No Day At The Beach

 Its Labor Day weekend, the (unofficial) end of summer.  I know that summer began on June 21st and will end of September 22nd per the calendar, but in reality summer begins on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend (no matter how cold it may be) and ends as the clock turns to 12:01 on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day.  Students are back to school (I know many have started before the Labor Day weekend) and the lifeguards are gone from the Jersey beaches.  (Or at least the beaches that I go to.)  The days will still be warm (even hot), but the summer is gone.  The crowds have gone as has the traffic (hopefully) and we quickly turn to mum and pumpkin spice.  (If you've already done shouldn't be done until AFTER Labor Day.)  The store shelves are full of back to school items and Halloween candy (though let's face it they've been there since July along with the pumpkin spice, gingerbread and sugar cookie creamers).   It may not be official but summer is at an end.

And I am mourning the fact that not once this summer did I go to the beach.  This is not a tragedy (not even a first world problem), but it feels like it to me.  I am profusely sad.

How can I be?  I had a wonderful vacation in the Pocono Mountains where I soaked up the sun on Skytop's South Porch and by the pool.  Those 5 days flew by (faster than any other days I can recall) and I wouldn't give them up for anything.  (Except maybe another LONGER vacation.)  But I never got to the beach.

You can call me a liar.  I was certainly up and down the Garden State Parkway more time than I have in any other summer.  (I have the E-Z pass statement to prove it...ouch!)  I've posted photos from the house at Normandy Beach.  Since early June I've written about my various treks.  I've sat in chairs by the bay.  But I never had a day at the beach.

Surely I gest.  There were photos from the end of August where the ocean was visible.  As you can see in this one, my toes WERE in the Atlantic Ocean and I watched seagulls walk the sand while sandpipers scurried back and forth.  

I will admit that on Saturday, August 20th, I spent over an hour walking on the beach.  It was before ten in the morning, so there were no lifeguards or swimmers.  There may have been a few surfers; I don't remember.  I did dip my toes in the water.  I walked for about an hour. (Getting my skort wet in the matter how hard I try NOT to get my clothes wet I always do when I walk the shoreline.) Then I went back to the house to deal with issues that come with the death of a parent and the challenges of an aging father.

I never used a beach badge (though I did have one when I went walking.)  I never put on a bathing suit.  I never pulled a chair out of the shed.  I never laid down on a towel.  I never sat on the sand with a good book in hand.  (I have read a lot of good books this summer with plenty more ready and loaded on my Nook.)  I never plunged into the surf.  I never got tossed about by a wave.  I never watched the fishing boats go by or the planes pull their advertisements.  

Again, I realize that there is nothing tragic about any of this.  Plenty of people didn't go to the beach this summer.  (I'm sorry you missed out.)  But I am sad that I was so close and yet so far.  I wistfully think back on every other summer of my life where I have spent hours at the beach.  Has there been a year in my 56 where I did NOT go in the ocean during the summer months?  If so, I can't recall.

I'm sad.

I realize that there still will be opportunities to go the beach this year.  Even opportunities to take a dip. (Although I don't know how wise that would be with no lifeguards around.) However, it's not the same.  I've altered my perpetual history at the beach and so I am feeling melancholy this Labor Day weekend.

If you are reading this and are by the Jersey shore (or any shore for that matter), take a dip for me.  I hope to return the favor next summer. 


Popular posts from this blog

Not Guilty

Please Don't Ask Me...

Lowe's LIES