When my children were small, we spent the summer days at the beach club. This sounds fancy and expensive. It wasn't. The beach club was owned and operated by the town. It had cabanas which were small rooms with showers, and dressing areas. Each cabana was shared by several families. Only on the weekends were all members present, and sometimes not even then. During the week it was mostly mothers, children and their guests.
We left chairs at the cabanas, but mostly the towels, lotions , toys, bottles ,food, soaps, and brushes were all brought each visit. The facilities at the beach club included a large pool, a kiddie pool, bathrooms, showers, lots of sand, a snack bar, and the ocean.
Walking from the cabanas to the beach was a hike. We also dragged chairs, blankets, strollers and children. You found a spot, and hoped your kids did not need to return to the cabanas for bathroom, or injuries. We had a particular friend who just refused to make the trip. She would declare, " the ocean is closed".
The cabanas were rented by neighbors and friends. There was always lots of laughter, friendship, and gossip. Sand water and children were a match made in heaven. These were tanning years, skin cancer was for the future.
One morning I was down at the ocean early. We had a brand new kite. The beach was still quiet. The birds squaked and fished. The waves hit the beige sand, sea weed and sea foam was everywhere. The water, warm and salty. The kids were excited about flying their new kite. I remember the breeze and sea smells, and white clouds. I sent the kite up. The breeze captured it, and the tail danced. I was flooded with memories of my own childhood.
I saw someone frantically waving their hands and shouting at me. It was a woman, sitting on a beach chair, under a big brimmed hat and umbrella. Down came the kite. We walked over to see what the problem was. She told me NOT to fly the kite near her, because it was going to hit her. We were quite a distance away. I assured her, there was no problem, she would not be hit, and we walked away.
Again I ran with the kids, and the kite, into the wind. It rose. The kite was magestic, the kids joyful - could this get any better? Two curly haired children laughing at the shore...
Then, the wind changed. The kite fell and landed on the woman's head. She was unhurt. I admit I laughed till I cried. Sorry- they should have closed the beach that day.
This is for all the friends, and all the summers we spent at the beach!