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Anneke and Hans and the Surfing Adventure with Cousin Emma

by Susan Kramer

It was a family affair. Ma, Pa, twins Anneke, Hans, and cousin Emma, daughter of Ma's sister, and nearly nine years old, would be spending the day together. They were going to the sea near their home.


The weather was sunny, and windy, perfect for using their new Styrofoam body boards to ride the surf near shore.

Pa wheeled the carrying cart out of the shed and attached it to the back of his bike. The kids loaded in a beach umbrella, towels, old blanket, the body


boards, foam zip front life vests for each, water bottles, and their lunch of cheese and buttered buns, and plums. Plus, energy bars to eat on the two mile bike ride home.


The kids were excited. It was the first time that summer they had biked to the beach to swim and body surf in the sea. And it was even more fun having Emma with them.


Arriving at the beach they locked their bikes at the log rack provided, and carried their supplies down the low sand dune to the sandy, wide beach.


They picked a place to set up that was just a short distance from the main crowd.


While Ma and Pa arranged their supplies, the twins and Emma donned their life vests before wading into the warm waters of the sea.


After getting used to the water washing up in waves, they ran back to their umbrella and carried their body boards down to the water.



All three gradually waded into the breaking surf until they were about waist deep and quickly turned to face the shore, hugging their boards.


Right away a wave lifted them up and they rode it all the way in. So far no problems.


After a while they started slowing down from running out into the waves over and over.


It became too tiring for Emma to keep up with her sturdier cousins, but she didn't want to complain and be left with her aunt and uncle under the umbrella while her cousins were still having fun.


So, Emma struggled on trying to keep up the pace and very soon she was knocked off her board, tumbling into the surf like a rolling ball.


When she came up for air another wave caught her and knocked her under, even though she was in shallow surf.


She was too exhausted to stand up and walk back to shore.


Thankfully, Anneke and Hans saw what was happening, let their boards go, and were able to reach her before a third wave could knock her under.


Each twin took one of her arms, steadied her and practically dragged her up to dry sand.


Ma and Pa saw what was happening and reached the kids just as they got up to the dry beach.


Ma had grabbed a towel as she ran down to the surf and the adults wrapped Emma in it, and Pa carried her up to their blanket under the umbrella.


Ma briskly rubbed down Emma's arms and legs and rewrapped her in a dry towel.


After resting a while, Emma sat up and seemed okay. They took this time to eat lunch.


Then Pa moved the blanket into the sun and all the children laid down for a short nap, shading their eyes with their hats.




When they woke up the family talked about the experience.


First, they were thankful Emma was okay. They reflected they were glad they were each wearing a life vest.


They could see that the life vest had brought Emma back up to surface when the waves knocked her down. It probably saved her life!


That being enough excitement for the day, they packed up their equipment and leisurely rode the easy bike path home.


After the twins and Emma showered they hung out in the great room and talked some more about the day.


Emma realized that she should not have been hesitant to say how tired she was getting while on her body board.


In the future she would speak up for herself.



To heck with being embarrassed or thought of as weak.


Anneke and Hans agreed with her.


While the three had been talking, Ma heated up thick tomato vegetable soup, and served it with twisted bread sticks.


The family came to the table thankful to be together and safe.



Key Points:

life vests; speaking up for one's self; helping; caring


Excerpted from Anneke and Hans in 30 Short Stories from North Holland


Anneke and Hans and the Surfing Adventure with Cousin Emma, and photo of North Sea copyright 2018-2019 Susan Helene Kramer


Author Bio:


A meditation and yoga practitioner since 1976, and mother of five, Susan writes on practical spirituality, family and social issues, and dance for children and adults. Her instructional books are listed at her web site