Summer Is Nigh

By LYNNE MacKNIGHT | Jun 19, 2019

I have to admit my first taste of summer came when we were at the beach for a long weekend recently. It got warm enough for my first outdoor shower of the season. Why it thrills me to shower in the wood-lined box of our outdoor shower is something I can’t explain. Although it is not fancy, I like smelling the fresh air as I shower. I like not having to dry the walls and just dry me off and wrap myself in a big towel and head upstairs.

Now you may have noted I said I liked not drying the walls when I am finished. At home, my husband insists on using a plastic squeegee to skim over the walls of the shower when we use it at home.  Perhaps it does extend the life of the tiles, but it also eats up time I usually consider more important used in a different endeavor. That being said, small concessions perhaps lead to a happier marriage.

One of my favorite pastimes used to be taking a nice long walk on the beach. Since our beach entrance has become a steep incline, I find it a bit more challenging to get there. You have to understand I am no longer a “ spring chicken,” as some used to describe women of a younger age than me.

Having a railing at the beach entrance that one could grasp would have many benefits. Unfortunately, even though our beach entrance has railings on each side, grasping either one would result in a hand full of splinters. So far, I can manage without a grab-able rail, but time does hurry on, and I can foresee a point when I will not venture beachward under present conditions. Sometimes I might have grandchildren willing to tow me upward, but one hopes to be self-sufficient as we age.

One day I ventured to Fifth Street, where I often used to walk with my dog. I would take her to the pavilion and sit to give her a whiff and sight of the beach where she was not allowed in season. I assume she enjoyed the view, and we would continue our walk to the park.

On my recent stop, I was able to walk up steps to the pavilion and grasp a sturdy metal railing, available on each side. My beloved dog died a few years ago, so it is a solitary stop, but I, too, enjoy the sights and sounds of a busy beach I have loved for many years.

This year brings many changes. Of our 10 grandchildren, only three are under 12. The rest are in college or out on their own. Most have summer jobs if still undergrads, so lively weekends with many young people are getting scarce. My husband and I still enjoy a weekend alone in our little house, but it is different.

Time rushes on, and much faster as we get older. I have long believed that exercise extends healthy life. I have made walking my exercise of choice. At home, I walk every day and have done so in very cold weather and warm. At the beach, a bicycle has always been available to all the grownups and all the kids. I never did wax poetic about swimming in the ocean, but it is a great place to wade and walk where the water kisses your feet.

Ah, sweet summer! Bring it on! It comes but once a year and now it is nigh. LBI is a friendly place where friendly people abound, and greeting strangers is a regular occurrence as I walk each day.

Lynne MacKnight lives in Princeton Junction, N.J., and Beach Haven.




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