09 May 2011

RememberRED - Sand

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.

The neighborhood is like many in the area and is simply known as The Lake by the locals.  It's a community of about 250 homes, with small barely paved streets that fit one car comfortably and two with some practice.  The families that live there have children and pets, both who run freely in those wonderful summer months.  It's that place we all wish we'd grown up in.

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.


M.E.

14 comments:

texwisgirl said...

you make it sound like a magical community place. :)

Amy Sullivan said...

I grew up in northern Michigan. . .this made me miss the lake I remember! I don't know the Red Dress Club. I'm going to have to click over and see what this is all about.

Marie said...

I want to go there right now! What a beautiful picture you have painted with your words. It sounds like an idyll - just perfect.

Jan n Jer said...

You have painted a picture in my mind of some of my swiming holes of years ago.

Sober Julie said...

I've stopped by from TRDC, great piece, your location has been described so well, I want to visit.

le Chef said...

Growing up in a desert, I completely understand this post. We had our communal lake high up in the mountains. Bear Lake. Sitting there getting muddy, playing with friends .. it brought me back.

Cheryl said...

I always wished we had a summer home in a place where everyone returns year after year. And I wish it for my kids, too. Instead, I will have to live vicariously through this lovely piece!

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

That place sounds amazing and makes me think of where my grandparents live on the Chesapeake Bay.

Misty Dawn said...

You are truly a very talented writer. I pictured all of this and felt as I was watching it take place. What a fantastic post!

Denise said...

What a lovely place to live and I enjoyed reading about it so much. I agree with Misty, you are a very talented writer.

Steve said...

Beautiful post MarieElizabeth!!

Kala said...

This is a place I wish to live all year round, but will have to settle for residing there in my mind.

Inger-M said...

You make it sound so alive, I just want to go there and take part. Beautiful!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Lovely beach-community memories. I'd love it there!