Posted tagged ‘beaches’

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

July 3, 2016

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.

“Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant ‘idiot.”

July 2, 2015

The rain was unbelievable yesterday morning. In only ninety minutes we received 2 1/4 inches of rain. Roads were flooded, trees knocked down by lightning and thunder rumbled overhead the whole time, sometimes close, sometimes far way. When the storm ended, the humidity was stifling, but I had to do some errands so I left right away. Everyone else had the same idea. The dump was crowded and cars were bumper to bumper on the main roads. I sat in traffic and observed what was happening, none too patiently. I decided it was easy to determine the start of tourist season. The parking lot, the grassy areas on the other side of the road and any available space at the movie theater is filled on a rainy day. Two light cycles is the average waiting time at any red light. People curse you when you’re already on the rotary after you nearly hit their cars when they jump into rotary traffic. It is obvious the rules of a rotary are foreign to many people. Four way stops? Nope, no etiquette there. We all take turns at the stop signs, but not the man from Connecticut. He went right through a few seconds after the car in front of him. After two cars nearly hit him, they honked, and he looked bewildered. Cars on 6A go slowly and the driver and passengers gawk and swivel their heads from one side to the other. They point. Supermarkets run out of carriages. They are strewn all over the parking lot. Beaches fill by ten. Restaurants serving seafood fill by 6. We have learned to eat dinner at 5. Yesterday my last stop was Agway, a joyful spot, a place totally ignored by tourists.

When I got home and brought everything inside, I was sweating from every pore in my body. My shirt was soaked in the back, and my hair was curling from the humidity. I shut the windows and turned on the AC. I took a shower. a barely warm shower. My feet eventually got cold. That was a delight.

“Everybody likes a roller coaster ride.”

August 11, 2014

This morning I have already cleaned off the deck and filled the bird feeders. I also tried again to attach the fronds to my new palm tree, but they are just too heavy for me to hold with one hand and attach with the other. I’ll have to wait until Thursday when Lee and Roseana come to clean. Lee is always happy to help.

If you want to know the weather, check yesterday’s Coffee because it is the same today, the same gorgeous day. I see a deck day, and I also see a dump run as I have already loaded the car. Gracie will be glad. Weekends are no longer dump days as the traffic is lined up along the street to the dump and inside is a mad house. Mondays are quiet.

My front garden is beautiful so I’ll try to take some pictures today. I always wanted a garden filled with flowers, and this garden is exactly what I dreamed. Not being a gardener, it was hit or miss with the flowers I chose, but I did well. I noticed some bare spots and a bush is going to be moved this fall so next year I get to buy more flowers, perennials in the front. I’ll do a bit of research first then make my list. Some I may have to get on-line as rare flowers aren’t at the local garden shops. People tend to buy the familiar.

We never came down the cape when I was a kid. All our vacations were in Maine or Vermont. On weekends we went to local beaches on the North Shore. When I was really young, we went to Revere Beach. I remember aunts and uncles and cousins being there with us as well. I also remember the adults would take turns. Some would watch us while others would run across the street for a drink or two. Revere Beach back then had all sorts of food booths, bars, arcade games and rides. We kids never left the beach. There was always plenty to eat and drink from the various baskets. We’d whine and ask to go on a ride, but I can’t remember ever taking one though maybe we rode the merry-go-round, but that is a hazy memory at best.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would go to Revere Beach on a Friday or Saturday night. We’d buy sausage subs with peppers and onions and eat them as we walked along the boardwalk. We rode the roller coaster. I remember that roller coaster more than any other ride because when I was young I could see the top of the coaster from the highway on the way to visit my grandparents. It was a sign post of sorts as to where we were. I loved that old wooden coaster. I remember the anticipation and maybe a little fear as the roller coaster slowly climbed that first hill. I remember the sounds of the coaster. It made squealing noises around corners, the wheels clicked on the track for the whole ride and people always screamed, especially down that first hill. The brave ones didn’t hold on but raised both arms in the air in a show of bravado. I wasn’t one of them. I always held on.

“Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.”

June 17, 2014

The streets were wet this morning so it rained during the night. The morning started out as cloudy, but the sun is in and out so I hope it might just end up being a pleasant afternoon.

That was one exciting soccer game last night. The US scored in just the first forty or so seconds but Ghana later tied the score. After the US broke the tie, I sat on the edge of my seat for what seemed like forever, but Ghana didn’t score. The US won 2-1.

I have only caught 4 mice in the cellar trap. The fourth was released last night. He had been in the trap about a day and was totally scared, even in a panic. It took a while before he’d leave the trap. I hope he finds some friends in his new neighborhood. I’ll bait then return the trap to the cellar later. Mice do like peanut butter.

