Father’s Day, South Haven, MI

I like sand on me. I like the loose sand that you don’t realize is there on your forearm until you reach for your drink and there it is, a pale dusting of cinnamon sugar. It comes off easily, just a brush of your hand.

Rhys and I are sitting on the deck of my father-in-law’s place in South Haven, Michigan. He lives right across from the harbor, and we’ve been enjoying the evening watching people walk by. Some tool is “tuning” his cigarette boat, alternately idling and revving it loudly. Rhys asks for more ranch dressing for his carrot sticks, so I show him how to pile what he has left up in one side of his little dish.

Any time now, my wife and eldest son will return. They’ve gone on a quest for lemonade from a beachside vendor. I’m having orange juice and Admiral Nelson spiced rum. Rhys asks if what I am drinking is “yucky” and I confirm his suspicion.

“When I get a little bit older it won’t be so yucky for me?” he asks. I tell him to wait a few years. The cigarette boat captain finally kills his engine.

I look down and see the smiling faces of my returning son and wife. They hold aloft a plastic tumbler of lemonade, their trophy of a successful hunt. Steaks are on the grill and a little more sand falls off of me.