I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.
This was my home so long ago and yet it was just yesterday when I reached my 21st birthday here. A milestone.
Someone asked me how I knew our home in Loveladies on Long Beach Island was available to rent. For the life of me I just can’t remember. But learn I did that ‘our’ house was available to rent during the summers and into the Fall.
As it turns out here we are and just in time. Our house from long ago is up for sale.
We have been here for two weeks and so many memories have been revisited. The smell of the Bay, the sights of the boats heading North, perhaps, to fish, or just to tour around Barnegat Bay. Sailboats fluttering their wings as the seagulls glide by. The water gently hitting the bulkhead as it lulls us to sleep each night. The sky as blue as only a New Jersey shore sky can be in the Fall. The stop lights all flashing yellow with the summer crowds gone. The island has risen over two feet with them gone.
I am thankful for the visions of my family, especially of my Mother and Father, as they come back to me as if I am looking at a movie of my life. My father sitting in the bar having a drink. My mother in the kitchen preparing dinner. My Aunt and Uncle waving to us as they come closer from across the Bay ready to moor their boat outside our house. Clam bakes, the houseboat rocking outside, my sister catching crabs in her traps hanging into the Bay from the bulkhead. The family parties that never seemed to end.
My 21st birthday dinner at the table in the same spot as this table. The precious gift my Father presented me and my surprise when I saw friends driving up the Lane for my birthday party. A wonderful surprise and a wonderful memory.
Christmas here with the tree beautifully decorated which could be seen by boaters. Holiday cheer on the water.
Memories are beautiful and memories are good for the soul. We need to remember from whence we come. Memories are not all happy but my memories of this house are awe inspiring as I look across the Bay and watch this sunset. I see my family everywhere here. Memories that I thought I had forgotten.
My parents are still with me as we enjoy this house that my Father built so long ago. I realize I appreciate the beauty and the calmness the Bay has always brought to me more today than yesterday. Somehow I feel closer to my parents within its walls. I have gone back in time.
I fear this house will be torn down for a new and improved version of a bayfront house. If I return to Long Beach Island this house will truly be just a memory. The realization makes me sad. For now I am thankful I am here. I am thankful for all the memories that are freshened in my heart.
Thanks Dad. I see what you saw all those years ago.