A half-dozen round-trips to the sea thrilled a little boy today. For an old Senior Chief, training new Navy Officers or a three-year old at the beach, were one and the same. Officer’s have the objective; Chiefs get the job done. It was pleasant on Monday, after two summers away, to spend a few hours on Coronado’s Navy beach. Not a day that I was shirking any work, I confess; my grandson had big plans only a Chief could see through.
Zander assigned “Pop-pop” bucket duty, bringing the ocean to the construction site by our chairs and snacks. Gramma was assigned to push the dry sand into the hole as Zander poured the water in and spooned wet sand out. A supervising seagull, half the distance to the water’s edge, evaluated my bucket-brigade progress. By my third trip, it had seen enough and flew off. Going back to the Main Gate, I brought another family member to the working party. It was “silly Uncle Tommy” who played in the waves with the littlest Ensign.
In the breeze, the waves made a shushing noise as they rolled onto the beach. Aircraft lifting off from and returning to the runway just across the beach road mingled with children’s’ laughter as we packed up to go. Leaving by way of the beach gate, we passed hundreds enjoying a day at the (public) beach. While I am sure the crowds enjoyed the same sun and waves, my “members-only” access to the military beach is a privilege that I hope to share with Zander for many more sandcastles to come. At least I hope he gives his Momma a good report on my fitness.