It’s Spring on Ponquogue Beach

Written By: Lisa Leshaw

Breathless, restless, hand-in-hand we race to water’s edge to dance in the foam of a leftover wave.

Tempting fate or Southampton Town ordinances (or both) we are naked.

It is Spring on Ponquogue Beach and we are the decided King and Queen of our domain.

Our only loyal subjects are a lone horseshoe crab and a noisy gull family screeching the locations of abandoned treasure to one another.

In the distance an innocuous metal detector man roams from side-to-side. Should he make his way towards our blue moat (a.k.a. big faded beach blanket) we will
duck under and allow him to pass.

In the interim while we hide we will dream and discover, plan and plot and attempt to minimize the ripples we create. The man does not venture near us. We duck under anyway and make waves of a different sort.

Giddy and gutsy and submerged in sweat, we re-emerge to park our youthful behinds on the wet sand, too careless and carefree to mind.

We challenge one another to a Ninja Warrior rock climbing contest. A timed run down to the jetty and back.
Clothing is no longer optional because we would rather not attract the Air National Guard.

We’re off through rugged cracks and treacherous crevices and my heart is skipping beats. I know at this moment I could beat him yet all I do is stop to watch him watching me.

He wins!

We fall to the sand breathless all over again.

He bends on one knee and in the presence of the piping plovers he asks me to spend my life with him.

I win hands down!!

We march forth down the aisle on March 4th (clever) so my best friend will never have to contend with the ‘I forgot our anniversary’ guilt gift.

To this day he never has.

Our children are barreling down the sand too exuberant and way too impatient to help Mom and Dad unload the day’s cargo.

It is Summer on Ponquogue Beach .

Here we are our son and daughter, barbecue chips and Cheetos, P&J sandwiches, beach chairs and boogie boards, shovels and pails, a book or two for the
grown-ups and deflated balls of every color, sport and size.

Before us awaits a sea of multi-colored beach umbrellas resembling a Jackson Pollock masterpiece.

A sandcastle competition is underway. Timed. Girls against boys. The rules are simple. Three tiers and no toppling. Too many flip-flopped feet around us disturb the
architectural balance of our award worthy sculptures.

Each one topples. We declare a tie.

The kids race back to water’s edge. We retreat hand-in-hand back to our family’s blanketed domain releasing our grasp only long enough to wave or signal our babies to remain close to shore.

A boisterous game of beach volleyball and footballs crisscrossing in the air round out an already perfect day.

As sun sets we gather our newest seashell collection and a tired foursome heads home sunburned and satisfied.


“Nanny, Grandpa, quick come and see!” yell our granddaughter and grandson in unison.

It is Autumn on Ponquogue Beach.

Will this finally be the day that Miss Kitty and The Incredible Hulk take flight and soar majestically before being downed by wind or mediocre string-tugging skills?

A kite-flying competition has been declared. Grandchildren against Grandparents. We got this one covered.

Come on Miss Kitty…..
She’s up! She’s soaring! She’s taken on a glorious flight pattern.
Yes! Yes!!!
Happy Dance!!!!

No…. she’s down.

“WE WON!” “WE WON!” shout the grand kids. Far too young are they to understand that Nanny and Grandpa are the true winners.

“Let’s watch the fishermen!”

“Maybe they will catch Moby Dick.”

Grandpa and I giggle as we head over to await the arrival of Melville’s muse.

We count all the red and white bobbers bobbing up and down and peer into all the white plastic pails. Many families will be dining on seafood for supper.

That reminds us we’re hungry and off we go to the snack bar pavilion for hot dogs with melted cheese, cokes and french fries and then ice-cream pops to
insure that all food groups have been represented.

After a 2-hour dig to China and good-sported Grandpa spitting out dirt having been buried head-to-toe the day comes to a magical end with two sleeping angels
in our back seat.


Channel 12’s forecast for seasonable temperatures summons us out of hibernation.

Layered like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee we walk with measured steps.

It is Winter on Ponquogue Beach.

I slow my pace. It is not a race anymore.

We already won every one that matters.

We are breathless (but no longer restless).

The sand, the sea all look the same to me.

How does it measure a span of forty-years?
Does the sand wrinkle and the waves gray and stoop?

Like the youngsters under that moat.

Remember them?

I look at his face. I hold his hand.

I close my eyes.

It is Spring on Ponquogue Beach.