Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shore Memories, Then and Now

33 summers. 5 generations. 1 house.

If this one could talk, it would tell tales of hoagie eating, card playing, wave jumping, sandcastle building, sunbathing, and stargazing. It would tell secrets, of children eating candy in their bunk-beds at midnight and a beloved poodle making “pishy” on Gram's new sofa. It would talk of our family marking our own territory, carving our initials into the Ventnor playground, our footprints in the sand. It would remember sun-kissed, barefoot children, with nicknames like “fudgie wudgie,” a favorite dessert from everyone's favorite ice cream man.

It would recall the strollers, the bikes, the rollerblades, racing out the door to the boardwalk, lazy summer days playing in the sand. The sandcastles, paddleball, boogie boards, and bathing beauties. It would talk of scavenger hunts, running bases, wiffle ball. It would sigh at the thought of sleepy children being tucked into bed, dreaming of the rides in Ocean City.

It would remember Fralinger’s saltwater taffy, butter creams from Jagielky’s, tuna hoagies from Dino’s, Saco’s, and White House, pizza from Jo-Jo’s, milkshakes from Lou’s, cinnamon buns from Michelle’s, and water ice from Mento’s. It would remember being the life of the party, the meeting place for friends and family, cocktail hours, hor d’oeuvres, barbecues, feasts. It would laugh at how messy it sometimes got, with water and whipped cream fights, sand in the beds, and that rebellious poodle making “pishy” yet again. It would talk of the family, gathering around the roulette wheel at the dinner table, launching fireworks from the deck, floating in the ocean, with the older generation in shower caps.

It would fondly remember a father showing his daughter every star in the sky, and a mother who told her to reach out for them. There would be stories of cousins becoming as close as siblings, listening to Grandpop's war stories, learning how to take a wave in from Gram. It would remember all of the hugs, the kisses, and the laughter that echoed through its walls. It would reminisce about Nanny and Pop-pop, and friends, who once walked this shore, and cry in joy at every new birth of a baby who would come to love its walls, its secrets, its memories, its view of the beach, the boardwalk, the birds, the ocean, the dolphins at sunset, the horizon, the past, present, future, this world and beyond.

Through the sound of the waves breaking gently upon the sand, it would whisper, very softly, “Can you remember, even just for a minute, a life as good as this?”

1 comment:

  1. I remember your house and swarthmore ave very well! Order a fudgie wudgie from John for me this summer!! I'm a million miles away but can see it all as if I were riding my bike passed your house for the 1000 x. Great times! Send everyone in your house love from your neighbor Eddie!:-))