A Time of Reflection

 In Inspirational

A time of reflection. That is what the summer is for me. I escape to the beach for weeks of relaxation. It is a diversion from my usual routine.

Kim on Ocean City, NJ lifeguard                  stand 2022

No set meal times. Packed lunches on the beach. Moon pies. Late dinners. Long walks along the shoreline. With or without company. A bathing suit covers my body all day. Flip flops replace my shoes.

                 family beach walk 2022

I spend endless hours observing. Whispers abound.

     early morning sandpipers

I watch my children parent their own. The moment provides a time of reflection that transports me to an era when I was a young mother.  I recall one summer when our young family enjoyed a week in Ocean City, Maryland with my in-laws. A simple second floor rental with no air conditioning in the 80’s housed us all. On the small wooden deck, my daughter Samantha stepped in a turkey roasting pan filled with water to rinse off the sand. Her red bathing suit hugged her tiny body.  It seems like yesterday. Now, as Mimi, I treasure hours on the beach with my grandchildren.

Mimi and her grandkids in      Ocean City, NJ 2022

My eyes and ears are drawn to random families on the beach.  The creativity of other parents is amusing. “No that is not the ice cream bell. That is the vegetable bell. It is Tuesday.”

I recall my first beach treat as a young child. It was at my grandmother’s cottage, Trail’s End , in Point O’Woods, Connecticut. I picked out a  strawberry shortcake ice cream bar on a stick. Then, I proudly gave the man in the white hat that read, Good Humor, my nickel. My tongue twitches with that memory.

Summertime tourists on the boardwalk provide me with immense entertainment.  Seagulls grab french fries from unsuspecting teens. Cries for cotton candy and funnel cake erupt from children’s sunburned faces. Nearby, tired parents try to bypass the mini-golf’s electronic pirate hawking a chance at a free game. I never went to a boardwalk as a child. That memory card started with my own children.

Ocean City NJ Boardwalk family night  2022

Lazy summer days give me plenty of hours to reflect upon my life. Past. Present. And future. More years are behind me now than in front. I am grateful for my life. I grew up in a simpler time in a small town.  Mistakes happened, but the consequences were not significant. Instead, they fortified my core. My confidence developed in baby steps in a safer time.

 outgoing tide sculpts the sand 

And now, I pause to look back and appreciate the place, the time, and station of life I was afforded. The small footprint I will leave behind when I move on is grounded in love and gratitude. Love for my family and gratitude for all of the gifts I was given, and the rewards I worked for.

“…that what is valuable must be earned or it’s bound to be squandered…” (from The Lincoln Highway  by Amor Towles)



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Showing 2 comments
  • Jeanne Ryan

    Dear Kim,
    That was such a delightful read!
    Treasure those moments with your family. I’m glad you are able to capture them in pictures and prose.

    • Kim K Meredith

      Thank you friend! Pictures help the memories stay vibrant.

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