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Washed by a Beach

Washed by a Beach

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Washed by a Beach

5/5 (1 rating)
109 pages
1 hour
Sep 24, 2017


Washed by a Beach is the poignant and telling story of how a young teenage girl and her mother escaped the abuse they were going through from their father/husband and then went on to build a new life. It chronicles their struggles as well as the triumphs of starting over after leaving everything behind.

Sep 24, 2017

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Washed by a Beach - Lisa Reinhard


Lisa Reinhard

W & B Publishing


Washed by a Beach © 2017. All rights reserved by Lisa Reinhard.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any informational storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

W & B Publishers

At Smashwords

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W & B Publishers

9001 Ridge Hill Street

Kernersville, NC 27284


ISBN: 9781635549485

Book Cover designed by Dubya


Dedicated to my mother, Rhoda M. Hussey, who always believed that I could do this.


My life is mostly made up of stuff other people have owned first. We got our sofa at an auction, our refrigerator at a used appliance store, and our dog at the pound. My mom laughs and says, About the only things that aren’t used around our house is our food, our underwear — thank goodness — and each other. We’re each other’s first daughter and mother. That’s a good enough place to start over, I think, for both of us.

You see, we left a whole lot of ugliness behind; some pretty things, yes, even some brand-new-only-us-owned-them things, but when you’re getting yelled at, and put down, and your mom cries all the time, I guess you’d rather have the second-hand stuff. I think you get it, right?

Well, one night, we’d just had it, and we left. Just left. Just like that. No plan, no nothing. Just Mom’s purse, my back pack, and whatever we had on. When we got on the bus — to who knows where since when I asked Mom, Hey, where’s this daggum bus going to? she answered, Who knows where… and then she sighed, real low.

I started to think about my canopy bed, and the yellow bedspread with giant purple flowers on it. It was so ugly, it was beautiful, at least it was to me. I could picture my whole room; the orange and blue striped wallpaper — My mom says I have unusual taste in colors. I just put together any old thing I feel like, and then I sit back and admire the masterpiece. — and my lamps shaped like ice cream cones that had this cool four-inch, hot-pink fringe hanging down from the shades, and my gigantic Bert and Ernie slippers that always sat beside my bed. I couldn’t believe I found them in adult sizes, and was thrilled! At thirteen, I already wear a lady’s size nine. Yeah, get that would you? I sure hope my feet are through growing. There aren’t but two sizes after nine, and I’d hate like anything to go to the daggum men’s department to buy my shoes.

Well, when I started to think about all the things I’d left behind, my eyes filled with tears so fast it surprised me. I turned quickly to the window and acted like I was fascinated with the farmland we were passing — like I haven’t seen that every day of my life in Kansas — but what could I do? My mom had enough on her mind she didn’t need a sniveling daughter carrying on about her bedspread and slippers.

After all, I knew what she’d say anyway, something like, "Now, Lucy, you know those are just things, and things can be replaced. Everything can be replaced except you and me." And she’s right. Really, she is. It’s just that when you lose everything, all at once, there’s so much to miss and feel sad about you don’t even know where to start. That’s when I decided, right then and there, I’d put off feeling sad about everything I lost until later, when I had the time and energy to feel cruddy. But for right now, I’d just look on this as a giant adventure and go with it. And that’s pretty much what I’ve done.

Every time the bus stopped, Mom looked around and shook her head and said, Naw, this isn’t it, Luce. I think we gotta keep going east. Until finally, we ran out of land and we had to get off. We were at the beach — the beach! — with an ocean and sand and seashells.

Now let me tell you, when you’ve been a Kansas girl for thirteen years, you’ve never been east of St. Louis, and you see the ocean for the very first time, it’s like you’ve only had peppermint Lifesavers your whole life. You thought they only came in that flavor because they look like the little life preservers hanging next to the pool. Then someone walks up to you and says, Hey, try this. It’s a wild cherry Lifesaver, and you can’t even believe what you are seeing! You put it in your mouth, and it just splits your taste buds wide open. You feel this amazing scream starting somewhere down near the inside of your heel, and it works its way all the way up your legs, through your stomach and stuff, up to your throat, and BAM! it’s out there. Zing! Shouting every bit of its sound up into the air.

I took off for the water. Splashing in the surf, the white soapy-looking foam crawled up my leg, and I looked over at Mom and yelled, Yep, this is it, all right. We found it. She just sank down in the sand smiling as she nodded her head at me.

That was two months ago. Don’t ask me how in the world we’ve made it. I couldn’t tell you in words, but we have and you know what? We’re happy. Really, truly happy. Not like jumping up and down, we-just-won-the-lottery kind of happy, but the deep kind, the kind that sticks with you, like oatmeal for breakfast lasts you till lunch. That kind.

We just kind of took it in steps. First, we found a cheap place to stay for the night, then we went to a place right on the beach that served burgers. I will never forget watching the sun going down while I munched my burger and sipped my cherry 7Up. The sky looked like it was painted with the watercolors I used to fool around with when I was in kindergarten. The ocean kept coming in, wave after wave after wave. I was almost hypnotized, like if someone would have told me to go kiss a walrus, I would’ve looked for one. It was just incredible. I immediately made up my mind I would watch every sunset for my evening entertainment. I mean, it was free! And hey, when you’re broke, you look for cool free things. My mom got to talking to our waitress and found out they were looking for waitresses. So, she went back to talk to the owner, while I got a free chocolate-mint ice cream with jimmies, my absolute favorite. Cool, huh? She left the room unemployed, and came back with a job and a great big smile. The owner had seen me out here, and said if I came in early with her, seeing it was summer, and helped out filling the salt, pepper, and ketchups, I could eat free. She got to eat free since she worked here. Well, what do you know? That solved the food and the job problem. Then I could hang out on the beach where Mom could see me, and she could work, not worry, and make great tips, we hoped.

I should probably mention here I am not the kind of kid who just likes to hang out and do nothing. I’m a ‘go-getter,’ my mom says. And if she means I can’t ever sit still and I like to do things, she’s right. I hate being bored, so I just won’t let myself be. I’m always thinking up creative things to do. I also love talking to people, to keeps things interesting.

Even on the very first day, I met Jared, and he became my best friend as the summer wore on. I talked to him about the beach umbrellas. How did they get there? Who put them back? Was there a way we could make some money helping whoever was in charge of them? We did a little investigating and found the fellow who was in charge of the umbrellas. He was in a little stand, positively consumed with flirting with the girls. Jared mentioned he’d never heard anyone talk like me, with phrases like positively consumed. I laughed and said I love words and I try them out whenever I can. I try to use new ones, so the old ones don’t get all worn out. He chuckled and said I was a funny kid. I took that as a compliment. Anyway, the guy was open to my making some money helping him out. I guess he thought that’d leave more time for flirting. So, we worked out a system, and I like it.

Like I said, Mom and I

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  • (5/5)
    Washed by a Beach will empower and encourage those who are being and have been abused; emotionally, mentally, or physically. This is a book for young adults and adults alike. Well done!
    — CJ Loiacono