Monday, August 20, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

The weather can't make up its mind today. Ominous clouds give way to weak and watery sunshine for a while--and then the clouds roll back in. The temperature is blessedly cooler than it has been all month, but it is still a gloomy day--and it's Monday, and in five days we leave the beach for another year.  Julie and I were going to go for a walk, but she's on the computer in her room and soon she has to bake cookies to sell at the show tonight. Steve leaves right after the performance for Oreland (a quick trip; he'll be back tomorrow) with a carload of our belongings that we no longer need during the brief time we have left. We had friends over for dinner on Saturday, and I did a book reading at Epworth Methodist Church last night. On both occasions, we said goodbye to shore buddies we likely won't see until Summer 2013.

Crape Myrtle in Bloom
So I'm down in the dumps.

It's not that I don't notice and appreciate the beauties of Lewes the rest of our stay, but these last precious hours everything comes into sharp focus. Bees abuzz in the glorious crape myrtle I can see from the screened porch. Lewes Beach, boats bobbing in the bay, sand gritty beneath my toes. King's Ice Cream enjoyed in Canalfront Park. Even the local NPR station, WSCL, with programming just different enough (Performance Today, anyone?) from Philly's WHYY to trigger nostalgia after we leave.

We've been so, so lucky to be here, to have had this idyll while raising the children. I never look out at a sandbar without thinking of the kids making "hermit crab zoos," ferrying the little crabs on boogie boards to their sand castles and moats. Walking past Funland on the Rehoboth boardwalk, I vividly recall the joy of my two-and-four year olds on the fire engine ride (Sher and Evan only occasionally fighting over who would ring the bell).

During the hectic summer days long past, I alternated intense childcare days with equally intense nights acting in the Rehoboth Summer Children's Theatre plays (at our craziest, I had two babysitters employed at once, one watching the baby at the theatre right after I fed him/her, one at the cottage with the rest of the brood). Every August, Steve treated me to a morning by myself. I would bring my chair to the water's edge, sip my coffee and write in my journal (always about the kids, that's how consumed my life was, even on my "day off").

Sunfish on Delaware Bay, Lewes

What will our summer be like next year? 10 years hence? I haven't a clue. I dream about grandchildren, once again enjoying Funland and sandbars--but who knows? I can't count on that future. I can only sit here on the porch this gloomy summer afternoon and remember. And love the Lewes—and my life—that are here and now. And treasure the five days left as they slip like sand through my fingers.

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