Every time we went to the beach when I was young, I collected shells and a few dead starfish. The shells I got to keep but not the starfish. They always started to stink and out they went. Sometimes I’d find a really neat stone by the water, a flat, round stone with different shades of gray across it, and I’d save that too. Those shells and stones were my first collection.

I’ve noticed that being a kid and being older have a lot in common. I know if I wore plaids and prints or plaids and poker dots people would just think my ensemble was chosen by an old woman who has lost her fashion sense. When I was a kid, we didn’t have any fashion sense. I wore what was in the bureau drawer, and matching wasn’t taken into account. At stores like Woolworth’s or Grant’s, I always took my time choosing what to buy with my dime or quarter. My slowness probably drove the adults crazy, but I never noticed their impatience. I do notice old people in stores and how slowly they walk or push their carriages, and I’m often caught behind them. They stop in the middle of the aisle. I say excuse me so I can pass but most times they don’t move. I figure they didn’t hear me so I ask more loudly. If they don’t move,  I just backtrack and change aisles. I wonder sometimes if I am looking at my future and one day I’ll be in the middle of the aisle. Kids and old people are discourteous at times. I used to think old people felt entitled because they had lasted so long. Kids just do what they can away with doing.

It occurred to me that there is a name for this phenomenon, for this similarity. First there’s childhood then second childhood with all its rights and privileges.

“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.”

May 29, 2011

This morning’s weather is the same as yesterday’s, cloudy and damp. I just hope the day turns as lovely as yesterday’s did. ‘Tis the season of pine pollen which now covers everything, including my car. I have to clean my windshield so I can see before I drive. The deck too is covered in lime green, a Popsicle lime green.

Lots of people around this weekend. Even the summer church is open. My breakfast place had a line outside the door by the time I left. We generally figure the tourist season officially opens around the 4th of July. I’ll have to get my hunting license before then (okay, I’m kidding). The Cape Times says bookings are up from last year: oh hooray! more people filling the roads and stores. It seems I’m getting into my summer siege mentality early this year. Good thing the library is so close.

When I was growing up, my family used to spend a day at the beach most summer weekends. We’d go north to Gloucester. I think my dad wanted to keep us away from Revere Beach which still had its boardwalk and its rides. I remember coming home from visiting my grandparents and seeing the top of the roller coaster from the road. It was the highest hill, and the white rails were easy to see. When I was in high school, my friends and I would sometimes go to Revere Beach and spend the evening on the rides and walking around eating fried dough and sausage subs with peppers and onions. The boardwalk was filled with people, most of them eating something. Neon signs lit the night. The beach was right across the street. It was usually moonlit and lovely.

When I was really young, lots of my family would go to Revere Beach together for the day. My parents and my aunts and uncles took turns watching us kids while the other adults slipped across the street to a boardwalk bar. We didn’t care. We didn’t even notice. Mostly I remember the gray sea wall, blankets and towels spread on the sand, pails and shovels to make castles and picnic baskets to rummage through. On the way home, those baskets were still filled but not with food. They carried shells and driftwood and all the other treasures we’d found.

“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”

August 30, 2010

The weather says heat is on its way, 80’s for the next few days. I guess the dog days of August have made it just under the wire. Schools around here start next week. The paper listed their start days this morning. That always meant the end of summer for me, but I never really minded. My favorite time of year was coming.

During summers, when I was growing up, meals were haphazard. We were always coming and going, even to being outside after the streetlights went on. Dinners were simple, usually hot dogs or hamburgers, corn on the cob, popsicles and every now and then my mother’s famous peppers and eggs. We were never a green salad family. My mother made potato salad. My father loved homegrown tomatoes, and he used to cut one up, put the slices on a plate, add a spoonful of mayonnaise for dipping and have it as a side dish at dinner. We kids ate as quickly as we could so we could get back outside. Sunday family dinners were put off until cooler weather.

We spent countless weekends at the beach. The picnic basket was always filled with sandwiches, fruit and cookies. The tartan jug held bug juice. My mother seldom ventured off the blanket. She’d sit and watch my sisters. My brother and I roamed. My father swam in the cold water while my brother and I waited until low tide so we could swim in the warmer, tide pools. I remember walking on the rippled sand to get to the deep pool. The houses across from the beach were huge, and I always wished I could live in one of them and wake up every day to hear the gulls and see the water. My mother used to get annoyed if we tracked sand on the blanket. I remember a wet bathing suit, a towel around my shoulders, my butt on the blanket and my legs and feet in the sand. The last bites of food always tasted gritty.