Tidbits - June 18, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


COVIDCATION
  Well, I joined many in experiencing my first pandemic vacation.
  When the pandemic began, my sister Dibbie was concerned that the house she rented at Cherry Grove would go unused and she would lose the money she spent. Cancellation of rentals is allowed within a week of making a reservation, unless you buy renters insurance like my Uncle Keith did.
  Keith cancelled his house, but Dibbie was stuck. As it turned out, most of the beach attractions are open now.
  After we checked into the house, I drove to the Myrtle Beach Flea Market to see if it was open. It was!
  A tradition is buying bread at one of the booths, and I was happy to buy four loaves for $6.
  Another place I visit is the site featuring boxes filled with cheap items. I bought my first microwave plate cover there years ago, and I still use it! I bought another this year in case the old one wears out.
  I had a revelation, when I spotted an item in another box, a foam rubber knee pad for $1. I love my Chrysler 300C, but for 15 years, the hard plastic armrest has killed my elbow. I was going to put the knee pad on my elbow!
  When I got to the check-out, the lady questioned why I wanted one knee pad, since I had two knees. I told her I bought it was for my elbow. Knowing she would have hard time selling the one knee pad left in the bin, she encouraged me to buy it in case I ever wanted to use the knee pad on my knee. I bought it.
  I couldn’t wait to put the knee pad on my elbow for my drive home. It was like heaven!
  One if the worst things about beach house rental, is they never leave you a television channel guide. You have to flip through 100 channels and hope you remember the number of your favorites.
  I came across “Flea Mark Flip” on the Great American Country channel and got hooked. I’ve seen it before, but I couldn’t remember the channel.
  In case you haven’t seen it, two teams search for items in a flea market and then convert them into “treasures” they sell to the public.
  The “plot” has a lot of repeats.
  A couple will see four hub caps off a 1942 Hudson, and say, ”Let’s make a coffee table out of them!” Then they sell the table for $300!
  There’s a coffee table creation in every episode it seems.
  I did some googling and found that Great American Country is channel 165 on Dish, so I watched “Flea Market Flip” all weekend when I got home!
  Horry County has one of largest spikes in COVID-19 cases, and it may be because few people were wearing masks. A majority of the store clerks were wearing them, but few customers.
 I had my mask with me everywhere I went, but I didn’t always wear it. We had our first indoor service at church Sunday since the pandemic began, and in the announcements I told the congregation I didn’t know how robbers robbed banks while wearing masks. After the announcement, I wore my mask the rest of the service. That’s the longest I’ve gone, but I was so happy to get outside and take it off.
  The pandemic took care of two vacation traditions, the beach movie and golf. The theaters are close for the time being, and since the Parrises cancelled their house, I didn’t play golf.
  Another tradition continued. Years ago, a book with “Prey” in the title by John Sandford came out, and I read it on vacation. The next year, the second book was published near vacation time, and I read that one, too. Each year since then, a book in the series has  been my vacation read. Last week, I finished my 30th!
  I had plenty of time to read, since they sun rarely shone when I was at the beach. As usual, my vacation was split in two by my having to return home to get the paper out, then drive back down again, so I can’t speak for the sunshine on the days I missed.
  I did go shell hunting every morning, walking a average of 2.5 miles on the beach. I had pretty good luck, but it was nothing like last year, when I found 62 lettered olives in one morning. The most I found this year on one day was ten.
  I have always looked for shark teeth, but I have never found one, except in a bin at the Gay Dolphin. I bought a “Sun-Times” on Sunday and one of the first articles I read was about a five-year-old boy finding a 3 million year old megalodon tooth in Cherry Grove! A five-year-old! He thought it was a rock and about threw it back into the ocean!
  A few days later, another giant tooth was found in North Myrtle Beach. Go figure.
  I enjoyed my vacation with Dibbie, Morgan, Mayson, Jason, Deacon, Madden, and Emoree. I also enjoyed seeing Elizabeth and her twins, Jacob and Graham, and their families, Tamara, Willow and Baylee, and Sherra, Taylor Ann, Peyton, and our newest family member, Preston, three-weeks-old. Erin, Skylar and Kassidy Coleman came down to the beach just after I left.
  Usually, you can temporarily tune out the world, but with masks, hand sanitizers and social distancing, and all the unrest in the world, that wasn’t possible this year.
  I hope our world can return to normal soon.