Our family was raised going to this part of the coast. My parents bought a small cabin in 1968. It was rustic and simple with no running hot water and an outhouse - it flushed, but you went outside to use it. There was no heat other than that generated from an antique wood stove. When you walked into the cabin there was a distinct smell of damp, salty air. I loved it.
When I think of trips to the beach as a child I remember things like fishing, crabbing, digging clams, picking muscles off the rocks (way before this was thought to be a delicacy) and many other strange salty, sandy things. My older brother was quite adventurous with his pallette and tried lots of things that I found disgusting as a child.
We played "chase" games in the sand - a silly game called the fox and the geese was played on many occasions. A large circle was drawn in the sand with a smaller circle in the middle. The small circle was protection. We would run around playing this silly version of tag until we were laughing so hard that inevitably one of the adults would announce they were going to "wet their pants".
I remember builidng fires and being introduced to my very first s'more on this beach.
We would spend our afternoons combing the hillside, roadway and beach looking for soda bottles and then turn them into the store for our nickel deposit. That generated enough money to buy a stash of candy bars, and on a good day - a bottle of orange soda to go with it. After drinking the soda, I would sometimes put any left over change in the bottle, hide it in a hole in the hillside and draw a treasure map so that I could dig it up the next time we came for a visit.
My mother would have us collect rocks and little pieces of driftwood and shells that we would later combine together to create beautiful collages. These would decorate the walls of our little cabin. Fine art created for nothing more than the cost of a bottle of elmers glue.
I remember making a fire on the beach, melting candle wax in an old pot over the fire, digging holes in the sand, pouring the wax in and making sand candles. After the wax had hardened, we would dig up our art work and use them for candlelight dinners at our rustic table.
My older brothers would try their hand at fishing in the surf. If they were successful, my mom would pack up the makings of a picnic dinner and the main course would be fresh fish cooked over an open fire.
We played in the ocean.
We hunted for agates and sea glass and shells until I would see miles of rocks in my dreams at night.
Our little house had no television, no cable access, no computer, no telephone and distractions. We made our own fun. I would sit in front of the picture window and color or draw, play solitaire with a deck of cards, play every board game imaginable and explore every inch of the beach and surrounding hillsides.
As children we felt like pirates and we ruled the world there.
Now we share these adventures with our children - playing in the ocean, digging in the sand, exploring tide pools and climbing rocks. We collect treasures. We spend our evenings around the table playing board games. We cook together, eat together and laugh together.
Time is spent in play - not "plugged in".
And as time moves forward, I am now creating evening more memories with another generation of beach bums.
Oh - how I do love this place.