Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Exhilarated By Her Energy, Humbled By Her Power and Astonished By Her Beauty.

Long Beach Island, in the County of Ocean in New Jersey, is a barrier island and summer beach resort area along the Atlantic Ocean coast.  Locally it is referred to as LBI or simply "The Island".
Geographically, it is about 18 miles long, including three miles of nature reserve located on the shorter tip.  The island is about a half-mile wide at its widest point in Ship Bottom and spans a fifth of a mile at its narrowest point in Harvey Cedars.
LBI may be world famous now.  But the world doesn't know our Island like we do.  The ugliness of the destruction that Super Storm Sandy has brought does not mar the beauty of my LBI.
Personally, LBI is rich with memories for me.
My family and I started to vacation there in the early to mid 1980's.   Our mantra was, "the sun always shines on LBI."
Well, metaphorically speaking, actually the sun always did shine on the Island, or at least on our family when we were on the Island.
It  would be the once-a-year time that our family would spend that many hours together under one roof.   True to form, when a varied group, such as we were, would cohabit,  each one of us at some time during our stay would have our little annoyances and brief,  (ahem, I'm sure mine was brief at least), of leave me alone grouchiness.  For the most part, though, my memories are of board games, jig saw puzzles, laughter, good food, and important, quiet, getting reacquainted beach time talks.
It's funny, you know, at the end of each week long stay I would say, "whelp, this is it.  I think next year we are going to find another spot to vacation"
But, sometime around January or February, we would get "The Island" bug and head on down to check out potential rentals.   Even in the dead of winter, when the island was pretty desolate, as soon as we got near the bridge, and saw the Shack, I would start to feel the excitement of the anticipation of our next summer vacation on LBI.
When our "Saturday to Saturday" share came,  we packed up all of our belongings, or so it seemed and began the family caravan two hour car ride to go "down the shore".
Once we got settled into our rental,  we had our rituals.  Our must do's.
These included the kick-off trip to the Acme, where everyone wound up on Saturday to get the essentials and groceries for the week.  It was always a mob scene with shopping carts blocking the narrow aisles, and shouts of  "We need eggs, milk, bread...and don't forget to get the hot-dogs for lunch".
Next it had to be visits to the used book shop, Hands Department store and Marvels for the best fried chicken, potato salad and Island famous donuts.
There would have to be at least one breakfast at the "Chicken or the Egg" or as it is more commonly known the "Chegg".   When the craving for a "slice" hit, there was the walk-up, take-out Panzone's Pizza window.
Of course the main attractions were the beautiful beaches of the Island and, for the kids, Fantasy Island Amusements.
LBI continues to hold precious memories for me.  When Ross and I retired, we moved to a town not too far from the bridge, which takes us, at least a couple of times a week, in all seasons and in all kinds of weather over to the Island.
Every one of Bella's nine summers included stays at Grandma and Pop-pop's and visits to the Island.
Now she visits with her brother, Ryan. 


When he was still able, Joe came down to visit with his son for Domani's first visit to the beach.  This is for me a most precious memory.

The last time I saw my two grandsons, way too long ago, they were giggling uncontrollably as they chased each other on the sand.

Two days ago, Ross and I were able to go over the bridge to the Island for the first time since Sandy.
What we saw was indescribably and heart wrenchingly sad.  What we found, though, was the determination, and hope of the Island people.

As we began to climb the mound of sand, my anticipation was heightened by the roaring sound.  I felt as though I couldn't get there fast enough.  It seemed that I had been away from her for so long.

When I got to the top and looked down upon her, I was not disappointed.
For it's really Her Majesty who is my temptress.
Her energy is pure exhilaration, her power is  humbling and her beauty is astonishing.

As it always has been, it continues to be a constant I rely on.  

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Sun. November 17, 1929
Home all day.  Bill & Rosalie here last night.  Slept.  Left about 12 to go home.  Junior took long nap.  Dressed and went over to see Uncle Dick and Family.  Came home to find Jean & Rosalie here.
Mon.  November 18, 1929
Rosalie home.  Went to Bams. Met Edythe for lunch.  Shopped.  Home early.  We all went to Aunt Mary.  Mrs. B. there.  Had a light supper.  Drove Mary and children to her mother's. Then home.  Baby tired, bed early.
Tues. November 19, 1929
Club girls met at 5:30.  Dinner at Eldorado, on Boradway.  Then to the Music Box to see "Little Show.  An intimate Revue.  Put her to take screens down.  Ted and Isabelle stayed overnight & also Rose. 
Wed. November 20, 1929
Baby at 360.  Went to visit Lorrine.  Lena not there.  Her father took her to Boston to the grave of an old priest where miracles are being performed.  A very sick girl. Hope she survives the trip.  Visited Maggie.

Thurs. November 21, 1929
Home all day.  Charlotte here washing.  Feel quite upset and blue about Lena.  No school for Jean tonight so felt better after she came home for supper.

1 comment:

  1. You know how I would feel about this post - in complete agreement, that's how! I would love to live as close as you do to the shore (really, we are only about 8 miles - it only takes 25 minutes to get there) and to have an Island to call my own.
    As a kid, we went camping at the beach at least once every summer. It was as you described those beach trips - with the familiar places and foods and games and occasional (but really quite rare) grumpiness. The stuff of families, heh?