On The Way To The Beach!

It was a line above a photo on face book that caught my eye and resulted in the writing of this post for

Happy people going  you- know- where.

Happy people going you- know- where.

shirlandyou. It read, “On The Way To The Beach,” and the photo showed the interior of a van filled to capacity with happy people.                                                               My family were not shore people and as a child I don’t remember going to the beach. I did stay with grandparents at Harvey’s Lake and enjoyed swimming there. Some people, though,

What is it that draws you to the sea?

What is it that draws you to the sea?

are drawn to the beach and they go every year. I think it must be the smell of the sea and the feel of the sand. Some go because they can see the horizon from there. This I can understand if they live in the city, but I can see the horizon looking out my kitchen window. And the sand? How do you get it off your feet, so you can put on your shoes and not bring it into the car?

 Ask people why they go to the beach and you’ll hear some of these answers: “It’s free (well, it used to be,) it’s outdoors, there’s a good breeze and its sandy for

Riding bikes on the boardwalk is only for a brief time each morning.

Riding bikes on the boardwalk is only for a brief time each morning.

building castles.” Don’t get the idea that I am not a beach person, I love walking on the beach and building sand castles is fun and creative, and it’s on the beach where it’s most fun to fly kites. One year, though, we went and the beach was covered with ugly jelly fish. Another year, after being hit by the ravages of a bad storm there was literally no beach left. Regardless, the boardwalk is fun, for a day, anyway, and I love the cool, sea breeze.

Shopping the boardwalk .

Shopping the boardwalk .

 In the early morning we rent bikes and ride to the other end of the boardwalk for breakfast. By ten o’clock, however, the sun begins to heat up and an air-conditioned room sounds good, again, until the sun goes down.

When our family was young, we always headed North to camp in the Adirondack Mountains. One summer, we took along bikes for all of us. Can you picture

Out old Dodge van, with the high bike rack, didn't look quite this  badbad

Our old Dodge station wagon, with the high bike rack, didn’t look quite this bad!

seven bikes on top of the car? Somehow my husband built a rack that held them there. While stopped at a soft ice cream stand (we seldom missed stopping at any of these) someone asked, “Are you an act?”

Before the day of sunscreen, my husband, who is very fair skinned, would, rather reluctantly, take us on an occasional short trip to the shore. But while the rest of the family soaked up the sun and played in the sand, he stretched out under the boardwalk. How’s that for enjoying the beach?

Plainly, we are simply not sun people, so that leaves out the greater part of the day at the beach when people enjoy sunning, Nor do we enjoy fishing. It’s obvious, though, that hundreds of people love just putting their toes in the surf, pulling their hats over their eyes and tuning everyone and everything out for a while.                                                                              I always thought it would be wonderful to grow up near the sea, and learn to sail, swim, ride the waves, and fish. But I’m a mountain girl, maybe that’s the

I'd love to learn how to sail a small cat boat.

I’d love to learn how to sail a small cat boat.

reason I grew up disliking the heat of the day. So instead of going to the beach, we always headed North. Was this the perfect spot to vacation? Not perfect. I, well. remember the summer we left on a camping trip, in June, only to be greeted by snow on the top of White Face Mountain.

The pull of the sea is easy for me to understand. I fully know why so many of you are drawn there every

Chillin out at the beach.

Chillin out at the beach.

summer. Do you remember the poem, “Exiled.” by Edna St. Vincent Millay? It may be these very words that go through your mind as you pack up the family for a vacation to the beach.

Searching my heart for its true sorrow.

This is the thing I find it to be,

That I am weary of words and people

Sick of the city and wanting the sea.

12 thoughts on “On The Way To The Beach!

  1. We really are very much alike…I’m a mountain girl and like the lake…(Lily Lake). fishing…swimming…mostly fishing. No desire to go to the beach…the heat and the salt don’t agree with me …but on the rare occasion that I have…it’s only out early in the morning and late at night. I do have a jellyfish story…when in Virgina Beach when I was probably nine years old…I went swimming by myself in the roped off area. I became very itchy and realized the net had broke and was stung from head to toe by the jellyfish. I became quite ill and had to go to bed.


    • I’m glad to say I’ve never met face-to-face with a jellyfish. After your experiences, I hope to miss this completely. Lilly Lake must be a nice place to relax. Hope you are enjoying summer. Thanks for writing.


  2. My 2 youngest boys and their wives live in Wilmington, NC – 8 miles from the beach. We go down to visit them (from Iowa) twice a year – usually in April and again in September when it it not the HOT season. We LOVE the sound of the sea – it is so peaceful. We enjoy long, barefoot walks, collecting shells, wading in the water and watching the sunrise every morning. Just sitting on the beach in a beach chair and reading is also a favorite pastime for us. Most beach houses have hoses on the decks to rinse your feet before going in the house, so the sand is really not that



    • Hi Deb: What great fun hearing from you. How fortunate that you have family at the shore. I liked the times of year you choose to make your visits, they sound ideal. Your description of what you enjoy about the beach, made me want to go, too. 🙂 Thanks for writing, Debbie. I’ll look for your response next time.


  3. Hi Shirley, I was born and raised in the woods of PA, too. However, I do love going to the beach. Dom and I both enjoy fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, looking for shorebirds and soaking up the sun. I believe that I have the best of both worlds, living where I am right now. We live in a rural wooded area in NJ; and we are far enough away from the beach, that the summer crowds don’t effect us. I am still within a reasonable drive of ski areas and we aren’t too far from big cities such as New York and Philadelphia. (I can be in Philadelphia in 45 minutes). Taking our boat and my son’s jet ski to the bay has been a highlight for all of us this past summer. I think that you and I will both agree with this…..” I like walking on the beach, but I don’t enjoy the sand in my car….or in my bathing suit”. LOL The sunset and the sunrise at the beach is always beautiful. God sure has give us plenty of things to enjoy, hasn’t he?


    • Hi Colleen: It doesn’t surprise me that you love the seashore. You enjoy so much of the activities the seas provides. You are right, God has given us so much to enjoy. Your location sounds ideal, and you and the family take advantage of it. Keep it up, and keep writing.


  4. hi shirl..when I was a little girl I use to go to the shore with our aunt.. I didn’t like the water but I played on the beach..i enjoyed the boardwalk at night .. we use to play ski ball every night.. and I really enjoed it .. so one year my daughter asked med what I wanted to do for my birthday and I told her I wanted to play ski ball so she took me to chuckie chesse and we played..i think my kids thought I was going back to my childhood lol love you


  5. It’s funny. Going to the ocean always sounds like a fun thing. But once I get there, I really mind the heat and want to get out of the sun. I do find that I enjoy it in the winter down in Florida. Then it’s not so hot. I love watching the sun set over the ocean…the golden glow on the sand and the little birds dashing into the surf. And I love just listening to the waves and feeling the breeze. Who says you have to go when it is hot?! 😉


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