Monday, December 1, 2008
On the Beach....
My father celebrated his 90th birthday last week. Since it is so near the Thanksgiving holiday my wife and I drove to my brother's house in Cleveland and then the four of us drove the next day to Atlantic City. A year ago my father sold the house in Philadelphia he bought in the late 1950s and moved in with my sister Rose just outside of Ocean City, NJ.
It's been a few years since I was there and even longer since I walked on the beach and the boardwalk. The day before Thanksgiving was sunny and mild so we all drove into Ocean City and walked along the mostly deserted boardwalk.
We passed Kohr Brothers, a frozen custard stand that has been there as far back as I can remember. Some of this custard is kept in a lab at the University of Chicago where physicists have studied its properties, eventually agreeing with me that it just might be the densest matter in the known universe. Closed in the off season, all I could do was stand in front of the place, quietly moaning in a Pavlovian response.
I saw some stairs that went down from the boardwalk and onto the beach. I haven't walked through sand since I can't remember when. As I got closer to the ocean the sand got firmer and easier to walk on.
I love the ocean.
I am in awe of the ocean.
I don't know if it is some million year old primordial race memory of crawling up out of it or some dim echo of a past life as a sailor, but being by, or on, the sea always feels strangely familiar. Who knows.