Driving with the Top Down

In honor of my mom’s 94th birthday on February 28, I’m dedicating this post to her, mothers, daughters

ocean City NJ, Atlantic OceanI am here again, traveling along the same flat road, watching the tall green maples and oaks turn to scrubby, smaller bush and pine. What is it about my primordial need to return to the ocean – the Atlantic Ocean – every year?

As I breathe in the hot humid New Jersey air, a mixture of dirt, gas, grass, asphalt and salt water, I wonder if it’s just a childhood memory that needs to be rewritten and retold yearly.  After all, as a child . . .

“Why is he traveling so closely behind you?  How fast are you going?” my mother interrupts my slow, careful thoughts. Continue reading

Driving with the Top Down

In honor of my mom’s 94th birthday on February 28, I’m dedicating this post to her, mothers, daughters

ocean City NJ, Atlantic OceanI am here again, traveling along the same flat road, watching the tall green maples and oaks turn to scrubby, smaller bush and pine. What is it about my primordial need to return to the ocean – the Atlantic Ocean – every year?

As I breathe in the hot humid New Jersey air, a mixture of dirt, gas, grass, asphalt and salt water, I wonder if it’s just a childhood memory that needs to be rewritten and retold yearly.  After all, as a child . . .

“Why is he traveling so closely behind you?  How fast are you going?” my mother interrupts my slow, careful thoughts. Continue reading

What My Grandkids Won’t Believe

Ocean City NJ, lifeguard rowboadThe waves crest in and out, gray and blue, as the sun rises over the expanse of dawn-rose sand. In the NJ beach city I’m visiting, the sandy stretch is long and wide thanks to the humungous efforts of the state to save and preserve its beaches.

But of course that’s not what I’m concentrating on as I walk a mesmerizing pace past one empty lifeguard stand to another, each one symbolizing the length of two blocks.

I focus my attention, instead, on the being that’s following me, slowly, lazily, in the water as I stride on the beach in fierce wonder. Continue reading

True…? or False…?

game, true or falseHere’s a “game” I dare you to play with me. Read the three small stories, below. Two of them are true. One is false. In the comment section, guess which one is the False story (and the reason you think it never happened). The one with the right answer and the most clever reason of why the story must be false, wins a copy of my romantic thriller, The Right Wrong Man, in paperback. (Thank you, Vanessa-Jane Chapman, for the idea!) Continue reading

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. Continue reading