Memories of hot days in Sea Isle City, New Jersey are splashing around in my head today. The sand under my beach chair, a soft towel, the sound of crashing surf and the ice chest with hoagies and cold Coke. Everything I wanted and needed was right there. My childhood dream is of full days where time slowed down and so did we. My brother Anthony was an expert drip sand castle maker. He would sit for hours loading wet sand into his semi closed fist allowing the mix to drip slowly into castle turrets. As soon as the sand drops hit the hillock beneath they would freeze in place until the weight collapse the tower and the whole process started again. Periodic dips in the cold salt water jolted us from a burning sun induced lethargy into a state of all nerve endings on. We jumped over, dove under and got knocked down by the power packed waves until mom saw lips turning blue and shivers coming on. “I’m not cold.”, I would swear. We had to stop playing and sit in the sun until color returned. There must be photographic images of us on the beach but the picture of the green and white striped umbrella, wooden folding chairs covered with striped muslin and the red Coca Cola ice chest are etched in my mind. These are old flashbacks. I know because in them I carry the bottom half of the wooden umbrella and I have to stop to rest a couple times on the way to our special place in the sun.
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