Monday, July 09, 2007

Beach Day

This is not unusual weather for July, & manageable in two & three day patterns. It's when you look at the forecast & see a week of mid & high 90s & no t-storms you becomes grumpy. Jerseyans easily tough out short heat waves. We even enjoy them a little, sort of like pond turtles soaking up the rays on a log, if we can slip back into the water - the a/c - from time to time. We rarely suffer for long stretches the blazing heat of the midwest or the steam-cooking climate of coastal states to the south. There is one peculiarity on days like today: the Jersey shore offers no respite unless you're actually immersed in the water. If it's 95 degrees a block from the beach, it's 95 & higher all the way to the edge of the ocean, & you better be wearing flip flops or an old pair of sneakers for crossing the beach. Low tide tends to attract any green flies in the area. The sea breeze doesn't kick in until after 4 pm, which is about the time sane people are arriving at the beach, anyway. Those without beach badges wait awhile longer.

The first few years I went to Wildwood, I stayed near the boardwalk trying to relive my childhood & made the gawdawful trek across about a mile of stagnant swampland, quicksand, & desert to get the ocean. You couldn't think of just taking a stroll down there to kick your feet around in the water, doing something else for awhile like going to the zoo or the big funky shell shop, & coming back later. You had to do the whole production like the people who set up a campsite for the day, bringing along everything except a personal port-o-potty. You still had to hike to the boardwalk for that when you may have considered it a perfect excuse to go all the way back to your digs & spending some quality alone time in quiet cool bathroom with a Philadephia newspaper (I see The Contrarian nodding his head in assent). So I finally said, enough, & moved uptown to a narrower beach where the old-timers & locals tossed their towels without fear of them being stolen, & the lifeguards didn't have to act like cops, & interesting water birds weren't instantly hunted down by nasty little kids armed with plastic buckets & shovels who had never been shown by their parents how to build sand castles with tunnels & moats.

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