“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”

The morning is just perfect, sunny and cool. This room is even a bit chilly. I woke up at six, an abominable hour. Hoping to fall back to sleep, I stayed in bed until 6:30 when I decided to get up and start my day.

At 5: 30 what I thought was moaning woke me up. I looked for Gracie at the foot of the bed, but she wasn’t there. I panicked, figured she fell and went to look under the bed. That’s when I noticed her. She was staring at me from the top of the bed near my other pillow. She would have been sleeping right beside my head. What I took as moaning was probably her deep breathing and maybe a bit of a snore. I swear I saw pity in her eyes.

The Cape is filled this weekend. On Friday the back-up was three or four miles to get over the Sagamore Bridge. With July 4th a Monday, the long weekend has enticed people to travel. Some have gone north to New Hampshire and beyond while others have come to the Cape, a perfect weekend destination. The lure of beaches and seafood is not easy to ignore. Before I lived here, I never came down the cape. We stayed closer to home. When I was really young, it was Revere Beach with aunts and uncles and cousins. That was when there were still rides and lots of places for fried dough, burgers, pizza slices and Italian ice. When I got older, we’d go to the beach in Gloucester, the cold water beaches. My father didn’t care and he went swimming anyway. My mother always stayed on the blanket. If she went in the water, it was along the shore and only her feet got wet. I found out later my mother had never learned to swim. I found that amazing considering how much time we’d spent at the beaches each summer. Both my mother and dad grew up in the city, but my dad was a great swimmer. I loved to watch him body surf in the waves. He taught us to swim. I wondered how he learned and my mother didn’t. Come to find out my dad went to summer camps where he learned to swim.

I don’t go to the beaches. I did when I was younger, but now I’m not so keen on crowds, sand and itchy skin from the salt. I think the best time for the beaches is the fall and the winter. Each season looks different but no less beautiful. The winter beach looks cold and even desolate. The wind blows so hard it is sometimes difficult to walk. I think that’s my favorite time for beaches.

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18 Comments on ““In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The grandparents lived at Bognor Reis which was our regular destination for vacations. The beach was often awash in tar from passing vessels. Swimming would mean salt and cold wind. We were happier walking down to the pier to watch the divers and play on the penny slots in the arcade at the end of the pier. The ornate gardens near my grandparents home on Silverston Road held a putting green where we would happily spend an afternoon

    Big Rick and I were confronted by The Boys at the Park – we had wondered where the wild turkey were this year and got the answer this morning as we slowly circumnavigated the lake at 7:30

    Mrs MDH and I took the Prince to BFG in 3D last night, he really liked it which is what counts.

    The bikes are on, I love the Tour de France and its football later for who will play Germany in the semi final on Thursday

    • Hedley Says:

      Bognor Regis ….”Bugger Bognor”

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Why Bugger?

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat – supposedly uttered by a monarch about to exit – here is the wiki steal

        King George V had become ill, requiring lung surgery to be carried out on 12 December 1928. His recovery was slow and on 22 January 1929 Buckingham Palace issued the statement saying “it has been realised by the King’s medical advisers that, prior to the establishment of convalescence, there would arrive a time when sea air would be necessary in order to secure the continuation of His Majesty’s progress”. The Palace statement went on “with the knowledge, a careful search was made for a “residence” not only suitable in itself but possessing the necessary attributes of close proximity to the sea, southern exposure, protection from wind, privacy and reasonable access to and from London. The residence selected was Craigweil House, Bognor (demolished in 1939) placed at His Majesty’s disposal by owner Sir Arthur Du Cros” who was a wealthy businessman, having acquired the house from Dr Stocker who bought it from the Countess of Newburgh who had constructed the building in 1806. The house, technically, was in Aldwick.

        As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix “Regis” (“of the King”) on “Bognor”.[9] The petition was presented to Lord Stamfordham, the King’s Private Secretary, who in turn delivered it to the King. King George supposedly replied, “Oh, bugger Bognor.” Lord Stamfordham then went back to the petitioners and told them, “the King has been graciously pleased to grant your request.”

