If my weather radar is right, it looks like those of you on the Outer Banks are socked in pretty good this morning. If it's raining real hard it's difficult to go anywhere and that even means on the beach in a slicker if the lightning abounds.
Back in the old days it was different. If you had an oceanfront cottage on stilts, it was probably built on an upgrade toward the beach meaning that the sand underneath stayed pretty dry. We would put up a hammock under the house and, when little, just play in the sand. It was cowboys and Indians or war, depending upon what type of the old metal toy people we had. If that didn't work, a toy grader or even a small piece of wood would do to build highways and bridges in the sand. it kept us busy for hours and, when a little older, we'd substitute a transistor radio, later a boom box and stay out of the hair of our parents who thought the music was too loud. It was like a hut under there, dry and tall enough to stand, so we didn't care.
Sometimes the whole family would gather around our large picnic style dining table in the great room for a hand of cards or a board game. Scrabble and Monopoly were favorites then as well and we could wile away whatever the weather brought, reminded that a little family togetherness was actually fun. Sometimes it got pretty competitive, however, and we had to remember it was just a game. Mom always made sure that was the case.
Rainy days were also a good time to visit relatives over in Wanchese. Aunt Alma's house, going right at the fork in the road reaching town from Manteo, was just across the street from Bethany Methodist and was the family gathering place when relatives came to town. Everybody would drop in and renew acquaintances with Mom who left right out of high school and I'd get all of the little family stories that these many years later I was able to capture in my book. But it was a fun visit and afterwards we'd either stop in Manteo at Fearing's Drug Store for a fountain coke or, if Mom really enjoyed her day it would be at the Snowbird in Nags Head for something special in the ice cream department. Glad to know that the Snow Bird is still serving the delectable frozen treats, still standing just like our old cottage.
Later in the day, when the sun started to show itself, a walk on the beach was amazing. All the footprints were gone, even the sandfiddler and bird tracks, and the sun returning to the sea was wondrous. Maybe a quick dip was in order if the sun was warm enough, and we realized we actually appreciated that short break in beach routine that had just ended. Like everything else, it's never a good idea to take your good fortunes for granted, whether it be sunny days at the beach or whatever else strikes your fancy.
As I got a little older, I began to appreciate a rainy day as a good time to curl up with a good book. And I always imagined that some day I would be able to describe those days in a book of my own. Well, it took a lot of years but I guess that's one thing on my bucket list that is now done, that and seeing the space shuttle up close and personal at launch. I only hope my efforts can help others to appreciate the many facets of a long stay at the beach and how important it is that we continue that opportunity. Everyone should experience "Summers at Old Nags Head," And if you didn't have the opportunity back when, I hope I can at least provide the flavor of running free on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Hope the sunny skies return to you soon.
If you like this little story, you'll love my book: "Summers at Old Nags Head." Available on Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited. And if you have Kindle Unlimited membership, it's free.