It’s Memorial Day Weekend, otherwise known as the start of the summer… really, the start of the summer at the BEACH! I was so blessed to grow up spending my summers at my grandparents shore house in Sea Isle City, NJ, right there on 59 street, halfway between the ocean and the bay.
And, I miss it.
Every summer, from the time I was born, Today… was the day we’d pack up, sit in traffic and start out weekend sitting on the porch … watching it rain. Seems it always rained Memorial Day Weekend.
And today, much like the last few years… there is a longing in my bones to get in my car, sit in traffic and head to the shore. Such a longing… My mind, my heart, my everything is sitting down at the shore right now, listening to the familiar sounds of lawn mowers, families unpacking, the bustle and energy of family.
I love the beach! I think mainly because for me, it was a place of family. It was a small little house we’d all gather in… a little 3 bedroom, one bath… living room and kitchen. There could be just my grandparents and us 3 kids, add in my mom.. then my dad would come after work. There might be other cousins, aunts, friends… seriously – we’d have 6 people in one room, people sleeping in the living room.. lines for the bathroom… we’d all fit and it would be wonderful. Saturday mornings were for bike rides on the boardwalk or one time – an adventurous ride from our house to Stone Harbor and I can still remember riding my bike over that bridge in between the islands… stopping in Stone Harbor for a pretzel and soda.
There were several families that spent their summers on our block and we all would spend our evenings in our backyard playing tag or kick the can or kickball.. or whatever we could come up with.
We’d be covered in bug bites, tan skin, bright eyes and we’d be happy
There were boat rides on Poppop’s boat, BBQ’s, pancakes and porkroll, evening strolls on the boardwalk, ice cream – lots of ice cream!
And as the summer begins and I’m here and not heading to the beach, I feel sort of misplaced. I want to pack up my family and just go…
Go and forget about do to lists, leave the stress behind and enjoy being together in my happy place.
I miss those summers. They were good summers. Great summers. And I have an ache today to be heading to the shore.
So, if I should disappear this weekend, and Sunday I don’t show up to preach.. . you can find me in Sea Isle City, 59th street, my feet in the sand, a good book in my hands and my eyes on the lifeguards. Oh wait.. I’m not 16 anymore… Today, my eyes would be on my kids! And they’re cuter then the lifeguards anyway!