Some beach houses are quiet, laid-back, off the grid hideaways. Occupants luxuriate in the sea air, sand, solitude, and water.
Then there are beach houses that anxiously anticipate the chaos, confusion, and cacophony as children of all ages converge on the place to delight in the sea air, sand, swarm of humans, and the water.
Our year-round home also happens to be a beach house. During the summer hub and I host a stream of men, women, and children, relatives and friends, infrequently strangers, mostly humans, but occasionally canine guests cross our threshold.
Visitors drive up in cars overloaded with gear that scream, “Beach House or Bust!”
No solitude most of the summer around this particular beach cottage.
This season’s weather has been sublime, warm, sometimes hot but rarely humid. Some days clouds hover, but rain graciously waits until evening to descend. Flowers in full bloom hold their heads high, not yet drooping and limp from long scorching rainless days.
In the beginning of July no one is tired or bored of lengthy sunny days, endless sand beaches, ocean waves, lifeguard warning whistles, whiffle balls and Frisbees.
The best part of a day at the beach is the Ice Cream Man. Summer routines may eventually induce boredom, but I am excited from opening day on Memorial Day weekend through the last beach day in September to see the Ice Cream Man.
The Ice Cream Man slowly ambles up the beach, a white cooler slung over his shoulder. My hungry, thirsty crew hopes that by the time he arrives at our site favorite treats are not sold out. We anxiously watch him toss the cooler on the sand, and as he opens it delight in the cold dry ice arising from within. We watch in anticipation as he thrusts his hand in and pulls out our treats – a chipwich sandwich or fudgsicle, fruit flavored ice or creamsicle, a crunch bar or my favorite, an old fashioned ice cream on a stick, a milk chocolate shell with vanilla ice cream inside.
Time never stands still, but seems to slow down during the sultry summer months of July and August. People do not get upset when phone calls are not returned promptly. Everyone (or rather the majority of humanity in the Northern hemisphere) understands that vacations and visitors take priority. There will be plenty of time to pick up the pace and return to normal routines come September.
There are a few days between out-of-town invasions when hub and I enjoy our sanctuary peacefully, quietly, lazily.
I do not have to go to the beach to enjoy these magnificent days. My front porch is shielded from the sun most of the day and usually a gentle breeze mitigates the heat. I watch neighbors and their houseful of guests lug cartfuls of equipment three blocks to the beach: chairs, coolers, towels, sand toys, and an assortment of additional items they will probably not use. On the other hand we carry a light-weight beach chair, water bottle and reading material. Only the essentials.
Sitting on the porch reading, checking the news, writing, time passes leisurely as we reenergize for the next invasion.
We do not mind. We enjoy the company, the chaos, and the activity.
But I must confess it is nice when September nears and once again anticipate more tranquil times.
We love the summer. We love the frenzy of family and friends.
We also love the calm and quiet of cooler months.
We are blessed to experience both.