Last week, on Hilton Head Island, I did a lot of people watching.
Perched comfortably in my chair, I watched parents play with, scold, feed, and dig holes with their children.
I watched couples rub sunscreen on each other's backs.
I watched young men and old women drink beer after beer after beer.
I watched pot-bellied men read the newspaper while being seared by the sun.
I watched children run and jump onto skimmers and nearly break their backs trying to stay upright.
I watched too many people ask the lifeguards for the spray that you use after getting stung by a jellyfish.
I watched and watched and wondered.
What brought all these people here to this island this week?
Why this week and not some other week?
Where are they from?
How long are they here?
Will they sleep well tonight in their hotel rooms or rental homes?
Are they worried about how they will pay for all this?
Where did she get that bathing suit?
With that deep sunburn, isn't he afraid of getting skin kanswer?
My favorite people to watch - and sneak photos of - were the older couples. The ones who seem like they had been together for years and knew each other's needs and preferences without seeming to ask out loud. This couple below was very friendly and inquisitive. Every now and then, he would go off on a bike ride or a walk to the water. She sat and watched and dug her toes into the sand and made conversation with me. So kind.
The woman in the photo below, in the near chair, looked like she was frail, weak, perhaps even suffering with an illness. Her husband also went off on bike rides during the day and then they left together for a while. I assume they went for lunch and a nap. After they returned, they sat and stared out at the water for a long time. I didn't even realize they were holding hands until I looked at this photo days after taking it.