Waves of Laughter
By: Patricia Scholl
It’s ten o’clock and I have five minutes to pack. I reach up to retrieve my pink canvas Victoria’s Secret satchel on the top shelf. I throw in two bathing suits, one beach cover-up, a nightgown, three dresses, my favorite white sandals, a toothbrush and hair products. Ten minutes later I hear the sound of a car horn in my driveway. I bolt down the stairs as fast as I can and open the door to greet them. Stopping dead in my tracks, I wonder what I may have forgotten. Of course, my Tommy Bahama sand chair. Two seconds later I shout to my husband that I’m leaving and skip out to the car.
I begin to get that nervous, excited feeling in the pit of my stomach as we approach the Ocean Surf Resort. We had to be right on the beach. As we check in, we are given the key to room #25. It is a simple room consisting of two full size beds and one bathroom. Already missing my king size bed and en suite at home, I feel a bit disappointed. Growing up, my sisters and I lived this way until my parents added an extension. I say to myself, “I can do this.”
Within thirty minute’s time we are all on the beach. Our sand chairs are set up in a semi-circle facing the sun and our beach bags alongside our feet. My sister Joan and I are in the ocean before anyone can open a book. Even though the water is cold as ice, we dive in anyway and float together bobbing up and down like two buoys. When we were little girls my Dad would take us to the ocean on the weekends. Chest high in the waves, he stood strong like the Rock of Gibraltar, as we hung on tight to his neck and shoulders. We knew Dad would not let go of us even when a wave would crash over our heads. My younger sisters did not gain the same confidence in the water like my sister Joan and I. When they were ready to go in the ocean, Joan would go out the deepest. I would hold her hand and we would form a human chain to ensure the safety of Lisa and Kathy. Both Joan and I would try to coax them in deeper, but they would not budge.
Back in our sand chairs, out came the drinks and munchies we all brought. As I opened my first Corona, I began imagining a commercial. We are all in our late forties and would love to be young again. We would all take a sip of the corona, and puff! Instantly we were in our twenties. After a few beers, a handful of grapes, and a chip or two, it was time to get ready for dinner.
Our reservations at The Harvest were at sunset. Everyone begins the night with a cosmopolitan. We raise our glasses like we are celebrating something special. We look into each other’s eyes with anticipation shouting “Salute.” We are a very tight-knit group of sisters and even though we see each other often, we still have so much to discuss. Joan tells us about her new yoga group she runs on Thursday nights and Lisa shares how well her Reiki session went with her new client. Katherine continues to pick our brains on how she can move up in her company while I just listen on, enjoying the atmosphere. The night flies by quickly and before you know it we find ourselves back on the deck of our hotel room still chatting about nothing and everything. The night is perfect. There’s a full moon and it creates a soft glow all around us. We begin to make silly animal shapes cast as shadows on the wall created by the night light. We laugh so hard, we can’t breathe. Then, there’s that moment when everyone becomes quiet and feels complete contentment. We know at that instant that no one has it better than us.
Then next morning we begin to get ready to go to breakfast. Like clockwork, without saying a word, everyone moves with ease and is ready at the exact same time. Anthony’s Pancake House has a table waiting just for us. “Two eggs over easy with bacon and home fries please,” I said to the waitress. My sisters choose the same thing with a variation or two. Afterwards we visit our favorite jewelry store to pick out a piece of hand-made jewelry; only to find out they are closing. We’ve bought several pieces there though out the years and are saddened that they will be leaving. Next stop is At Home En Provence. We find it impossible to leave without purchasing something for ourselves. I buy a small dish that says “too much of a good thing can be wonderful” in the center. Last but not least is the Montauk Bake Shoppe. Did you know that they have key lime donuts?
Back on the beach, I try to read my kindle fire. I am reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Joan wants to go swimming and grabs my kindle out of my hands. I feel a bead of sweat drip down the middle of my back. It’s no use. One second later we are both skipping into the ocean, jumping over the waves. A little girl around six years old wearing a blue and white striped bathing suit begins to mimic us. She looks just like Katherine when she was her age. We smile at one another and continue deeper into the ocean. This becomes our ritual for the next couple of days.
Friday morning we pack up the car, check out, and head home. We are already discussing next year’s adventure and decide to try a different Montauk hotel. Because we made such fond memories at the Ocean Surf Resort, there is an unspoken agreement that we will be heading back there again next year and staying in the exact same room.
We look forward to our days on the beach, our summer nights having drinks at The Sloppy Tuna and midnights on the deck of room 25. We will walk into town and visit Calypso St. Barts for a new bathing suit and go over to Gosmans to purchase a unique piece of jewelry from Summer Stock. Although we go to the same stores, eat at the same places, and stay in the same hotel, each memory is different. One year we all bought the same ankle bracelets and took a photo of our feet. Silly, I know, but this is what sisterhood is all about. Each year we head out to Montauk, we know for sure that when we get together, there will always be waves of laughter.