Sunday, August 4, 2013

A weekend at the beach

I spent the weekend at one of my favorite places in the world, a beach on Long Island, NY.

Not very exotic really but a wonderful place to me.

This old small stucco house was my Grandma's summer house, 1/2 block from the beach on a street with little traffic aside from fruit and vegetable vendors, and ice cream trucks.  The men mostly stayed in the city during the week, while the wives and children spent the days at the shore which was 20 degrees cooler than our city apartments.  I grew up in a city apartment with limited or no AC, so this place was heaven to me.  It was also heaven because I adored my fat, soft armed grandma - with her homemade peach pie, calm teaching manner and warm loving welcome.  Grandma taught me how to knit, how to make cookies and cakes without looking at a recipe and how to enjoy family.  After a family dinner, we'd sit on the porch all evening, talking and telling stories, the kids either cuddled up somewhere or playing in the street waiting for the ice cream truck to come along. It was so different from Brooklyn, and just what I wanted and needed.

When I was 19 my grandma died, I was so sad. But of course, life went on, I finished college and moved away from NYC, made a new life in New England, got married, met my BFF, (she FINALLY gave me my wonderful nephews and I had waited for years!) and I rarely get back to the city.  And the house eventually went to my aunt and uncle and then to a close cousin.  And once a year, at least, I go back for a weekend at the house.

The house is close to the way Grandma left it.  Carpets have been changed, and kitchens updated.  AC has been put in and other critical upgrades. But the garden still has Grandma's lilacs, and hydrangea's.  And the beach is still the beach - wide and white, with that wonderful Atlantic ocean pounding away.   One cousin bought a house 1 block over, and this weekend 5 of us cousins, and spouses and some kids, met for the weekend to hang out on the beach, enjoy each other, tell stories, laugh hysterically and eat eat eat!.   The younger cousins taught me how to take "selfies".  I tossed in the wild waves and got water up my nose, and couldn't have been happier.  For a few minutes, I felt like 10 years old again and it felt good.

And after the day is done, and you've walked back to the house from the sandy beach my favorite part of the day is showering in the outdoor shower.  It's housed in an old beat up shed off the house, and we - all the cousins - absolutely adore that shower.  Our spouses are very puzzled by this, they can't understand how anyone can love a shower. But we do!  There is no better way to get clean than in that shower, toweling off afterwards with giant towels or even giant-er terry cloth robes.  It's a clean like no other clean.


And that's what this weekend at the beach does to me. It cleans me out for a few days, clears my head like nothing else.  Makes me remember Grandma and her pies.  Makes me feel like a kid again, and that's good.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Reading about your weekend lifted my spirits Mim. I can imagine how actually being there lifted yours. Lucky you to have a continuing of those wonderful summers.

Cris, Oregon Artist said...

Wow Mim.. I went back with you to your ten year old self and visualized life then. Heaven. So happy to know the house is still in the family.

Robin said...

You ARE a lucky girl to have that home, that beach, the family and all the memories.... it shows in your words and in those photos!

Happy Birthday Dearest Mim!


♥ Robin ♥

studio lolo said...

it sounds like perfection to me Mim! A wonderful way to spend your birthday, wrapped (still) in your grandmother's soft arms.


Pamela Smallcomb said...

What wonderful memories. :) I missed out and didn't have any grandparents, so I love reading about yours. I'm so glad you get to visit that house, and all its good times past and present. xox

Amanda said...

happy faces, warm lights glowing at night and sunlight glinting off the water by could this not refresh a soul?