Growing up, the last week of August was reserved for family vacation. My Dad considered the ocean was as warm as it was going to get (this from someone who spent WWII on the North Atlantic) and maybe the ‘dog days of summer’ meant the family collie would be willing to ride in the back of our station wagon to the ultimate destination: a summer cottage with a view out over the bay.
When we finally got to the beach, my mother carried a purple, woven-straw Mexican bag into which she put all the accessories: inflatable beach toys, extra large towels, sunscreen (and always a book). Now that bag holds the memories of her laugh and my Dad’s hair blowing in the seabreeze, salt water dripping off his sun-burned shoulders as he flopped down on the blanket next to her. They’re gone but those summer vacations remain.
That bag also holds that surprising twilight that still showed on the horizon when we left the restaurant where we’d had dinner. The cottage allowed for breakfast and the preparations for picnic lunch, but I think we always “went out” for dinner. In that last week of August an early dinner for us meant the sun had not long set and the driveway pavement was still warm. That combination, even now, brings me back, along with “See you in September” playing on the car radio.
Summer is the amber season. It catches life in liquid the color of August sunshine and preserves it, almost living, for the future. When you hold these memories up to the light, they glow from within. And they last forever. Here at Spruce Point Inn we treasure this amber – a variation on the rarest form that washes up on Baltic beaches – for it contains your oceanside memories, made in Maine.