Posted tagged ‘low tide’

“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.”

July 13, 2017

The weather is crazy. It is sunny then cloudy then sunny again. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife (my father loved that old saw. The wording is repetitive, I know,  but what the heck). It is supposed to rain later today and again tomorrow. I have nowhere to go so I’m just fine with rain.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rains. We used to stay outside and get wet, even soaked. The stronger the rain, the more the fun. We’d splash at each other with the rainwater running down the gutters in the street. Sometimes the water ran so strongly it resembled a river with white rapids, or at least it seemed that way to us. Paper boats never had much of a chance. I think my love of the rain came from the joy we felt during summer storms.

We didn’t always go on vacation when I was a kid. Mostly we stayed home and did day trips, what they call a staycation now. I think my family invented that. We kids didn’t care. My mother and father planned great excursions. We did beach days. I remember swimming in water left by low tide and surrounded by sand bars. The sandwiches always had a bit of grit. We’d walk the beach and collect shells. By the end of the summer, I’d have quite a collection.

I remember the museums. They weren’t air conditioned in those days, but they always felt cool, the way my hometown library and post office did. I have two vivid memories of stuff at museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember the sarcophagi. They were in one giant room and they looked enormous to me. I was impressed and amazed they once all held mummies. At the Peabody Museum at Harvard I remember the outrigger hanging from the ceiling and the ape heads in jars. For some reason those heads fascinated me. They were in rows, jar after jar.

We went to the drive-in often as my grandfather had a pass so our car got in free. Bringing bug juice and popped corn from home and candy from the store made it a fairly inexpensive evening. There were always two movies and an intermission. The first movie was for kids and the second for adults as kids were expected to have fallen asleep by then or why the pajamas?

We’d go out to dinner one night during our stay at home vacation which was such a treat as we seldom went out to dinner. We’d go to Kitty’s in the next town over. It was always busy and cheap enough. I remember the waitresses carrying huge trays with several plates of foods on them. I watched kind of hoping to see plates hit the floor. They didn’t.

It never occurred to me we stayed home because we didn’t have the money for an away vacation. All the wonderful day trips are what I remember the most. I love museums thanks to those trips. I have seashells on display in the kitchen. Our Saturday outside movie nights are like the drive-in without the car but not without the candy.

“Life’s a beach. Just roll with it.”

May 17, 2015

Today is a glorious day. The sun is bright, the sky so blue it looks painted and the air warm and smelling of the ocean. It is a day to be outside to feel the sun on my face, to get drowsy in the warmth and maybe fall asleep.

The Sundays of my childhood were quiet days. First we had to go to church. Sometimes we’d go with my dad while other times we’d walk, my brother and I. In the summer the early masses were crowded so people could have the whole day. Those were my favorite masses. Often there were no open seats in the pews so we had to stand in the back and even outside on the steps where I was so far away from the altar at the front of the church I never heard any part of the mass. I’d get tired and sit on the steps. The adults standing in the back used to crane their necks to see what was going inside. I was never that curious.

Most Sundays were family days. In the summer that often meant the beach for the whole day. We never tired of the beach and the ocean no matter how often we went. My favorite ocean time was low tide when there would be pools of warm water. We’d check out the starfish and toss empty crab shells at each other. We’d try to catch the small darting fish we called minnows even though they weren’t. We’d take our pails and walk along the water’s edge looking for shells, but not just random shells, we were picky. We’d pass by the clam shells and look for spirals with different colors inside and out. It was rare to find a complete spiral. Often one side was missing or chipped. We’d nearly fill our pails, wash out the sand in the water then put the pail near the blanket so we could bring home all our treasures. Mine usually went on my bureau for a while.

Eating at the beach was mostly when we were hungry. We had our choice of sandwiches, usually cold cuts but  sometimes egg salad. There were always chips to go with the sandwiches and my mother always packed a bag of Oreos, the easiest of all desserts.

My dad would make sure our feet were cleaned so we wouldn’t bring sand into his car. He’d open the car door, we’d sit and he’d dunk our feet into a pail of water then we’d scramble our way to our seats without touching the parking lot sand. I think it a bit ironic that we ended up living on the Cape where sand is almost part of the car floor.

I remember falling into an exhaustive sleep after a day in the sun and water. Sometimes, when my head was on the pillow, warm water would drain from my ears. It was a strange sensation.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 20, 2015

Happy first day of spring!

My friends and I went to the beach, as we do every first day of spring, to see the sunrise. The sky was spectacular colored as it was in the deepest pinks and reds in bands over the jetty. The low tide was lower than I can ever remember. The ocean was so still it could have been a lake on a warm summer morning. We heard seagulls squawking as they flew over. It was cold but bearable as there was no wind. The sand was rock hard as we neared the ocean. We watched the top arc of the sun appear over the rocks. It was huge and the brightest of yellows. We stayed until the sun had totally risen awing at its color and beauty and taking pictures all the while, but then the cold finally got to us. We went to the car where we sang our traditional welcoming songs to spring, Morning Has Broken and The Red, Red Robin. We finished our first day of spring festivities with breakfast and hot cups of coffee to warm the innards. It was a most wonderful morning.

I went back to bed for a couple of hours when I got home. When I woke up, the sky was grey and the sun had disappeared, probably exhausted from its spectacular entrance this morning. I thought how lucky I had been to see the sunrise and to see those colors framed by the blue sky and a few puffy clouds.

We will be having some snow tonight. It seems Old Man Winter is being recalcitrant and continuing to overstay his welcome. It is well past his time to pack up and leave, but he refuses and still lingers, cursed and unwanted. Leave, Old Man Winter, leave. Spring is here and welcomed with open arms.