The next morning Mumma said to keep our clothes and faces clean and not to go swimming because in a little while we would leave for...THE PIRATE SHIP. Yay! Also she said we had a lot of sun the last couple days and she preferred we find something to do in the shade for a while so we played chess under the awning. Anyway, Daddy went swimming because, since he is the daddy, Mumma can't tell him what to do like she can Gray and me. Much. When he was in the water, though, Mumma stopped painting and followed him in. She always says she is much more relaxed in the water when he's with her because he's such a strong swimmer.
At South Beach--where the pirate ship is--they put in a new little playground at the front and I tried out the new ferris wheel while Mumma sat on the bench and watched me. Gray and Daddy were already on the ship. It was kinda scary, but not too much.
The ship is huge and when you are on it you can pretend to walk the plank; man the wheel, climb up in the crow's nest, fight a dummy pirate with a sword and look for concealed treasure in the captain's cabin. After I pretended to sword fight and did all the other things like going up in the crow's nest, walking out on the plank and pretending to steer the ship I went in the captain's cabin. I was hoping to find anything that might be antique.
I was sort of sneaking around pretending I was a detective investigating the scene of a crime. Anyway there were lots of old books, parchment papers and a fancy pen with a feather on the desk there. The desk had lots of cubbyholes. That's where the various treasures are supposed to be, and I was reaching in each cubby to see if there was anything interesting there. I heard a noise that sounded like a creaky door or a creaky chair and figured it was Gray trying to scare me. I didn't turn around I just said,
"I know it's you, Gray. You know Mumma said not to keep trying to scare me all the time."
The creaky noise got even louder and I turned around to yell at him and I could hardly get a word out. Coming toward me from the back of the cabin was a pirate ghost! I kept trying to call "Gray! Gray!" because I knew he was on deck, but my throat was not working right and my voice sounded like a frog being strangled, all croaky and whispery at the same time. Oh, well, calling Gray was a waste of time anyway, because not even if I'd been screaming would he have been paying attention. So I turned around again and ran through the cabin door and when I looked back the ghost was still coming after me. When I got far enough away he stopped and then began making hoogie-boogie scary sounds. It felt like all the hairs on my head and even the fluffy ones on my arms were trying to stand up straight. Gray was there by the dummy pirate and he looked up finally. Then you know what my crazy brother did? He walked right over there and started telling jokes to that ghost. Pretty soon the ghost was laughing like anything. Unfortunately, his laugh was almost as scary to me as his hoogie-boogies. Then Gray asked the ghost to teach him a pirate sea chantey. I was already going down the steps to the beach (as fast as I could) when he asked that. But Gray says that the Captain really did teach him a chantey. I should know because Gray sings it all the time now (too much, if you ask me) So, again I was a coward and Gray was brave. Why do these things always happen to me? Why can't I be a brave heroine like in all the books I read? It's most discouraging at times. And I didn't even find any treasure either.
When I got downstairs to the beach I went in the water where Mumma and Daddy were already swimming. When I finally tried to tell her about the ghost and Gray she told me never mind about that and to come with her to the girls' bathhouse and change back into our clothes. Then we went to get soft drinks. I got grape pop and Mumma got diet Sprite and we waited over by the refreshments and I told Mumma I hoped Gray had not been kidnapped by the ghost. But as I said that Gray came walking from the boys' bathhouse and got a can of grape pop, too. He looked just like his regular self, going "So what's up?" and tugging on a lock of my hair.
"Oh, nothing, I guess being chased by a ghost is boring to you since you're his best friend now," I huffed.
He grinned and said, "Nothing to it."
He grinned in a way that made me laugh, though. He always ends up making me laugh. He's a charming stinker like his daddy, is what Mumma always says.
We were all waiting for Daddy to come from the bathhouse. When he did we went home and Mumma made Gray and me take baths again. When I asked why she said because we were only rinsing off at the bathhouse and it wasn't a real shower and even she was going to take another shower in a minute. Oh, well. Sometimes with parents you can't win.
This morning we are going to go to the Majestic Ruins of Jumbok. While we waited for Mumma to be ready I was sitting on the balcony off our bedroom, wearing my new pirate clothes Mumma bought at South Beach and thinking about nothing. You know how it's fun to do that sometimes? I just picked out a cloud and pretended in my head I was lying on that fluffy cloud and then while I watched it I thought of nothing. Yes, I know there's a game where you look at clouds and say what animal the cloud looks like but that's not what I was doing. I was drifting on that cloud in my mind and thinking of nothing. Just nothing.
"You're doing it again," Gray came out to the balcony, "Looking up at the sky and making your eyes all funny."
I told him I was thinking of nothing and that it was hard to do with him staring at me. He just shrugged and said,
"How can you think of nothing, unless you're asleep or dead? As soon as your brain forms a thought you have to be thinking of something."
"I can't hear you, Professor Logical, lalalalala," I squeezed my eyes shut.
He was quiet a minute then I heard him ask,
"Want some bubbles?"
I opened my eyes again and Gray was messing with the bubbles Mumma picked up for us at the Pirate Park. He had his own bottle and was holding out the other one to me.
I had been thinking I was too old to play with bubbles but...I couldn't let Gray have all the fun by himself. So we made bubbles for a while until Gray--who can't sit still except when he is drawing or sleeping--ran down to play jump rope out in back.
So when he did that I started writing all of this in my journal. But just now Daddy yelled up the stairs that anyone who wants to go to Jumbok with him had better shake a leg. He is talking about me because I can hear Mumma and Gray already down by the front door. Whenever I'm writing in here it seems like that's when they want me to do something or they come over and--Oh, no! I'll write more later 'cause now Daddy yelled "Valrae!" and he's counting "1...2...3..."
I love you, etc., etc., etc.!
Next blog update: Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 21 Vacation Pt. 4