Bay Day Bay Day! 1940

I am eight. It’s morning and I am not sleepy but rather filled with energy and anticipation. The grown ups are in the kitchen. I know because I smell their coffee. We live near a bakery, and
Dad will have gotten buns on the way home from early Mass.

One of my teenaged brothers, bursts out of our only bathroom and gives me his expected big brother order to get in and out of the bathroom PDQ. I don’t care. I want to hurry. I want to run down those steep wooden steps to bound into the kitchen where I know the bags of towels and bathing suits along with bulging picnic baskets sit like soldiers at attention waiting to spring into action.

Dad is smiling. He loves the water and is a terrific swimmer. Mother hates the water but loves Dad’s loving it. As coffee cups and milk glasses tinkle, there is a symphony of chatter. ” Mom, did you pack my new bating suit” or “Dad, why can’t my friend Joey go too”. Then mother lilts, don’t forget get you hats”. “No red noses this time”. This cachcofony swept to the car in unison.

That big old blue Hudson felt like a cross between a limo and a magic chariot. Rolling down the road snuggled together like a happy litter of puppies, we all have our private thoughts about how the day will be. It took at least an hour to get to our destination, the Chesapeake Bay. On the way, Dad had us read all the signs to tune up our reading and Mom would tell stories. Maybe one of the stories might be the time Mother lost her teeth in the water which set all the kids on a diving expedition to retrieve that lovely clicking full set of shiny whites. Finally, we pulled into the beach area and park under a shady tree that is not far from picnic table nor beach.

After all the cautions that Mother thought we needed. We all raced to the water. Dad swam out so far that Mother inhaled audibly. We loved the fact that Dad could swim well and be unafraid which meant that we too could own the water and be unafraid. Mother never went in beyond her knees and that placed some doubt on our absolute ownership of the water.

We swam, floated, dunked each other all the while gulping salt water and laughed until we reached the cutting edge of childhood hunger. We headed toward the big bowl of macaroni salad, and Mother who knew when, how and what to do with dripping wet, ferociously hungry children.

Then came the long, slow, and dreamy trip back home in our big old blue Hudson while we sleepily and softly asked when we could come again.



~ by mosswood on May 24, 2012.

4 Responses to “Bay Day Bay Day! 1940”

  1. Now that’s what I’m talking about. What a great story. Felt like I was living it with you. Thanks for sharing and look forward to more valuable tid bits like this.

  2. what a wonderful memory. i love your stories nana.

  3. My heart swells that you would want to know. Thanks

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