Monday, March 30, 2015

Waiting for summer

The end of March.
The end of winter? Millions on the east coast fervently hope so.
Seems it's been cold, snowy, windy and/or rainy/icy forever.
Only visions of sparkling ocean water, hot, burning sand and brilliant sunshine has kept me going.

As a kid, I wasn't much for the beach. My mom didn't like it at all and my stepdad, ever conscious of the club foot for which he hadn't been treated as a child, didn't go barefoot. Ever.
So the few times I got to the beach was in the company of my aunt and uncle or with the parents of friends who had a house somewhere along the Jersey shore.
I never learned to swim.
I was always terrified of water being too deep to touch bottom.
Maybe I'd drowned in another life.
So I sat out the beach trips lying on a towel or blanket, people-watching or reading, always nursing the hope of a gorgeous, even tan at the end of the day.
Naturally, a painful, red sunburn was the reality, along with humidity-flattened hair that screamed to the world that I'd been at the beach, without any of the glory of it.

Then I grew up.

When my girls were young, I was in a relationship with a man who had a house at the shore.
We took our kids and often their friends for weekends at the beach and on the boardwalk.
The beach was the best. It didn't carry any of the scary memories from my girlhood. No, it somehow became a place of refuge from stress, where behind my eyelids I could envision the waves and hear the squawking of the seagulls as they swooped down to steal a piece of popcorn, hotdog or potato chip from a dozing sun worshipper's hands.
I could never get enough of it.

Now the girls are grown.
They still love the beach and we gather there regularly to feel the sand between our toes and the sun on our faces.
Only April to survive...perhaps with the assistance of some tulips and daffodils, even warmer temperatures and sunshine.
Then will come May, June and the true summer months.
We are waiting, although not patiently.
Is it beach weather yet?