One trip we made to the Aptos beach really stands out in my memory. My family and Bob and Lorraine Lindquist’s family were there. Everyone was spread out sunbathing and the kids were all in the water. I decided I was going to take a walk up the beach by myself. Before I knew it I had traveled quite a distance from “our spot” on the beach. I started walking away from the ocean to some trees not too far from the water. I think maybe I used a bathroom or something when I realized I didn’t know where I was. I remember the fear that swept over me as my eyes began to sting.
I was thinking about asking someone, anyone, to help me. I didn’t know what to do. A feeling of calm came over me. I stared out at the ocean and for some reason I wasn’t scared any more. It was as if someone I trusted was standing beside me giving me instructions. There was no one with me but I could swear I heard someone saying, “The ocean was on your right side for your whole walk. Go down to the shoreline and turn so the ocean is on your left side and start walking.” I didn’t even think about it…I just did it!
I am a believer in guardian angels. I believe this incident at the beach is the first time I felt mine with me. I have not led a particularly dangerous life but I know my angel has protected me through situations many times.
During the whole walk I didn’t get scared again. In just a few minutes I saw David and Tommy splashing in the waves. I saw mom lying on a blanket with Phillip who was just a baby. Everything was back to normal. I don’t know if my parents ever knew that I’d been gone. I never told them.
That was also the year my uncle Bob insisted on making fish head stew for everyone. Bob bragged about that stew all day long. Dad watched him prepare it. He made funny faces when he whispered to mom different ingredients Bob was putting into the stew. I remember when the table was set we all took our places. There was stew, bread, and watermelon. The stew was so horrible my dad actually got mad at Bob! I remember him saying if it was the first time Bob had made it he shouldn't have bragged about how good it would be, and if he'd made it before he should have known better than to make it again! To my knowledge we never did go camping with them again.