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Summer Away

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I step out onto the wooden deck and rest my arms against the railing. Above me I hear seagulls singing and the waves crashing against the sand of the beach. The plants below me rustle, as the wind blows the sweet smell of the ocean in my face. After a couple of long years, my family had finally decided to return. Everything there was refreshing, and made me glad to be away from home. I looked around, everything being so familiar to me. The path we used to walk onto and off of the beach was the same. The furniture was unmoved and all of the plants were in the same condition. It was like nothing had changed over the two year gap. I recalled when I was younger, and how amazing it felt to be in such a calm place. I looked down over the railing and saw the reeds below, which brought up an old memory of myself. My mother was trying to take a photo so we could reminisce about our time at the beach in the future, but was unable to get her way as my four year old self struggled to get out of the picture. The beach house held some of my best memories. It helped craft my love for the summer, and my complete hatred for the winter. Once the house was winterized, we wouldn’t see it for another year. I chuckled to myself, as I remembered my numerous failed attempts at feeding the seagulls, which ended with my head being whacked by flailing wings. My mother told me I was lucky that I hadn’t gotten pooped on instead. I decided to take a walk down to the beach where I would spend most of my time in the ocean. I passed by one of the lifeguard stations, where my cousins and I would sit at night asking one another what we wanted for dinner, and all of us responding with an, “I don’t care.” Everything at the beach tastes like summer, and we could have had anything and would have been perfectly happy. But first, we wanted to watch the waves calm down and end their terrible thrashing. My sister usually chirps up first, inquiring when we would be going to Fantasy Island, the local amusement park. Her favorite ride awaited her. Even though I have outgrown the ride long ago, taking her on the ride was like a tradition I could not pass up. Tilt-A-Whirl had been our favorite ride since we were tall enough to go on it alone. My reminiscing quickly ended as I was called back up to the house for a walk to the candy store, Oh Fudge. After a 5 minute walk, we arrived and bought more candy than one person should consume. Still, it’s less than my cousin, who has a candy addiction. We get back to the house and feast on our finds, while my Uncle complains incessantly about too many plastic cups being thrown in the garbage. Soon we decide to go out for dinner, and return to the house with full stomachs. My entire family and I relax in the living room, rewatching idiotic movies that we could not believe we ever watched the first time. Sleeping arrangements could not be tighter, but no one seems to care, as everyone sets off to their assigned rooms. I get the same room as usual, and collapsing onto the bed feels as amazing as it usually does. Another successful and relaxing day. I slowly drift off to sleep, hearing the remaining people who are awake make the floorboards creak with their heavy footsteps as they head for their rooms.
To an outsider, it may seem repetitious and mundane, returning to the same place and doing the same things year after year, but, to me, there is comfort in the routine. It reminds me of my earliest years of life, where I learned how to swim, battle the waves, and make the worst sandcastles possible. Once you reach a certain age, reliving the happy memories gets harder and harder. School, work, and sports start to take priority, and leave less time to revisit the joys of childhood. Things inevitably change and we change with them as new traditions are created and fond memories become just that.






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