Posted tagged ‘shells’

“A box without hinges, key or lid, yet golden treasures inside is hid.”

February 25, 2018

All I have to rely on is my memory of the sun. It was here for a short time yesterday then the clouds took over the sky. It is raining now. I can hear it falling on the roof and that was the first sound I heard when I woke up. It will be in the mid-40’s today and will probably stay rainy. I have a couple of errands including the dump. This is the second time in a row it has rained on dump day. I’d wait until a better day, but the dump will close today and won’t open again until Thursday.

I have a pile of boxes ready for the dump recycle bin. Most of them are small. They have been coming all week as I have ordered all sorts of stuff from all sorts of places. Some stuff is for Easter while other stuff is for Christmas and one is for me, a new shirt bought at an end to winter sale.

I remember when boxes were as much fun as any toy. Big boxes from appliances became forts or hideouts. We’d bring pillows, a flashlight and a few provisions inside and stay in our fort all afternoon. We’d make a window with a three quarter cut on the side. It was the perfect spot from which to keep watch. Sometimes I’d even decorate and use crayons to make curtains. For some reason they were always red.

Shoe boxes were the best of all. They held treasures and were hidden away, usually under the bed. I remember one of mine held those two Scotties, the black and the white ones, which were magnets. I used to put the dogs’ noses together so they’d repel each other. Shells gathered on a summer afternoon at the beach were in the box and so was a starfish and smooth flat stones. Marbles sometimes made it. My favorites were the clear ones with colored pieces in the middle which always sort of looked like parts of a feather. Birthday cards, pins and CrackerJack’s prizes were also in the box. Most times stuff was added and seldom removed. Often, I’d pull the box out from under the bed then sit on the bed and lovingly take my treasures out of the box one by one. I always thought them treasures of great measure.

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

March 20, 2016

Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is a cold but sunny day. The sunrise was gorgeous. The beach was warmer than I expected as there wasn’t the cold breeze which sometimes comes off the water. We sat for a bit in the car then went outside to greet the first spring day. We watched the pinkish red glow of morning touch the sky then saw the top of the sun rise over the jetty. We sang our traditional songs. My friend Clare found us each a shell, a memento, then we got back into the car and went to breakfast. The sun was getting higher in the sky as we drove away.

Tonight it will snow. The amount is still in question. We could get 0-2 or 2-4 inches. We’re on the cusp.

I don’t remember cold Easters when I was a kid. My memory drawers have hidden them way in the back. I remember warm sunshine, pastel dresses, white gloves and Mary Jane shoes in black patent leather. This, the week before Easter, is when my mother did most of the clothes shopping. The Children’s Corner in the square had the perfect dresses. It had round racks filled with pink, green and light blue dresses and other racks of petticoats to make the dresses puffy. The shoes came from Thom McCann. I wasn’t one for hats but my sisters were. They fancied round ones with ribbons. They also carried little purses with one long metal strap. A light, fancy jacket finished the ensemble.

The dresses sat on hangers in the closets until Easter. Every time I’d open my closet I’d take my dress out to look at how beautiful it was. I could hardly wait for Easter.

“I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”

July 2, 2013

The day is thick with an intermittent breeze. Rain is again predicted, maybe even thunder showers. The sun won’t be making an appearance until tomorrow when the weather report predicts partly cloudy. I think they could have thrown us a bone and said partly sunny instead.

I used to like to miniature golf. I admit, though, that the windmill sometimes gave me trouble even with its three openings to the hole. My ball usually hit the wall between the openings and bounced right back at me. I’d keep count, one stroke, then try again, two strokes, and hope the ball would go through and maybe even into the hole. Nope, that never happened. It usually went through but to a corner, and I’d have to move the ball a club head length away from the side so I could putt. Par was like a magic number to me. The best thing about the miniature golf course in my town was it took just a minute or two to walk to the Chinese restaurant after a strenuous 18 holes.

We used to spend the whole day at the beach, usually Sunday because Saturday was my dad’s errand and chore day. We swam, walked the beach, collected shells, ate sandy food and were never bored, not the whole day. My mother wasn’t a swimmer. She had never learned how. She used to sit on the blanket and read and keep an eye on my two sisters who never strayed far. She wasn’t worried about my brother or me as we could swim, and she could see us walking along the shore or throwing rocks into the water. I remember she’d go crazy if we stepped on the blanket with sandy feet. That meant taking everything off and shaking out the blanket. The picnic basket was always on one side to anchor the blanket and keep it from blowing. We’d eat lunch and then periodically comb the basket for a snack as the day lengthened. Usually we’d find cookies or fruit. In the late afternoon, it was time to pack everything up and trudge to the car. My dad always put a towel on the seat to keep the seat dry and the sand out of his car. He’d then have us sit on the edge of the seat while he dunked our feet in a bucket of water to get the sand off and then we’d inside the car so the next sandy feet could be cleaned. The ride home was usually a blur as I slept most of the way.

I remember lying on my pillow as I was falling asleep and feeling warm water drip out of my ear. It was the weirdest sensation.

Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”

July 8, 2012

We’re still in a heat wave of sorts. It’s not as hellish as the south or the mid-west, but it is far too hot for us this time of year. I’m still inside where it’s cool. Later, though, I’ll have to venture out as I still need a few things for tonight.

Saturday night was drive-in movie night. We, of course, always wore our pajamas. I remember when I was around 5 or 6 and I left the car by myself to go the bathroom telling my parents I’d be fine. I found the bathroom but couldn’t find our car afterwards. I went up and down the rows getting more and more panicky. Finally I went to the concession stand. They announced me over the car speakers, and my dad came and rescued me. I was still young enough to feel relieved instead of embarrassed. My dad was an impatient man. The idea of waiting in a long line to exit the drive-in was totally unappealing so he’d get a head start on the traffic. We left before the movie was over. My father guessed at the end time, but I have no idea how close his guesses were. I just know I watched a silent movie as we left the drive-in.

By this time most Sundays, my dad would have packed up the car for the beach. That meant the tartan cooler, the picnic basket, the blanket, towels and shirts for sun protection. We didn’t have any sunscreen back then except for my mother who’d make us cover up before we got too burned. My mother was fastidious about keeping the sand off the blanket. She’d let us sit down as long as our feet were stretched out across the sand. During the day she was known to move everything off the blanket a few times so she could shake the sand off it because that blanket was where my mother perched the whole day except maybe for a walk on the beach in the afternoon with my sisters who wanted to look for shells, and on really hot days when she’d sometimes tip her toes into the ocean, but that was always as far in as she dared. We were the water bugs.

My dad worked a long week and often didn’t make it home for dinner. On summer Saturday mornings, he did errands and household chores like mowing the lawn, but the rest of the weekend he spent with us. Even though I never saw the movies end, I loved going to the drive-in and nothing was better than Sunday at the beach.