        A slightly different version of the “Bugger Bognor” incident is that the King, upon being told, shortly before his death, that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, uttered the words “Bugger Bognor!” Although there is little evidence that these words were actually spoken in this context, and although the sea air helped the King to regain his health, it is certain that the King had little regard for the town.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I had no idea where Bognor Regis is so I went looking; actually I hadn’t ever heard of it before this, but it had everything: beaches, though tarred, gardens, a putting green and the penny slots

      Your penny slots sounds a bit like the arcade at Revere Beach. We always begged for a bit of money.

      The BFG got good reviews so I’m glad the Prince agreed.

      Wild turkeys are everywhere it seems. A few were reintroduced to the Cape years ago. Now they travel in groups as large as 15.

      Have great day and enjoy that football!

      • Hedley Says:

        It was very typical for folks to retire to the seaside and so my Grandparents left Epsom in the 60s for the delights of Bognor Regis.
        By default it became our summer holiday destination. MY grandmother was a very good sport and would make sure we saw the new Beatles movies, had a few pennies for the slot machines and an icecream treat

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        And you, of course, have continued the tradition of having wonderful grandparents.

        My mother’s parents wee always welcoming to many of their eight kids and their kids. I remember penne on the stove, enough to feed a big crowd. My grandfather used to have piles of dimes so he could give each of us one. A dime went a long way in those days.

      • katry Says:

        Thanks, MDH, for that great story. The pedigree of Craigweil House was interesting as well with all those dates and owners.

        The medical advisors had quite the list of must haves for the King’s convalescence.

        It doesn’t matter which story is correct. Both are funny.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We had a cool and sunny morning here followed by a slightly warmer and cloudy noon with some rain. The thunder missed us again but I just heard something that could have been thunder after all. I looked at the live lightning site and it looks like it is coming from the south towards us again. Still far away though.

    It’s a long time since I went to the beach too, I don’t sun bathe but I don’t mind jumping in to the water if it is a hot day. Too far away now days though, it is easier to just stay at home 🙂

    Back in the days we all learned how to swim in school but then some idiot decided that wasn’t necessary so now people are drowning a lot, so many that they now are talking about swiming lessons in schools again. To be honest though, most people drowning now days are not so sober middle aged men. Men are always idiots who think they can do anything even if they are drunk and have heart problems 🙂

    Last day at my old blog, the move happens tomorrow. The free space has come to an end now so the move is a must.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      I thought it was going to be hot today, but the house is still relatively cool. The clouds were here for a small while then the sun appeared and hasn’t left. Gracie must have thought the house a little too cool as she went on the deck and laid in the sun for a while.

      I haven’t been to the beach for a while either and it surrounds me. The tourists fill the lots and their blankets are all over the place.

      There are places which give private lessons, and they are popular. Around here kids really do need to know how to swim. The only growing I’ve heard of lately was a kayaker.

      I have already put your new blog and its url on Coffee so people can follow you.

      Have a great day!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t remember learning to swim. I only remember swimming all the time. My mother told me that when I was still in the crawling stage she and my father brought me to the beach. She went into swim, leaving me on the blanket, she thought. As she was wading into the surf, she looked back and there I was at her heels crawling into the surf with her and totally unafraid of the waves smacking me in the face.
    My mother used to take us to Lynn or Revere beach in the summer. On rare occasions, she’d drive all the way up to Wingaersheek. She liked Wingaersheek best but Gloucester was a long drive for her. I loved the tide pools there but I didn’t like that you had to walk a mile through shallow water to get out far enough to swim. The shallowness of the area kept the water warm unlike a lot of the beaches up here. (I’m looking at you Plum Island. Brrr. Blue legs.)
    My all time favorite beach was Halibut Point in Gloucester. When I was going there, not many people did. We paid to park in a lot that had a Beware of Attack Cat sign. Then we had to hike our gear across a big field and down over large blocks of granite or whatever that had been dumped there from the quarries, I guess. Then we had to find a comfy block to sit on and defend our gear from seagulls. Swimming was dicey. We had to enter the water from the rocks which were covered in seaweed and on a rough day, it could be painful. It was an adventure!

