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Sunday Outings This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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When I was a child, Sunday was a special day. It wasn’t a day when the whole family came home for an afternoon turkey dinner. Rather, my parents and I usually ate a hot dog or hamburger at a Friendly’s or a roadside stand. But, no matter where we ate, our Sunday excursion would take us near the ocean. So every Sunday we would find ourselves driving with no real destination, but in the direction of Hingham, Scituate, Cohasset, or some small New England town by the sea.

These Sunday drives usually occurred in the fall and the spring. The leaves on the trees were either a fresh, new green or a brilliant mix of yellow, orange, and red. We enjoyed the weather because, for the most part, it was refreshingly crisp, but not cold. The view of the ocean always complemented the feeling of the weather with the rough waves crashing against the sandy beaches and jagged cliff rocks. We knew, because of the time of the year, that the water was cold and it felt cozy to be wearing a warm sweater and an old pair of jeans.

People were always cleaning out their houses and garages. So, as we drove along the winding, scenic backroads, there was one yard sale after another. And there wasn’t one that my mom didn’t insist on stopping at. But we didn’t mind because it gave us time to get out and stretch. My mother was content picking and poking at the various “collectables.” And I was always happy when Mom would get back in the car and hand me one of her great finds, like a book of party games that would keep me occupied in the backseat for hours.

I came to recognize every bump in the road, too. I would watch the time and know when we were approaching our ride home. My dad always allowed enough time so that we would be back in time for five o’clock mass at St. Joseph’s. But it wasn’t just the time that clued me in to the ride home; it was our route. No matter where we spent most of the day, we would take the long way home by way of Jerusalem Road in Cohasset, one of the most beautiful coastal communities. My father would have a smile on his face, knowing that rather than taking the expressway, he was going to take us the scenic way home, where the view was magnificent.

The road was a winding cliff road with clusters of mansions. Each was different but all shared the magnificent view of the sea. And the kelly green, well-groomed lawns were a vivid contrast to the blue of the ocean. We could see the wide open Atlantic, rough and scattered with white sails. If it were sunny, the water would be a beautiful deep blue, reflecting the sky, with foamy white caps accenting the puffy white clouds in the sky. And if it were windy, we could sometimes see the spray of the surf, wetting the jagged cliff rocks. Occasionally, a mossy rock wall would obstruct the view, but as we drove around the bend, we could once again see the big blue mass that stretched to the horizon. We would return from our Sunday drive and head right for church. And, as I sat in my pew, I could feel the tightness of my skin and the itchiness of my eyes from the salty ocean air.

It is not often now that we make a Sunday excursion as we did so many times when I was a child. But whenever I go to the beach on a summer day with my friends, I always drive because I know the way. And when we sit in the sand, perspiring and covered with oil, I think of another time when the air was not so hot and a dip in the water would not be so refreshing, and a feeling of happiness runs through me, as my heart fills with fond memories.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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