Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day Tripping

When I was a kid, my mom worked in the summer. Most days we had specific chores that were to be completed before she got home. Ever efficient, she typed a form for us on her IBM Selectric. I can still remember that typeball script.  

Good Morning _________,

Please complete the following jobs.

[Then there was a checklist, and of course the closing,]

Love, Mom.

Looking back on it, those chores were the least we should have done, and to be honest, it was no hardship whatsoever. That's not exactly how we considered it then, but there were always a few days when either we didn't have a list, or better yet, there was a note that Mom was coming home early and we were going to the beach.

In my memory, those days seem too good to be real; I can't recall a single bad thing about any of them. In my mind, the roads are never congested, the parking lot has plenty of space, the beach is never crowded, the day is never too hot, the picnic lunch never has sand in it, the drinks are always cold, no one ever gets sun burnt, and should we stop to pick blueberries on our way home? They practically jump into the buckets on their own, while we help ourselves to as many berries as we can eat.

This morning, when we awoke to a 60-something degree day in August, that siren call of the summer day trip was irresistible, and so we set aside the unit planning and pre-service reading we should be doing and instead packed a picnic and threw the dog, some towels, and a couple of beach chairs in the back of the station wagon and headed to a new destination for us. Two hours away there lies a peninsula that marks the confluence of the Potomac and the Chesapeake, and there, where once was a Union prison camp for all the Confederate soldiers captured at Gettysburg and later battles of the Civil War, is a state park with several picnic areas and beaches, some of which allow dogs.

There was no traffic as we drove out of town and down to Southern Maryland. When we arrived, the parking lot was empty and so was the beach. We set up our chairs, and ate our lunch as our dog played in the waves. Beachcombing our way down the shore, we found a fair amount of sea glass, an arrow head, and a shark's tooth. For most of the afternoon, two bald eagles swooped over our heads, chirping and whistling to each other. We only saw one jelly fish all day; it was not too hot, and no one got sunburned.

On our way home, we made two stops-- at a farm stand for some local corn and tomatoes and at a seafood place where they were selling pounds of lump crab meat that had been picked on the premises this morning-- then it was back home in time for dinner, almost too good to be real.

No comments:

Post a Comment