beyondpanic's diary

beyondpanic's Diaryland Diary


Childhood summer memories

Summer’s here.

It’s not my favorite season, of course, but there are some good things about it. But wasn’t it great when we were kids? Endless hours with no plans and your biggest concern was whether Mom had made enough Kool-Aid freeze pops to last the day.

Some of my favorite memories were created when we visited my Grandparents in Cape May , N. J……..

Packing the car with coloring books and crayons and bags of pretzels and buckets and pillows and bathing suits and white terry cloth cover-ups and…

Riding in that rear seat that faced backwards in our copper colored station wagon and encouraging the driver behind us to wave to us

Stopping at the Buck tavern for lunch

Rolling the windows down as we inched closer to their house and yelling aloud, “we’re getting closer, I can smell the ocean!”

Arriving and hugging my Nana in her house dress and girdle and high, laced black shoes and PopPop in his khaki pants and khaki hat and sleeveless undershirt and his ever- present cigarette

Reading my Aunt Diane’s stash of racy “True Detective” magazines. I was always looking for something to read and this was all I could find down there. I would curl up in a corner of the couch and look at the grainy black and white photos of murder victims until my mother, with a horrified shriek, would rip the magazine out of my hands and tell me to go outside to play

Watching my Nana dip slices of tomatoes and eggplant in egg and breadcrumbs before frying them to a crispy golden brown perfection

Pop Pop shouting “You’re either in or out!!!” as we slammed the front screen door for the 20th time that day

Taking a nap with Nana in the afternoon and feeling the slight breeze from her funeral home-issued cardboard fan

Nana teaching me how to embroider and make a French knot

Trying to fall asleep at night with no air conditioner – just the rhythmic whirring of the steel fan with the frayed cloth cord

Going to the beach and eating the food that Mom had packed to create the perfect picnic lunch: ham and cheese sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, hardboiled eggs, small cardboard boxes of pretzel sticks and ripe peaches and plums. We poured cool lemonade from the squat, white and red thermos into paper cups that were collected at the end of the day and thrown into the rusty trash cans lined up on the beach

Sitting on the old, green, scratchy, wool blanket with shoes placed precisely on the corners to hold it down in the breeze

Trying to catch a glimpse of the nuns sitting on the porch of St. Mary-by-the-Sea retreat house…by the way, I never saw even one!

Shaking out our towels and blankets “down-wind” so as not to disturb the other sun bathers

Sitting in the hot car in our sandy bathing suits waiting for the bridge to close so we could go back to Nana’s and get hosed off with ice cold water

Fishing with Daddy and my uncle. My “line” was a string tied around an electrical socket cover

Walking to the “5 and 10” and buying a pea shooter – the peas were sold separately

Stopping at Stewart’s root beer stand on the way back home and eating the neon orange waffle cheese crackers

Arriving home and running around the house throwing open all of the windows

Summers were sweeter then.

8:01 p.m. - Friday, Jun. 26, 2009


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