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Past the Beach Roses Essay

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Growing up on an Island is an adventure. The summers are full of swimming, boating, and lobster bakes. Floating the incoming tides on a found piece of driftwood in the warm afternoon sun. Summer residents, and tourists would arrive early in June; making our sleepy little Island explode with activity. The cove filled with people having picnics on the beach. A warm evening with a heavy full moon reflecting on the water watched over the occasional street dance. Lobster boats shared the waters around Casco Bay with assorted pleasure crafts.
As soon as school closed for the summer the walk down the hill, past the bright pink beach roses, found the local kids at the cove celebrating the end of another long school year. The older girls lay out on large smooth ledges. Occasionally taking dips in the cold water to draw the sun to help their tans. Most of the older boys were out fishing with their dad, and grandfathers, learning the best spots to set their traps. While others could be found jumping off the wharves to swim. The younger children could be found scouring the shore for treasures, digging in bits of sand. There were always treasures, the last tide had left behind, sea glass, starfish, shells, and sometimes sand dollars. Occasionally a lost trap, or buoy would find its way to the shore. Old bottles would wash up. We wondered if they had ever contained a message, how long they had been in the sea, or how far they had traveled. We made up stories about what happened to them on their journey to our Island.
Lunch time sent everyone home. Sometimes lunch at grams might just mean another trip down over the hill past the beach roses. The best mussels could be found under the seaweed at the tip of Barley Field Point. Steamed mussels and a...


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...ch roses to play down at the cove. It was a time to bring out all the traps that had spent the winter on the wharves and in the fish houses where they were repaired. With new rigging they were ready to be set, on the first of the good days. Few of the fishermen back then had boats that would handle the winter seas, so most pulled their traps up for the winter months. The fishermen who had been caretakers for the summer families, began getting the houses ready for them to come back before the fishing got underway.
Before too many weeks past, it all starts again, the fishing boats leave their moorings at the first light of dawn. The scent of salt water, warm breezes, and rays of sunshine coming through the bedroom window takes the place of the alarm clocks. School was finally out and we were again walking down the hill past the beach roses to the Cove, for another sum



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