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Red Cross recommends caution in midst of summer heatwave

Enjoying a summer picnic are (from left) Aimee, Grady and Lydia Becker and their cousin, Rachel Burns. With temperatures hovering near the 80 degree mark for the next 10 days, it’s time to get out for a dose of Vitamin S.  - Kelly Joines/Staff Photo
Enjoying a summer picnic are (from left) Aimee, Grady and Lydia Becker and their cousin, Rachel Burns. With temperatures hovering near the 80 degree mark for the next 10 days, it’s time to get out for a dose of Vitamin S.
— image credit: Kelly Joines/Staff Photo

INDIANOLA — On Monday afternoon shouts of “how much time?” were heard from the Indianola dock as a father/daughter team raced against the incoming tide to save Sand Dollar Castle.

The three, John Hebert, 49, and his daughters Margaret, 10, and Audrey, 7, started early that day performing the tasks of city engineers and planners in their world of beach.

“I’ve been doing this here since I was their age,” John said. He grew up summering with his grandmother, Adele Hebert, who bought her cabin in Indianola back in 1928 when the running cost of a beach house was $18,000.

This week the Heberts were back at the family cabin enjoying the day’s 80 degree temperature while getting away from their city life in Mill Creek.

“I haven’t beat the tide in 49 years. No, I haven’t beat it yet but today is the day,” John said, adamantly shoveling sand to build a moat surrounding the castle.

In the 70-80 degree weather, projected to stick around for the next 10 days according to The Weather Channel, the Heberts were enjoying the heat but playing it cool.

According to an American Red Cross Web site, if bodies don’t keep cool enough naturally, people can suffer heat-related illnesses.

To avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke the ARC recommends dressing in light-colored clothes as they reflect sunlight, whereas darker colors absorb it.

Drinking plenty of water and eating small meals more often throughout the day also prevents heat-related sickness, as does avoiding eating a lot of protein. Protien increases bodily metabolic heat.

The ARC suggests avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day and taking regular breaks in cool places.

With the Heberts battling the heat and the tide, things were looking good for their sand village by the sea.

The tide is still yards out but both girls are hard at work building a crab habitat for King Jeffery and Queens Amanda and Adele, named after their middle names.

“We are trying to save the village,” said Audrey jumping up to dig holes, in hopes of diverting the water.

With one moat finished, they started on a second.

“Take a look at the tide! We’ve got people to save,” said John, tossing the girls a water bottle to gear up for their final push of village-saving effort.

In all their combined years of beach construction, they have never had to build alone.

“It really brings kids together. They all want to help save it.”

Ironically, another girl walks up, watching with big eyes at the task that lie ahead. The water is beginning to touch the walls surrounding the outer, incomplete moat.

“Hey I just noticed you over here and thought I should help,” said the 7-year-old Tracy Tyler.

The girls promtly hand her a shovel.

“Thank goodness you made it, Tracy. We have people to save,” John said.

As the tide draws nearer, the girls spot water looping around the backside, sneaking up on the drawbridge.

“Ahh! Closing the drawbridge,” Margaret said.

Taking a breather, John whispered “one day they will realize that you never beat the tide.”

Always watching her dad, Audrey overheard.

“I already know that, dad,” she said with the worldly knowledge of all of her 7 years.

As the walls of the outer boat are washed smooth again, Margaret witnesses nature’s learning lesson.

Urged by her dad and sister to quickly make the walls bigger, she realizes she can’t keep up with the rising water.

“It’s not exactly easy putting up something that was naturally put down,” said Margaret.

But with the onset of summer weather, there’s bound to be more time to build a sandcastle to beat the tide.

“One day it will work. You’ve got to believe, right Aud,” he asks.

“Yep,” Audrey says still hard at work pairing sand and shovel. “Anything is possible.”

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