It was family beach day and like all ‘family’ days, they’d felt a twinge of embarrassment for her whenever she participated in social events, but especially those held in public venues.

As they watched her make her way to the tent through the parking lot they didn’t attempt to hide expressions of bewilderment and outright laughter.

Though several hundred yards from the waters edge the temperature beneath the tents shade was ninety-five degrees. She was wearing a long-sleeved flannel, rucksack, jeans, boots and large yellow hat, Curious George style. If what she wore caused the looks of bewilderment then what she was dragging along caused the laughter.

She was balancing a neon pink muck rake under one arm while pushing a wheelbarrow filled to the brim with what they soon discovered were caramel covered popcorn balls that were 10 inches in diameter and surrounded by pillow-sized cellophane bags of blue cotton candy.

The first thing she did when arriving was remove her rucksack and dig through it to remove fifteen Lifestraws, which she tossed in the barrel atop the popcorn before grinning widely and offering everyone a hug in greeting.

The laughter died down, they hugged her and returned to the business of enjoying the beach. They’d learned after many years the pointlessness in asking “Why?”

Before parting that evening she made sure to hug them all once more before handing each of them a ball of popcorn, a pillow of cotton candy and a Lifestraw for their trip home. They returned her hug and thanked her.


She stayed behind to meet with a friend late that evening after the beach had cleared. By midnight the temperature dropped to a chilly fifty-five degrees so she’d removed her clothing and when he arrived she was naked.

Knowing the pointlessness in asking “Why?” he instead grinned widely and offered her a hug in greeting, followed by a long kiss.