The East End of Heaven

Written By: Rosemarie  Luttenberger

I am not sure that there is a heaven but if one does exist I hope it has an east end, and one just like Long Island’s. I think I’ve been a good person throughout my life to warrant ending up there.

My home in western Nassau County is perfect for the two of us. I call it my “little shack by the water tower.” During my sixty plus years on this earth I would have preferred to call it my “gorgeous home by the ocean.” However, I have not been that lucky.

I have been fortunate enough though to have been born and raised on Long Island and have throughly loved every moment of my life here. My luck has been extended to having a beloved brother who now owns his own “little shack by the ocean” in Southampton. My other name for this lovely home is Paradise, and a shack it’s not.

There are so many towns in this great country of ours to live in that are near oceans, lakes and ponds, but living on my Long Island far exceeds what I would have searched for if I ever had to. Since I live far west of the east end, I hop in my car for weekend trips and I never tire of my excursions. I tell my husband I have more to explore and off I go. I have found nothing but beauty and nature at the ocean, the ponds, the preserves and the parks. Not only are these my most pleasing jaunts, but the towns I encounter along the way can not be beat for their unimaginable beauty. I feel, at times, as if I have been transported to another era because of the changing communites that I have driven through. From quaint to glamorous, no two towns are the same. If I drive to the North Fork of Long Island I feel as if I am in the country. On the South Fork I am definitely on the east end of heaven. Famously known as The Hamptons this area is one I dream about living in. When you vist, you will know why. You will be surrounded by the most beautiful blue waters and the loveliest homes. If you can peak beyond the hedges you will also note the architecture of some of the residences and you may just start to imagine what it would be like to live, work, or for me, just retire here.

While enjoying one of my trips through Montauk, another town on my favorites list, I am brought back to memories of a lifetime when many a week long vacation was spent here with my family. These vacations were every year for more then twenty years and not one of us ever mentioned going to any other island. After all, this was The End, the last town on Long Island, the one with the famous lighthouse. Any further east and you were in for a swim. Riding the waves all day on our boogie boards certainly worked up our appetites for a lobster roll or two and dinner at the famous Lunch on Old Montauk Highway. Many a roll was consumed during our week of forgetting about the world. On the way back from Montauk, I visited the town of Sag Harbor and the Elizabeth A. Morton Preserve where I walked the short path to Little Peconic Bay. What a delightful view as I sat on the white sand and anticipated what the sunset would be like that evening. Most likely, breathtaking.

Another recent trek to Southampton put me on Lighthouse Road and onto the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays which goes over Shinnecock Bay. I was heading straight to the Atlantic Ocean. I landed at the end of a sand covered beach road, parked my car, and sat on the huge rocks overlooking the inlet that connects the bay to the ocean. I unwrapped my ham and cheese sandwich, or caviar and brie if you wish, took in the sun and enjoyed the total spendor of the day.

If I was younger, I would ride my bike from Hampton Bays to Montauk for a trip of a lifetime. It would take me weeks because I would always find more to explore. I would even go over to Shelter Island on the two minute ferry, as I call it, and get lost for days.

I could write about my wonderful discoveries on Long Island for hours, and there is still so much more for me to see. I have now realized that I need not worry about getting to the east end of heaven because I am already there. I could not ask for a better gift and I am thankful for it every day.