Mobile Home Memories

Written By: Diane  Schulman

I had spoken to my Mom the night before and asked her if she and my Dad were okay and if they needed anything. She assured me that they were fine, they were happy and they were ready for what was to come. My brain knew that she couldn’t see my mischievous smile through the phone line, but my heart knew that she was well aware it was there.    

Some people wouldn’t be as prepared. Others would look at this as more of an imposition in their lives rather than a blessing. Some wouldn’t have the patience to deal with the disruption that this would bring into their lives even if for just a brief moment in time. This was not the case with my parents. Their hearts, their arms, their kitchen, their bedrooms, their bathroom, their entire world was always welcoming to the insanity that was about to ensue their home, their daily rituals and their quiet lives.

Once again my parents were about to share their beautiful but rather small two bedroom mobile home with their family for a weekend of fun, food, laughter, sunshine and surf. They lived year-round for many years in the Ditch Plains area of Montauk and once again they were opening their home to their family so that they too could enjoy the unique and amazing beauty of the East End. They welcomed me, my husband, our two children, and even our two small dogs. This wasn’t the first time their brood invaded their home. Their brood invaded often and my parents treasured each and every visit.  We would visit year-round with each season bringing something special to the visit. The brisk mornings, cool evenings and the birth of the Montauk Daisies as we enjoyed the fall, the peacefulness of the winter with the exhilarating feeling of the wind hitting our faces with such a vengeance we could barely catch our breath, the beauty and rebirth of springtime where each day meant a day closer to bathing suits and sand castles and of course the amazing and beautiful summertime filled with warmth, sunshine and swimming.  Their home was definitely not a palatial estate, nor was it a mansion filled with more bathrooms than people; quite the contrary. But it had more love, more laughter and of course, more navigating of shower schedules than any home could possibly ever imagine. At times my brother and his family would join the fun for part of the weekend. This made for quite a menagerie of family, but it brought more laughter, more juggling of space and even more priceless and special moments.  

Our weekends started with the loading up of our car with pillows, snacks, board games, and of course books to enjoy as we relaxed while breathing in the ocean air. We would hope that our ride out east wouldn’t include the dreaded but expected east end traffic, but even if it did, the trip  was always worth the delay any traffic might bring. If we were lucky we would pass the Amagansett Firehouse within an hour and half of our departure from our home and by then we knew we were getting very close to a fun-filled and relaxing weekend with family.

Although we did it many times, driving through the town and turning down Ditch Plains Road always gave us such a feeling of excitement and joy. We knew the fun of spending a weekend with two of our most favorite people in our most favorite place was just about to begin. There truly is nothing like the East End. The smell of the ocean, the beautiful parks, the history, and the hometown feel were all experiences that made our senses explode with joy. Our visits included trips to the Montauk Lighthouse, adventures into Camp Hero, walks on the beach, swimming in the ocean, trips through the town and the nightly climbing over one another in order to get to one’s sleeping bag or bed were all fun and memorable moments. Knocking on the bathroom door announcing your time was up or making the proclamation that we once again had to make a trip to Herb’s Market for more cold cuts or another trip to Whites for more sunscreen or a trip to John’s for a special ice cream treat were all part of the routine and the fun.

Squeezing everyone in at a small kitchen table never seemed to be an issue for my parents. They managed to fit 8-10 people comfortably at a table that was only meant for 4 and they managed to always have enough food for dinner to feed everyone ten times over. Their refrigerator door never seemed to close and neither did the door to their home. Neighbors, friends, and even other people’s children and grandchildren would often stop in for a visit and a sweet treat to fill their bellies. Their house was fun, their house was welcoming and their house was always full of love for everyone and anyone that walked through their door.

After living in Montauk for many years and seeing many of their friends pass on or move away, my parents had decided it was time to move “up-island” to be closer to the family that visited often. It was a hard decision for them. They knew that they would no longer have those big family weekends in their mobile home by the beach. But the beauty of all those wonderful memories in Montauk, those special moments of visiting my parents, taught the entire family a valuable lesson. Spend time with your loved ones as often as possible. Enjoy and treasure each moment you share together, let your senses truly experience your surroundings, and of course, laugh deep and laugh often. Our family certainly misses those Montauk weekends together, but we continue to make special memories. The beach is now a barbecue in my backyard and the talks are while sitting on the porch versus a blanket on the sand.  The kids are all grown and they have lives of their own, but we always get together to make more memories and we always talk about the weekends in my parent’s small but beautiful, loved-filled home in Montauk.  Every now and then we take a drive out east to reminisce with love and to enjoy the wondrous and unique beauty that only Montauk can provide!