Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Goodbye, Summer

(No Hometown View on Monday, 9/1/08)
At 1:53pm Monday I left the 2nd Avenue beach in Seaside Park knowing that it would probably be the final time I would feel the sand between my toes on that beach until next year…it was a bit depressing.

For many the beach season ended on Labor Day and it was among the best that I could ever remember. The only thing that kept Monday from being another in a string of “perfect 10’s” was rough seas that are an early result of Hurricane Hanna. Otherwise it was a terrific end to what most consider the prime summer season which runs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While September offers what might be the best month of the year in terms of weather lifestyles change and for me and many others beach days are pretty much a thing of the past.

I will miss getting to the beach early in the morning when the sand is virtually untouched after being raked by work crews. Making the first footprints while I search for the same location that I’ve made my own all summer long. Knowing the tides so I can set up with nobody in front of me….sort of a front row view of the Atlantic Ocean. Drinking coffee and reading the newspaper with the only sounds coming from the waves and birds, including a seagull missing a foot that I’ve seen every day this summer.

I’ve been coming to the 2nd Avenue Beach since 1980 and I guess I’m just a creature of habit. I see many of the same people day after day and even summer after summer. I don’t know their names and rarely do we speak but you might exchange a smile to acknowledge one another and there’s a comfort in knowing that they are there. I’ve watched families grow up on this beach and vice versa. I don’t know what draws me to this same beach although Surf Taco and the White Oak Market are just down the street and are convenient stops for lunch and snacks. A few years back I decided 2nd Avenue was too crowded so I convinced my wife we should move a few blocks. We did and I hated it….felt like a visitor and was out of my element so I returned later to my beach with my lifeguards, including Meredith Parliman who has packed her bathing suit and whistle away and will be back teaching at Central Regional today. But we’ll both be back next summer because there is nothing like that feeling of sand between your toes and the sounds of the ocean.

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