    Today is a perfect summer day, in my opinion. Not hot, not humid, sunny enough, a cooling breeze. Excellent.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t remember when I learned to swim. I just know it was my dad. He was such a ton swimmer. I remember holding on to his back as he’d dive deep in the water. At one spot, a lake, I could see the fish. I thought it was so cool to be so deep.

      We always went to Wingaersheek beach. The tide pools were where we always liked to swim as the water was so cold otherwise. I remember the beautiful house which faced the beach. I aways thought one of them would be a great place to live.

      We never went to Halibut Point; in fact, I haven’t ever heard of it. It sounds like quite the hike to get there. I wonder what that cat was.

      I’m with you in thinking today is a perfect summer day!

      Have a great evening!!

    • Bob Says:

      I learned to swim in day camp. During the summer my parents signed me up for day camp. The bus picked us up in the morning and took us to the JCC and return us in the late afternoon. There we played games, did arts and crafts and took swimming lessons. It also gave my mother a needed break from me during the day. When I was kid I couldn’t understand why my father enjoyed an afternoon nap or my mother anticipation of day camp until I had my own kids. Now I understand completely. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I went to the girl scout day camp and also took swimming lessons there. On swim day the buses took us to the pool where we had lessons based on our swimming ability. On the other days we went to the lodge in the woods. It was in a lovely spot surrounded by huge trees. Later I became a counselor at the day camp.

  4. Bob Says:

    Like you I don’t really like going to the beach. When I was a kid in NYC we would go to Rockaway beach where there was a boardwalk full of food stands selling every kind of fare to eat or drink. There were even men walking up and down in the sand carrying hot or cold boxes selling ice cream, hot knishes and cold drinks. We would play in the surf and build sand castles all day long. My mother would stand in the shallow surf warning us not to venture too far out or we could get sucked in by the under tow. As a little kid I thought the under tow was a sea monster. 🙂

    These days I would rather sit next to a swimming pool in the shade rather than going to the beach. I hate getting sand and dried salt on my body and especially in my swimming trunks. My spouse loves the ocean because she says the sound of the surf calms and relaxes her while I can take it or leave it.

    My mother could swim but not my dad. He had a fear from childhood of putting his head in the water. My mother swam with her face above the water so as not to mess up her makeup. She always wore a bathing cap when she swam to keep her hairdo dry. Watching my mother swim always brought back memories of those 1930s and 40s aquatic movies with Esther Williams. A different generation and a much different era.

    Yet another day with a clear sky and temperatures just below the century mark. It’s good to sit in the great indoors with the AC and cable TV. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I chuckled at your undertow monster. I don’t think there were any at the beaches we went to when I was a kid. I don’t know of any beaches around here with one either.

      I love the smells and the sounds of the ocean. I used to walk my dogs there. Shauna, an earlier boxer, used to pee in the ocean just a little way out. There aren’t any pools around except the ones in motels. I love lakes far more than pools. There are a few around here good for swimming.

      I had to wear a swimming cap at the pool. I never liked it.

      It has been a spectacular day today with temperatures in the high 70’s and a breeze to keep even the house cool.

      • Bob Says:

        I’m not a fan of lakes because all of them in Texas are man made by building dams on the rivers and creeks. The drought of the early 1950s was the catalyst to get the Corps of Engineers to build the many lakes around the DFW area. Lake water tastes funny and only god knows what’s on the bottom. It could be old branches or water moccasins.

        I have a lovely pool just outside my front door but I enjoy the AC even more.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        The lakes here were from craters originally formed during the ice age. Others are kettle lakes. There are no man made lakes.


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