Oh Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Morning Surf by PS WightThe day is hazy and warm. The Atlantic Ocean sparkles a silvery grey while I bike on the Boards in mid-morning bliss.

My brother and I with our dad at the beach.

My brother and I with our dad at the beach.

At least 15 of my extended family travel near (DE) and far (CA, DC, MD, and MA) each year to unwind, rewind, and renew our family connections. My parents began this tradition in the late 1950s. My brother and I preserved the idea, and now our kids, nieces and nephews have enlarged and expanded on “the family vacation.”

Some of our friends who have never experienced the NJ shore kind of scoff at the premise of “relaxing” on a crowded hot humid beach where literally thousands of children scream in delight at each rolling wave, where teenagers throw Frisbees between the waves, and where people from all over the east coast with many different body sizes stroll the surf near naked.

beach, Ocean City, NJ

Digging the seashore.

I laugh out loud at their misconceptions as I feel the wheels move with my pedaling legs and listen to the giggles behind me.

The beach is a perfect place to release the kid in you.

OC portrait by Stephanie Wight

Dive into the salty waves while escaping the slinky stingy jellyfish;

Join barely dressed strangers in a sandy game of horseshoes,

Celebrate a grandmother’s 90th birthday with a steel drummer, cold beer, and homemade lobster rolls as the sun sets and the sand cools hot feet;

Bike on the Boardwalk with the hazy morning sun enveloping you and your almost 2-year-old grandson as you both shout out loud ‘WHEEEEEEEEEEEE.”

Biking on the OC, NJ Boardwalk.

Biking on the OC, NJ Boardwalk.

When was the last time you yelled with utter child-like delight?

I suggest a lazy hazy crazy week at the seashore.



40 thoughts on “Oh Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

  1. Perfectly captured. I feel, smell, hear and taste the happiness. The expansion is a huge, huge hug from the universe. Your family is truly blessed and beautiful, as are you.

    • Yes, yes, thank you, that is what I was trying to capture. The huge hug from the universe, in experiencing the happiness of connecting with family in a primal place like the shore. (But you said it better…) xo

  2. What a totally awesome blog as always dearest Pam!!! Such a great time you all must have had together. Happy 90th Birthday to your precious mother!!! So good to see your beautiful smiling face riding your bike! Love, love, love reading everything you write! God bless you dearest friend!!! Love you Pam!!!!

    • You are a great example of someone who sees, feels, hears the love and beauty in everyone. What a blessing that is! I’m blessed that you visit me here and send me such warm sweet comments. A huge hug to you! xo

  3. It’s been years since I was on the eastern seashore…I used to live nearby – Delaware. It was “there” but I rarely went to the shore. Now I miss it! And unfortunately, I’m 2,000 miles away. I hope to get home next year, and I’d love to get to the beach.

  4. Haven’t done this in years and years. Reading your post brought back the smell of suntan lotion (not sunscreen in those days), picnic baskets of food, the scream of seagulls and yes screaming children. Those were wonderful times. 😀

    • You remembered it exactly! I should have mentioned that smell of suntan lotion (LOTS of it these days) and more importantly, the call of the seagull, who swoops down (if you hold a half-eaten sandwich up too high) and snaps up your food. Somehow, the sound of the surf mutes those sounds mingled with the kids’ happy screams.

  5. I grew up in Birmingham in the English Midlands so a trip to the seaside was a great adventure when we were young. Even the grown-ups squealed with excitement with the first sighting of the sea.
    Then it was beach (pretty much whatever the weather), ice cream, candy floss, fish and chips for tea. And lotion on the sunburn before we could sleep 😦
    Now I live right on the beach and think nothing of it!

    • You are so LUCKY to live by the beach. Please, please don’t take it for granted. I believe that’s a primal place – where the water meets the land.
      Is candy floss what we call ‘cotton candy’? A pink beach concoction.

  6. Loved the picture of you on the bicycle with your grandson on the boardwalk. A family legacy is passed on to the younger generations. What a gift you have given. My 18 short months in NJ were spent mostly commuting the Parkway to work in Cranford with one notable exception. Our recently widowed landlord invited my first wife and I to spend a weekend at his “retirement home” in the NJ pine barrens. We spent a wonderful evening walking miles of a deserted South NJ beach with this “old-timer” educating us on the events in the area during the Revolutionary War; passed on by his relatives whose legacies lived on in this incredible but simple, lonely, and loving man. Sometimes the feeling of family come from people who are not family. Love the post Pam.

    • I was just glad I could keep that bike upright – particularly with my little grandson twisting in giggles. 🙂
      Love your NJ pine barren story (as kids we always talked about the “New Jersey devil” in the pine barrens).
      You are so right, family comes from those closest to us, who know us the best, and love us even then.

  7. What a fabulous family tradition! I love that you welcome encounters with strangers as well as loved ones. Am not shrieking in delight, but smiling in deep peace right now, just imagining the joys of your time there.

  8. I admire the closeness of your family, Pam. The activities you all engage in when you come together, all show an idyllic picture. Thanks for sharing some moments in these hazy, crazy days of summer.

    • A family get together of course is never entirely ‘idyllic,’ because, after all, we’re family! There are a few squabbles over the years, but as the years progress and the family grows, we do seem to accept each other for our differences, and just embrace them and laugh. This sounds Pollyannish probably, but if what we learn in family groupings could be extended to the world, the world would be much more peaceful. :-0

  9. I just made the opposite trip. I took 3 1/2 weeks to drive from VA’s Shenandoah Valley to California’s central coast to be with my son and his two teenagers. We aren’t at the beach but we’re blessed with the cooling marine layer (which I know you know about), a wonderful change from the desert. The beach is near…we WILL take time for a beach party.

    • What a gorgeous drive that must have been. VA is a beautiful state, and then I love love CA’s central coast – the misty cool fog, the beauty of the water and the shore birds. Spectacular. And most spectacular, I’m sure, is being with your family.

  10. Sounds like a lovely time to me. You are a beautiful, fun grandmother. What a precious 90th birthday celebration with all those young family members around. Love her hair. All the best to you, Pamel@. `

    • In some ways, my mom is younger than most of us there – she is a feisty young spirit who never wants to stop playing. She used to have her hair dyed, and finally her hairdresser said, ‘you know, you have gorgeous white hair under all this.’ He was right! 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  11. What a fantastic family tradition! Too often it seems we only get together for weddings and funerals – you have inspired me to see if I can get something like this going for our family. (And of course I think the seashore would be the best place to have it…)

    • I hope you can get your family beach get-together to happen! There is definitely something about the sounds of the ocean, of other families’ happy times out doors, of the smell of the ocean and the squawk of the seagull, that results in a joyous time for all.

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