“I’ll take a hot foot sandwich, please.”


‘It’s August. Grab those beachy memories while you can.’

Somebody wise once said that August is like the Sunday of Summer. (I think it was me, actually, but it’s the kind of thing that more than one wise person certainly could have come up with.)

Now I’ve written about this bittersweet end-of-summer stuff before, in ‘Yup. Even Slackers Get the Labor Day Blues’ and ‘The Days Are Long, But the Season is Short’. But, hey, it’s my blog and I’m feeling, well, a tad ‘Augusty’.

How many times did I get out the boogie boards this summer? Do you have to ask?

I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. It’s like you’ve just dusted off your white bucks on Memorial Day and then you realize Labor Day is coming up and you’ll just have to put them away again without having worn them even once. Or like you told yourself you’d have plenty of time to go through all the photos from that birding trip to Africa and make a book out of them already. And, speaking of books, please don’t get me started on yes, this summer I’ll get my act together and find an agent and/or a publisher to turn my stories into a real pages-and-ink book.

Stories? You bet I have stories. Some didn’t have such a happy ending. Just ask that Belgian guy in the back

But enough whining. Speaking of summers and beaches, here’s a joke that’s a favorite of my mom’s. She tells it best, but I’ll give it a shot.

There was this gramma watching her grandson playing on the beach with his bucket and shovel. Suddenly a huge wave rolls in and washes the baby out to sea. The gramma looks up to the heavens and begs with all her heart (stopping just short of rending her garments because she’s only wearing a bathing suit): “Please, God. Have mercy! My grandson is the love of my life — please please return him to me!” Well. Her begging and pleading were so anguished and sincere that, sure enough, another wave rolls in and deposits the baby back on the beach — his bucket and shovel too. So the gramma looks up at the heavens and cries out, “Hey! He had a hat.”

Memories are made of this: take one baby, add sand. BTW, we still have that bucket. But its handle and that shovel are long gone. Like her hat

Oh, before I go I should perhaps explain about the “foot sandwiches’. See, The Child and I used to spend a lot of time at the beach, even though I wasn’t much of a Beach Person. As I’ve mentioned before (in ‘Getting Along with the Neighbors’), I didn’t grow up on a Coast and remain decidedly uncomfortable in or around Water That Moves. But it was part of my Mom Job to accompany The Child to the beach and to have fun there, dammit. So off to the beach we’d go. The picture at the top of this post illustrates our times there perfectly. We’d boogie-board and build sand castles and eat corn chips and nectarines and leap about in the (small) waves, which I called “tsumami“. And yes, we do still have that towel. It’s my favorite, along with the one with the map of Central Park on it.

While on the beach, The Child would offer to make me a “foot sandwich”. You had your choice between “hot” or “cold”. A hot foot sandwich meant she’d bury your feet in hot sand and put hot rocks on top. A cold foot sandwich was similar, but with cold water poured on top instead of the hot rocks. Bet you can guess which I chose.

The Child warming up with Grampa W. Yup, she had a hat

Anyway. I’ll miss you, August. But I have U.S. Open tennis binge-watching to cheer me up. (Go, Roger!) And a Weekend Full of Girls to look forward to. As for you Blog-Reading Friends, enjoy the heck out of the rest of this week. I’ll be seeing you again before you know it. In, sob, September.

I’m stopping now. Before I get carried away

Amagansett, New York. August 2017

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12 thoughts on ““I’ll take a hot foot sandwich, please.”

  1. It’s funny, growing up in south Florida I have never known what it’s like to miss August. I was always wishing August and September away because those are our hottest months. Now that I’ve moved up Northish, I understand. Our mornings are getting colder and I know soon enough it’ll be a real winter. This will be my first real winter, ever in my whole damn life. I have a feeling I’ll grow fond of summer while I’m up here instead of dreading it like I did down there.

    • Ah yes, I have family in Florida, and have heard this about Augusts there. Here’s hoping your first real winter will be a nice cozy one. And that next year finds you welcoming summer — and wishing, like me, that it would never end xoxoxo

  2. …and today on Long Island it is cold, grey and rainy. … supposed to rain on Saturday and Sunday. August ends in all sorts of unusual ways. But you capture the sweet sadness of it beautifully. ~~ Love you Alice.

  3. I can just imagine all those wonderful beach days because we used to wait the last week in August to go to the Cape. I’m hungry so I was hoping for a photo of a hot foot long hotdog. But your writing is really cool. Love to you Alice. It is about 102 out there now so we have to wait a little longer.

    • Ah, the Cape in late August! Sounds so sophisticated to a Midwesterner like me. I’m more the foot long hotdog type. (Now you’ve made ME hungry.) I wish I were there with you, and not only because you’re such a thoughtful, supportive reader — but because it’s only about 65 degrees here and I’m shivering in my sweatshirt (!)

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