This week a writing prompt from The Red Dress Club was sand.
It conjured many ideas for me, so I thought I would join along.
And in the middle of it all, is the lake.
It has been stocked with fish, but most of what's in there have come downstream after spring storms, from the fishing club further up the road. There is a small dock that gets re-built every 10 years or so, for the tiny sailboats some of the neighbors bring down and leave for the summer. No one is worried their boat will be taken, and they are willing to share with anyone who will show it respect.
Along the northern edge is strip of sand, barely a beach. But this is where is all happens. This is where lifetime friends are made, where screaming family members cheer on their swim teams, and where the Moms line up their chairs.
It starts fairly early in the morning, even on the cloudy days. The kids want to swim and the Moms know everyone who is anyone will appear, so they should get there and claim their spot in the sand. They have those small, low, webbed folding chairs you see in the store near the floaties and water toys. They sit on the water's edge, in a curvy line, to left of the guard chair. They move further into and out of the water, as the sun moves across the sky.
These hardcore beach setters are not just there to watch their children splash around. They plan yearly community events, discuss politics, and gossip, umm, network in their own way. I'm pretty sure the world's problems could be solved by the beach Moms, if they were given a chance. Not all the families in the neighbor have members who join in this tradition each summer, but they all know the ones that do.
The children here learn quickly how to walk across this shallow beach made from pristine yellow sand raked each morning by the life guards. The sand is scorching, so they dig their toes in quickly as they flitter across it to their over sized towel. They love swimming to the island and jumping off the boards, but don't mind the "rest period" too much. This is the time when castles from dreams are brought to life. The sand is thick and when you dig down just a little, it's still damp. It packs perfectly in the turret shaped buckets and leaves a solid tower when turned upside down. Every castle, it seems, must have a moat or river or sometimes both.
Most days the only break in the slow paced action of the lake, is the picnic lunch at the tables under the trees or the crack of the bat at the nearby ball field. Occasionally, you may hear a crying child who signals it's time to head home for a nap.
But truly it is a place where although time has not stood still, summer memories are etched forever by the sand.