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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

Life’s a Beach

This has been a good week. Very calm and relaxing, a week of the slow pace I expected when we began. We went to Walmart to get fishing licenses, poles and everything else we need to catch us some dinner. The first night, we caught about 30 fish between the two of us. And EVERY SINGLE ONE was a stinking catfish! You may have inferred that I don't like catfish, but that's because I DO NOT LIKE CATFISH! The first one I caught was fine. Yay! I caught a fish! Even if it wasn't one I was going to eat. I took the hook from its mouth, being careful to avoid the spines on it's dorsal and pectoral fins, then I decided to be nice and help it get back into the water. I was wearing Keen sandals with thick soles, so I gently kicked/pushed it towards the water. It didn't go far enough, so I did it again. On the third time, I let out a hollar. That stupid @#%&*$%#$ fish stabbed me THROUGH the side of my sole, pinning my sandal to my foot, and leaving the spine behind as he swam away. I gritted my teeth in preparation for the imminent pain and tried to pull the spine out, but there was no way. The barbs running along either edge had it securely stuck. I was in quite the predicament. I couldn't walk until I got the spine out. I couldn't get the spine out unless I removed my sandal. And I couldn't remove my sandal because it was pinned to my foot by the spine. Abe saw me and heard the very abnormal language (the kind to make a sailor blush) coming out of my mouth and came to help. I was a bit incoherent and told him I kicked a fish. He eventually saw the spine and figured it out, and told me to hold still while he pulled it out. He tried with his fingers, but that wasn't going to work, so he bent down to bite it, at which point I lost my balance and fell onto my butt. Probably a good thing with what was coming. I mentally prepared myself, knowing full well that I was likely about to pass out from the pain, and he grabbed it with his teeth and with a quick tug dislodged it from my foot and shoe. Thank God it didn't hurt as bad as I expected! I didn't pass out, and was able to hobble back to the shore where I proceeded to sit on my but while I continued spewing profanities.


Eventually, I was able to stand and walk a bit, so I went back to fishing, walking into the water to cast when I needed to. We kept throwing out our lines and reeling in catfish after catfish until we were both tired of reeling in catfish. It's the only time I've gotten tired of catching fish. After the first one, I became a total chicken and was happy to let Abe be my hero and take them off the hook. I'm still holding a grudge against the stupid @#$%&$#$ fish. That night, I slept with a charcoal and baking soda poultice on my foot to pull out anything that might cause an infection. It worked like a charm, and the next way it was just a nasty bruise. By day three, it was almost completely healed. On another day, Abe caught a red drum and a whiting. Abe marinated and grilled the red drum, and I breaded and fried the whiting (going for a healthier version of the breaded and fried trout my dad used to cook, I dredged it in navy bean flour and fried it in olive oil). There's something extra special about cooking and eating a fish that you just pulled out of the ocean.


One night, Abe and I decided it would be fun to strap on our headlamps and wander down to the beach to see what kinds of critters came out in the dark. We saw hundreds of ghost crabs skittering around, and Abe had fun playing with them, trying to herd them around. They're the ugliest little things, but they're so cute! When we were walking in the grass between our RV and the beach, I noticed pretty little sparkles everywhere. Being the curious sort, I had to go check them out. That was a mistake! I looked at sparkle after sparkle, and every single one was a wolf spider. They came in every size. One little one was particularly ugly, and upon closer inspection I realized that it's abdomen was so ugly because it was covered with teeny baby wolf spiders. Is there anything more creepy than a spider covered with a hundred smaller spiders? I don't think so. We saw lots of little spiders, which weren't too bad, but then I noticed that the bigger the sparkle, the bigger the spider. We saw one particularly big sparkle next to the back corner of our RV. That spider was HUGE. The body must have been an inch and a half long, and then there were the legs. Other than tarantulas in pet stores, that was the biggest @#$^%*! spider I've ever seen! Abe stepped on it, and we both dashed to the safety of our home. Now, every time we go outside we both know just how many eight legged freaks are out there, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce on us. They are everywhere! Fortunately, they are not on the sand or pavement. Now that I know what the pretty little sparkles are, Why, oh why, do I keep going to look at them??? My curiosity and my sense of self preservation are at odds, and my curiosity keeps winning. I didn’t include a picture because I didn’t want to get my hand inches away from a creepy, crawly spider, giving it the chance to sink its fangs into my skin and inject me with its venom.


We decided to make our e-bikes work for us, and we rode them about 10 miles down the beach and back. We saw a shark on our trip, but I decided not to take a picture to share, because I thought people may not be interested in seeing a long dead, decaying shark that was on the beach. Now I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture for my boys. Someone had come along at some point and cut out it's jaw. How cool would that be to have on display in your house! It was only a small shark of about four feet, but still. When we were getting close to home, I rode my bike in front of Abe. He took one look at my back tire, and had me stop. My back rim was bent like crazy, rubbing my frame with every rotation. I'd noticed a rhythmic squeak in the beginning, but chalked it up to rust. It went away, and I forgot about it. I need to remember to stop when I hear my bike making strange sounds in the future. When we got back to the RV, Abe looked at the rear corner and, sure enough, someone hit us. It looks like they backed into the bikes, scraping the RV just a little before pulling away. After seeing the scratches, Abe remembered seeing his tire up on the side of the channel it sits in on the carrier. He didn't think anything of it at the time, but now we know that a car put it there.


We've had some awesome neighbors in this spot. We got to meet a family of full-timers - Mom, Dad, and 2 young boys. Really nice people, and their boys were the friendlies, most talkative kids. I had fun listening to them telling me all about everything. It reminded me of when my boys were little. Some others parked next to us have just been plain neighborly, visiting with us when they see us. They were nice enough to show us the inside of their camper van, and let us see the cabinets that the husband had carved pictures into using a router. He converted the van into a camper himself, and did an incredible job.


Abe tried to use our puller to pull the canopy out a couple weeks ago, and it fell apart. Yesterday, he asked some fellow campers if he could borrow one, and he asked again this morning. Those campers left at noon, but when we came back from fishing a little later, there was a puller on our bottom step. Someone else gave Abe a couple of boogy boards because they were leaving and wouldn't need them anymore. I'm really hoping we get warmer weather so we can use them! I've never used a boogy board, and it looks like a blast. I'm hoping to get the chance to do something like that for someone we come across. What a blessing to be able to spread cheer to other people! I'm still waiting to see how God is going to use us to help others. I haven't seen anything so far, but I know He has plans.


It's been nice having time to sit and relax. I get bored sometimes, but not too much, and it's always bedtime before I know it. We have one more week in this spot before we have to move on. We'd like to hit some more beaches before starting our journey back to Idaho. We can't wait to see our families!




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Ray Thietten
Ray Thietten
Apr 24, 2021

I didn’t;t know that catfish had barbs..... loved the Catfish Story!

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Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
Apr 24, 2021
Replying to

I think the hard heads are particularly bad. I couldn’t believe how sharp they are! The lightest touch will make you bleed.

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