Summers down the shore have been my greatest pleasure since I was a little girl. I loved the salty smell of the ocean and the feeling of wet sand between my toes. With great anticipation, I listened for the jingling of the bells that signaled the arrival of the ice cream man – my favorite time of day. Most of my time was spent jumping waves as they crashed against the shoreline and rolling around in the tumbling surf. But my most precious memories were building sand castles with my dad.
He was a busy man with an important job and spent many hours at work each day. I had no idea what he really did for a living except that he sat at a big desk, in a big office, in an even bigger building in the heart of NYC. All that didn’t matter to me. What mattered were those days on the beach with him. The days before smartphones and all the distractions that they bring to life. When we were at the beach it was just him and me and the waves lapping at our legs as we sat drizzling sand through our fingers crafting our sandcastle masterpieces.
My dad is gone now but not the memories of those lazy summer days at the Jersey Shore. Our tradition lives on through my children. Every summer since they were born we pack up our belongings and head down the shore. To the same house where I spent my childhood summers. To the same beach where many memories were made.
My kids now love the smell of the salty ocean and wiggling their toes in the sand. But building sandcastles at the water’s edge is what they love the most. Summers down the shore are still my greatest pleasure.