I went to the beach today for the first time in many years. Yes- I live on an island. Yes- I love the beach but somehow…. time and life got in the way.
I have many happy memories of time spent at the shore.
When we were very young, my dad used to take us to Jones Beach. We would walk hand in hand through the long tunnel that took us from the parking lot to the sand. He would promptly fall asleep on the blanket while we ran around and jumped in the waves.
And for a few weeks every summer my sister and I used to go to my grandmother’s house in Brighton Beach. Our first day there she would walk us down the avenue to John’s Bargain Store where she would buy us flip-flops. That was the official start of our annual vacation! We would spend the entire day every day for two weeks at Brighton 4th Street surrounded by my grandmother’s friends. My grandmother would make French toast and chocolate milk and pack up a bag to bring with us. She had a thermos of coffee for herself. If we were lucky she would give us some money to buy ice cream from the man that walked up and down the beach selling his icy treasure from a box he carried on his back. At night there were fireworks. Those are sweet memories.
Then when I got older and could drive, my friends and I would spend countless days and nights at Jones Beach or Long Beach hanging out, tanning, enjoying the sun and sand and music and one another.
When I had my own kids it was tough packing and carrying all the things that kids need at the beach. Invariably we would have to walk back again through the hot sand to the bathroom when someone needed to go and no one ever needed to go at the same time. So I got lazy. And when we had a place with a pool it was even more of a reason not to work so hard to go to the beach. Then we would only go once a year at Fourth of July. We would meet my friend and her family, spend the day and wait until dark for the fireworks. My friend moved upstate. My kids got older. I stopped even those once a year visits. I had forgotten how lucky we were to live near water.
Then I met George. He doesn’t like the beach at all. All the more reason to enjoy the still waters of our backyard pool. You can say we are lucky to have that. And we are. My family and friends have spent many days and nights in my backyard. Sunning, partying and enjoying.
But this weekend I found myself with a little bit of time alone. I decided to venture to the beach once again. I went very early. It was quiet at first but as the sun rose higher in the sky it became more crowded.
I sat alone. I had my breakfast. I went down to the water and danced with the waves. I remembered how much I loved the beach.
And then I poured myself a drink. I had packed up a thermos of Mionetto Rose Prosecco. Under $20. This prosecco is crisp and fruity and floral with lots of carbonation. On the nose there is raspberry and pink grapefruit. It was the perfect early morning beach drink.
With the thunder of the waves and the quiet chatter of the people all around me in the background I toasted myself and the summer and the beach and my good fortune at living in a place surrounded by water.
I will not let so many years go by before I visit the beach again.