A little over sixteen years ago, I signed up to join the United States Army. I had barely turned seventeen and I was excited. Three years later, in 2003, I deployed to Iraq. This post isn’t about that, however.
Prior to my deployment, my mother had asked her co-workers to come up with ideas for a “Journal Jar” that I could use to keep up with my writing while deployed. And, if you check out the picture below, you will see that I still have it!
Every other week, I will randomly pick a topic and write a short blog post about it. I have written some of these topics before, though I did not get to all of them, and the journal I used thirteen years ago is packed away in storage. And these journal entries will be different from ones I may have written before I’ve had a lot of changes in my life since then!
Today’s topic is: “Treasure Hunts on the Beach.”
The thing is, when I say treasure hunts, I do not mean leisurely strolls along the beach looking for shells, or driftwood, or sea glass.
No, I mean teams of two or three frantically running up and down the beach looking for items on a list so the team can win. My family is ultra-competitive (my brother, mom, and I once stayed up until 2am playing UNO and took our cards with us to bed—so no one would peek at our cards—when we didn’t finish, and then finished the game the next night) and we wanted to make the treasure hunts a competition as well. It is a standard event for most of our beach trips.
One year, in Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast, my mom, aunt, sisters, and myself decided to have a treasure hunt. I don’t remember what the winning team received, but my competitive instincts kicked in. When my aunt and I had every item on the list except for glass, I was determined to find some.
Of course, my sister, who had made this list, had assumed it would be easy. Every other trip to the coast, we never have any trouble finding sea glass. The treasure hunt for this trip, however, simply said “glass.” During my wanderings, I thought about where I would be likely to find glass on a beach.
And then it hit me. The garbage can!
So I ran up toward the parking lot, where an overflowing garbage can sat in the sand just before the sidewalk that led to the parking lot. I grabbed a bottle that was on the sand next to it and ran back down to the beach. My aunt and I won because we were the only team that had found glass. All the other teams had found all but one item on the list, and my aunt and I had all of them.
Of course, an argument started over whether the glass was actually on the beach. I told you we were competitive! When I justified it by saying the garbage was in the sand, not in the parking lot, the rest of the group reluctantly agreed that my aunt and I were the winning team.
There have been other treasure hunts, of course. We love them because it gives us an excuse to run around and act silly, and I love finding things. That time in Lincoln City is one of my favorites because the treasure hunt was so contested. But my team was still victorious!
And they’ve never let me live down the fact that I got the winning glass from a garbage pile. Families are great sometimes, aren’t they?
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Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.