Wet Sand Angels
By Andy Betz
My father told me the move would be OK. California would be different in a good way. I told
him Helena was home. He told me to give San Diego a try. I acquiesced, not because I wanted
to, but because I had to.
Our beach-front was nothing. I had at my disposal a pittance of area whence I once reigned
supreme. I also now had neighbors. And noisy seagulls. And sand. What was I to do with this
sand? I kicked it in disgust. I picked up a handful and threw the gelatinous substance as if it was
a Montana snowball (it wasn’t and it could never be). I knelt down and tried to pack it into a
snowman to bring a memory of what I knew as home to where I now lived. I should have known
better than to try. All I could do was fall down and question everything.
Then it hit me. Maybe, just maybe I can bring a “Big Sky” welcome to where I needed it most.
This sand was perfect for one thing, sand angels. I made sand angels. I made dozens of them.
My new neighbors came with their latte cups to watch the crazy new kid create snow angels in
the wet sand. Maybe they thought I required therapy. Maybe they thought this was therapy.
Whatever they thought, it didn’t take long for them to make their own sand angels in the wet
Soon, I found myself the suzerain to all things sandy. I also found a kid (a pretty girl) that
thought I might be a good friend.
I made it through that summer and then that year.
We still all play on the wet sand; my father, me, my wife, and (now) my three sand angel making
With degrees in Physics and Chemistry, Andy Betz has tutored and taught in excess of 30 years. His novel (The Lady in Red Quilt), short stories (The Copy, Kelly, My Color, November, My Bucket List, Mrs. Zeeman), and poems (The First Verse of the Worst Nurse Curse, Soon, I Watched the Ocean, When I Was Ten, The Coin Spins, Once Was a Day Without Sunshine, Wrap Around Wrap, Polysyllabic Enunciation) are works still defining his style. He lives in 1974, has been married for 26 years, and collects occupations (the current tally is 95). He currently teaches physics and physical science.