July 2: Ice cream in hand, I settled on a bench in a small coastal town and listened to a duo harmonizing in the nearby wine bar. They broke into The Weight (“Take a load off, Fanny”) and that clinched it for me. Brought in by The Band, anchored by a glass of rosé (heck, I bought the bottle) and entranced by the mandolin, I sang along to music from the 1970s and raised a cheer for serendipity.
July 3: I explored the dunes and marshes of Assateague Island and settled into a beautiful beach morning unencumbered by forecasts of rain. The downpours did come, but only after the late afternoon arrival of old friends and drinks on the patio. (Thank goodness for that bottle of rosé.) We stretched the evening into a dinner of crab cakes, peach bread pudding, and stories from many years ago. And we promised to do it again.
July 4: By mid-day, with winds coming, the ocean was ill-suited to surfing (a spectator sport for me) but just perfect for a dip. Pushing far out to where the waves broke, I leapt over the small ones, dove through the cresting ones, and dropped like rock under the turbulent foam of the ones breaking too soon. I still had my knack for reading waves and an adult’s good sense to stay in sight of the lifeguards. After 40 minutes, the ocean and I shook hands until another day.
July 5: The fireworks fanned over the beach, sparkling like snowflakes, bursting like jewel-tipped hydrangeas, and shooting up like the the contrails of a Thunderbird. Jeremiah and I sat on the sand of Bethany Beach, as we had nearly every Independence Day for 15 years. When our car got stuck deep in the mud of a rain-soaked parking field, helpful strangers reminded us that independence should always salute kindness.
July 6: On the arching, lighted bridge connecting our neighborhood bike paths, I walked through the magical part of the day separating dusk from dark. On either side were fireflies. And coming toward me was a constellation of stars that eventually separated into a half dozen bike lamps. The last bicycle breezed by with purple and green tire-lights making Ferris Wheels where the spokes should be. Magic.
A text from Kevin, during a bike ride: “Thought I was only going to see cars and trucks this morning but my equine friends stopped me on the path and demanded family photos…Rangers finally came to encourage them to get off the road!”
July 7: Jeremiah and I asked Andrew, at Audacious Aleworks, what he was pouring. “The Robert’s back,” he said. Sure enough, I walked away with a pleasing concoction of mango IPA and habanero-peach lager. Robert himself came by our table an hour later. “I was vacationing in Italy last week,” he said. “We call this one the ‘Roberto.’” He presented a new four-ounce, four-ale blend, just for me. Molto buona e grazie!
July 8: As I do practically every day along my walk, I stooped to grab a piece of paper fluttering in the vines along the creek. And as always, a lovely white bloom smiled back at me instead. I suspect we’ll do this friendly dance again tomorrow.
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