Could it have been any better?Walking to the beach with friends on a summer day during my childhood meant kicking off our shoes as soon as we crossed the tracks and hit the sand.
If I were to wish for the perfect Edmonds summer day, I might wish for a minus tide and four hours at the beach with a novel, a notebook and pencils, a lunch, a couple of sodas, a beach towel --and a substantial log for leaning against.
I had that perfect day last week. I stuffed a couple of tote bags with the above supplies, plus extra sunscreen and rubber flip-flops, and walked through the sunshine to the waterfront, to my favorite stretch of beach.
When I was a kid, many summer days I ended up at the beach. Why not?
In those days, families didn’t worry about their children going places in Edmonds with their friends, with never a thought of adult supervision.
The library, the park, the ferry dock, the dime store—summer days in Edmonds were filled with freedom. And the beach offered unlimited opportunities for play.
Walking to the beach with friends on a summer day during my childhood meant kicking off our shoes as soon as we crossed the tracks and hit the sand.
Barefoot, we carelessly walked across the rocky beach, paying no attention to the barnacles under our toughened feet.
We splashed through the sandy shallows looking for crabs, starfish and jellyfish. We ran back and forth in knee-deep water, laughing and shrieking with delight, oblivious to the chilly water temperature.
Sometimes, we’d find a log of manageable size washed up on the shore and roll it down to the water, where we’d try to balance on it while it sloshed in the small waves at the waterline.
Other times we’d play with the lengths of kelp washed up onto the shore. Or we’d walk the logs on the higher part of the beach, jumping from one to another to see how far we could go before we ran out of accessible logs.
All those memories came back to me that lovely low-tide day last week. I kicked off my shoes, fixed my comfy beach-spot against a log, and sat down to enjoy my good fortune.
Easy-going moms with umbrellas, beach chairs and ice chests settled in for the day, chatting with their friends while their kids built sand castles together in the distance.
Less relaxed moms repeatedly cautioned little ones about the dangers of the water, frequently imploring them to stay near. Young families explored the treasures revealed by the low tide.
The ferry came in every little while and left again, as boaters zipped by in run-abouts and cabin cruisers.
In my flip-flops, I walked down to enjoy the minus tide, with its smooth expanse of sand. After admiring a huge red starfish and assorted squirting clams and quarreling seabirds, I walked back to my beach towel, where I sat leaning against the log. I wrote a while, ate lunch and read half a novel.
Oh, yes, it was a perfect summer day.