Monday, November 7, 2011

Down the shore

I like autumn best in the mountains where i live now (though spring's no slouch), but at the shore, summer reigns.  My grandmother's family had a shore house when she was a girl, and she made certain she had one when i was small.  From the time i was about four years old, i spent large chunks of my summers with her - the parents would stay a few days, then head back south, while i (and later, my sister, too) stayed on.

We spent days investigating the beach and the shallows of the bay, learning how to handle a boat, making pilgrimages to the boardwalk, to Barnegat Light, or across the bay to Clearwater and then across the little barrier island to the ocean.  We ate from the bay - clams, crabs, flounder - and from the land around - beans, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus from the garden, blueberries from the farm up the road, corn and melons from the roadside stands.  Rules were plain - and unyielding - but few.

In light of all those sun-drenched days i remember, this is one of my favorite pictures from the albums i took from Grandma's place - Jewel and Paul, probably very late '30s or early '40s, just where they were usually to be found - in a boat:

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