When I first looked at David De Ment’s painting I was carried away back in time to the most wonderful place of my childhood, Bayridge beach. Actually, Bayridge was a beach community which is a part of East Greenwich , RI, just past Goddard Memorial State Park which occupies 490 acres along the shores of Greenwich. These days, I’m so tired of the snow and cold that I think everyone who lives in a cold climate needs to identify with a place of warmth and the serenity of the sea.
Because I always was (and still am) a terrible asthmatic and am allergic to so many pollens during hay fever season, my Dad, who discovered this hidden magical beach, took the family each summer to the seaside so I didn’t have to suffer . Bayridge was something for everyone. Our first and favorite house that Dad rented was 64 Beachwood Drive. It was a 2 story rustic house with a screened porch that overlooked the ocean. Mostly everyone liked to go quahogging at low tide and even though I hated the taste of those things, especially when mostly the men (and my Aunt Cammie) slurped them down out of the shell with tabasco sauce and lemon, it
was still a sort of race to see who could rake up the most and the biggest quahogs. It was always fun to have my Aunt Cammie arrive in her little rambler with her dog. She was game for just about everything.
I was a Tomboy of sorts and loved hanging around with my brother and the other young boys in the seaside village especially because I loved to play baseball. They knew I was small, but they also knew I could run and was fast so they never excluded me. In the evenings we would ride our bikes and congregate at the local store to get ice cream but it was always the anticipation of meeting on the beach the next day that made our summers so memorable.
My brother Joe and I loved climbing the rocks and searching for little urchins that might crawl onto them. You never had to worry about city “crowds” coming to this secluded beach. It felt like it was all ours!!!!
Years later, I sometimes visit Bayridge just to recapture feelings of laughter and happiness we shared there. I often stop for a moment in front of 64 Beachwood Drive and can still feel the family feasting on clams and quahogs. I look at the field across the street and still see me running the bases with the boys…..
But it is the seaside that I remember the most and the place where everyone was happy and there wasn’t a care in the world.
It’s still hard to leave Bayridge even after a short visit. I remember as a child, that feeling was so devastating to say good-bye to our friends who resided there year-round and face the school year which was rapidly approaching back in the city.
I keep thinking now how much I yearn for the summertime and was so happy that David De Ment made me escape for a few moments to relive the happiest days of my childhood summers.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and keep thinking warm thoughts.
See you on Tuesday,