Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Delicious Day at the Beach

"They'll have a great time," Vinnie told Marcy.  "I expect they'll rake the woods for blackberries as soon as the wet is off.  You know how they all like to pick.  Well, we'll have a good time, too.  After we get the dishes done I'm going to make green-apple pies, and I'll bake some little ones in saucers.  You can bring out the hats and boxes of trimmings from behind the curtain in my room, if you want to, and see how good a milliner you are.  This afternoon we'll invite the dolls to tea on the porch and have the saucer pies and pink lemonade."

But Frankie and Lula were not blackberrying.  Frankie had hardly stepped down from Verd's wagon when Lula asked her how she would like to go to the beach for the day.  Lula could have the horse, for Clarence had finished his haying.  They could take a lunch and go over the New Road around the mountain, be in sight of the water by eleven o'clock, and just sit and watch the waves as long as they wanted to, right up until dark if they wanted to, for Lula was not afraid to drive through the woods after dark.  Lula is not afraid of anything . . .

All afternoon and early evening they walked the beach, picking up shells to take home, filling their lunch pails with sand to take home, talking.  They lay among the dunes resting, talking.  They climbed to the top of the highest dune and watched the reflection in the eastern sky, and on the water, of a brilliant sunset. . .

At dusk they turned slowly away from the sea, put on their shoes and stockings, picked up their shells and pails of sand, and walked quietly back to where the horse was hitched . . . "While he's eating," said Frankie suddenly, "you and I are going into the drugstore and have ice cream sodas.  I haven't tasted one since we left Rochester."

They sat at a small round table with a marble top, and there was white light all around them.  Lula's soda was strawberry with strawberry ice cream; pink as rose petals.  Frankie's was sarsaparilla with vanilla ice cream.  They drew cold sweetness through long straws and dipped it with long-handled spoons, and this was bliss after the heat of the day and the salt of the air.

-- Gladys Hasty Carroll, excerpted from Only Fifty Years Ago


Lori in Texas said...

Hi Julie,
Now that you have quoted this book a few times! you've gone and made me have to look into ordering it! I can get one for 4.00 Amazon. While looking at her other books there, I see one you must look into finding. As the Earth Turns was touted her best -- 2nd to Pulitzer prize winning Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. Please read all the reviews for it and I imagine you will agree you'd like to relish it also!
Thanks for the book leads... I've never been disappointed.

Julie said...

Thank YOU for book leads, as well, Lori! I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more Gladys Carroll books in the future. Only Fifty Years Ago is delightful - each chapter corresponds to a different month and full of seasonal delights in a story format. I have plans to include a quote from the book each month for the next year.