|Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 12:29 pm: |
PW: My parents have a beach house on the Delaware shore, and that's my favorite place to write -- I usually go there for a few weeks in September, after the crowds have left. The beach in September and October is at its peak: increasingly deserted, its beauties sharper and starker with the onset of fall. And the ocean stays warm for a long time; I've been swimming in late October.
Heh. I hail from Delaware, and my grandfather built a cottage upon the shore, well before I was born. And your assessment of seasonal beauty is spot-on, as far as I'm concerned. May I ask which beach you're on? Ours is at Lewes, although why they changed the name of the town to Lewes from Zwaanendael is beyond me, because Zwaanendael is such a beautiful, interesting word, and Lewes . . . isn't. But it does surprise me how many people mispronounce it "Lews." Oh, well.
Anyway, yes. Those glorious Delaware beaches.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 03:35 pm: |
Our house is in Middlesex Beach, which is next to Bethany Beach. I've spent some time in Lewes, checking out the Victorian houses and the lighthouse museum and stuff. And the old cemeteries! I agree about Zwaanendael.
I'm longing to be there right now, but have yet to make the trip this summer, due to circumstances beyond my control.
I'm lucky to have a place like that where I can have solitude and actually get good writing done.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 08:28 pm: |
I'm not familiar with Middlesex, but I'm very familiar with Bethany.
And I, too, have not yet been able to make it there this summer. Looks like I'm not going to, either.
It's amazing the kinds of things that wash up on that beach. And how close the dolphins get. It's nice to be able to just get up and go out and kayak to the dolphins not a hundred yards offshore.
|Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 02:29 am: |
Oh yeah -- the dolphins! People never believe me about the dolphins -- until I finally drag them there to see for themselves. I've never gone kayaking out to them, though. That must be amazing.
The pelicans are pretty darn cool, too. They never used to be there when I was a kid, but over the past 15 years or so, they've become plenteous. I can only assume some manmade environment incursion into their old habitat is responsible . . . Not that the Delaware shore is by any means a pristine ecosystem any longer.
A very strange state, Delaware; or at least the Eastern Shore part of it, which is really the only part I know. It's really a part of the South, I think, despite being up north so far. What was it like growing up there?
|Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 03:57 pm: |
I just love the bay. I hate the crowded ocean with the boardwalk and shops and crowds of people. I love the quieter, more sedate bay, where you have the beach, for the most part, to yourself. And you really see a lot more animals - sharks of all shapes and sizes; tortoises; all kinds of invertebrates, some nasty, some beautiful, some both; all variety of birds - that you just don't see on the ocean.
And yes, it's a shame how dirty things have become; the soot and grit you can find in the water, the trash that washes up. It's still beautiful, but if you look closer you can see, year by year, how much more disgusting things are getting.
As for DE, I'd say that it's about split between north and south. I'm from Wilmington, at the top of the state, which is essentially like growing up in a Pennsylvania suburb except that there's no sales tax. And all those thousands of Pennsylvanians who flock to DE every day to do their shopping - they should all be written up for tax evasion. Every one of 'em. But the lower half of DE is pretty much all farmland, small little farms and villages, and is definitely much more southern; much more like small-town Maryland or Virginia than Pennsylvania or New York. And then there are those wonderful DE beaches.
I also generally love going to the beach later in September or October, although since I've been off to college, that hasn't happened. It's not so hot and humid anymore, but as long as it takes for the sun to warm a gazillion gallons of seawater, it takes just as long for it all to cool off again, so the water itself does stay nice and warm even as the days become more autumnal than oppressive.
Plus the added benefit of that there's no one there anymore, and no beach traffic to contend with.
Getting back to DE for a second, these days it's mostly remarkable for two things - DuPont, and credit cards.
|Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 05:04 pm: |
And, of course, all the major companies legally incorporated in Wilmington!
The nearest bay to Middlesex is, I swear this is true, Little Assawoman Bay.
|Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 05:16 pm: |
My Visa card comes, or at least used to come from Delaware.
That's all I know of Delaware other than the Delaware Water Gap, to which I drove stoned on acid in the 70s :-) I took some nice photos --stoned and all. It was all fogged in at dawn and really eerie and beautiful.
|Posted on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 02:56 am: |
And you know what? It's not in Delaware!
|Posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:15 pm: |
Paul, I've sent you two emails and they've been bounced because the mailbox is temporarily unavailable, yet I've been getting your emails????
|Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 03:09 am: |
Yeah, something weird was going on yesterday. I received all your bounced emails this morning in a big bunch, impossible to tell the order in which you'd sent them. Anyway, I responded -- hopefully you received my most recent email. If not, let me know!
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 12:17 pm: |
Ah, Delaware, where the credit cards rise above the lonely sea!
Hey cuz -- been missing you & thinking of you & figured I'd come here for a fix (I'll call you later). And now I'm incredibly nostalgic for your beach house! Some of my happiest memories are of being there, gazing at the malign lights of Sea Colony in the distance. Anyway hope you're getting some well-deserved downtime & writing done.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 12:07 pm: |
I'm back in NYC for tonight's NYRSF reading, then back down to the beach, where those Sea Colony lights don't seem quite as malign without you!