggested counseling and the two of them joined together for once to pummel the other with a list of words a drunken sailor would have been proud of.

Francine is ill. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not good. She has been to several specialists and they all say the same thing. She would give up except Rita is constantly by her side, giving her every reason to keep fighting. Rita is unwilling to let her enemy go and is giving incredible strength to Francine for one more day.

Cal and Elaine. So different yet they don’t see it.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric. They refused to give in to pressure and continue going the way they’ve chosen.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl. After thirty-nine years, still going strong and unwilling to quit even though no one remembers their names.

Rita and Francine. Enemies who would give the world for each other.

The unknown stories of beach glass. Fascinating. The stories lie on the beach, forgotten and alone until someone comes along to listen.

Copyright 2020 by Dale Parsons
Photos and Blog Post by Dale Parsons

Discover Prompts Day 24: Elixir, the Magic Potion

It really is a wonder we survived our childhood. There were all kinds of home remedies we were subjected to. From “Lucy’s Juice” to sweet nitre, I don’t know how we made it.

When we were kids, there was a bottle of “Sweet Nitre” in the back of the fridge. It was always there, like a skeleton in the closet or a ghost in the attic. If we ever said we were ill, or if anyone had a fever, it was time to take sweet nitre. My dad was the one who came up with it, I am certain he was forced to drink it when he was a kid. Why else would he make us drink it?

Sweet nitre was not sweet. It tasted like a mixture of cow urine and cat poop. I’ve never tasted either one, but I’m convinced both were in the bottle of sweet nitre. It was never my mom who served it to us. Always my dad. It was the magic vomit potion. Moments after drinking it we were in the bathroom (if we made it) throwing up everything we ate since the week before. I am certain the reason we were vomiting was that the potion was toxic. Even our little bodies knew better than to keep it inside. I looked up sweet nitre several years ago, and it had a warning in big letters saying it should never be taken internally as it was POISON. How are we still here?

Another great thing we did was eat Vicks VapoRub. Yes. I said eat Vicks VapoRub. If we had a sore throat, my dad, yes, him again, put a big gob of Vicks on his finger and made us eat it. “Just hold it in your mouth and let it go down your throat slowly” he said. Ughhhh!!

My dad’s mother was the queen of all remedies. Her term for anything medicinal (whether it was homemade or not) was “lickdob.” “Put some lickdob on it” she said. Whatever it was. Sliver? Lickdob. Flu? Lickdob. Hungry? Lickdob. Tired? Lickdob. We had to be careful because some of her lickdob was nasty.

While I was in college I worked with a professor building houses during a summer. I fell and cut my leg and it became infected. I spent a few days in the hospital with blood poisoning. When I spoke to my grandmother she told me I should have put a beet poultice on it. I thought, “You can eat the beet poultice. If this happens again I’m going back to the hospital!” No, I didn’t say it out loud.

One time when our triplet sons were sick, my aunt and grandma were going to apply some “Lucy’s Juice.” Lucy was my grandmother’s sister. She made an elixir with turpentine, kerosine, Vicks, and couple other things I can’t remember. Luckily, we found out about it and said, “No way!!”

I know home remedies have been around for generations. Elixirs of all kinds people swear by. I just swear at them instead of by them. No thanks.

The lake is a wonderful elixir that doesn’t require me to swallow anything. Listening to the water lap the shore on a calm day is magical.

A favorite of ours is finding sea glass, or beach glass. We have found some amazing treasures. Some pieces have clearly been in the water for decades. My wife recently found an intact pop bottle from 1963.

Coffee is my go-to elixir every day of every week. All day. Coffee smells wonderful, tastes amazing, and brightens my mood, without fail. A mocha, on the other hand is like heaven with a cherry on top. Love it!

The best, surest, always available, never ending elixir is family.

Family with coffee? Oh, man. Now it’s getting dangerous.