Thursday, July 20, 2006
Thoughts about the beach
When we first started coming to this beach, we rented a cottage for 1 week. The next year we rented a different one for 2 weeks a couple of times and we then had this same cottage for two complete summers the 2 years after that. The summer of the first cottage I had one little 1 1/2 year old girl and was pregnant with the second, the second year I had a baby and a toddler. By our last summer in the rented cottage, there were 3 little girls: a 7 year old, a 5 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. That was the year (1991) that we started building our own cottage in the same general area. Every year since then we have come to spend the summers here, moving in as soon as the school year finished, and moving back just in time to start a new school year. My though have things changed! When the girls were little, we spent a part of every sunny day at the beach. We (meaning chiefly Mom) would carry our collection of necessary items on the 5-min walk to the beach: towels, pails, shovels, various other toys, snorkels, swim goggles, boxes of juice...and so on. We would swim and dig and make sand castles, and collect and identify shells. Sometimes we would come back for lunch and go again! At the end of the day we would have lovely outside showers ( we have an enclosed outdoor shower stall) and I would wash the sand out of the girls' bathing suits and hang them up to dry for another day. That was the routine.
Fast forward to the present day. The oldest girl is 22. She likes to stay at the cottage when she can, but generally she stays at the house in town where she is working. Last summer she wasn't here at all, and next summer...who knows? The middle girl is 20 and is living in another province, going to university and working in the summer. She's not here. The youngest is still here, but sleeps in most mornings and then finds the cottage "boring". I told her that soon she won't be here either. We rarely spend the day at the beach, except if someone comes to visit. We take walks there, as we did last evening after supper. We enjoy the quiet and the relatively cool temperatures (compared to in town). My husband and I (and certainly the dogs and cats) enjoy the cottage as much as ever, but our use of it has changed so much. Maybe one day there will be grandchildren come to visit and the days of pails and shovels, shell collecting and jumping in the waves will start all over again.