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Where I Live

August 02, 2022

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Over the years I've made no secret of my love of summer.

It's a short season, here in the northeast, but it's the absolute best in my opinion.

Of course, it may have something to do with the fact that I live on an island.

Cabana Chair on the beach


And near the beach.

Actually, I live near lots of beaches. In the same small town I grew up.

Grocery Bag Map Of Long Island

Some of them are on the bay, some are on the sound.

And my very favorite ones are on the ocean.

For much of the year, I can only enjoy them bundled up and it short bursts. Or sitting in my car, holding something hot, while I enjoy the scenery.

But during the summer, well, the sky's the limit.

I walk every day at low tide and high taking in the views, the sea air and the warm sunshine.

Long Island Harbors


I swim, sit with my feet buried in the sand, fish and stay there until sunset in my bathing suit.

Then I grab a sweatshirt to watch the shooting stars race across the night sky.

And while I think there's something innate that pulls me towards the sea, I am a pisces after all, the real credit goes to my mom for my summertime habits.

We visited the local harbor and bay beaches every day for swimming lessons, starting at the age of five.

Old Boat In The Sand On A Beach

Cloudy and cold or bright and hot, we were expected to get in the water and swim. She was a strong swimmer herself and she wanted to make sure that we were as well.

Afterall, we were surrounded by water. And we had a pool.

Once lessons were over, we'd spend the rest of the day trying to catch minnows in our beach towels, collecting mussels for dinner, splashing around with friends or building sand castles.

When we'd had enough sun, we'd pack up, go home, jump in the pool and then fall into bed, exhausted and waterlogged.

Of course, the best days were spent at the ocean, about 30 minutes away.

Ocean Beach on Long Island

The waves were huge and fun to ride. The sand was powder soft and the air tasted like salt.

Those days were filled with magic.

The night before my mom would make lunch, load our Country Squire station wagon with umbrellas, chairs, blankets and snacks. 

My brother and I would sit on the front stoop, examining the horizon as the sun went down, looking for the promise of favorable forecast. The clouds were always more reliable than the weatherman.

Red skies in morning, sailor take warning. Red skies at night, sailor's delight.

Montauk Sunset On The Beach

In high school, my days at the beach and ocean were spent with my peers. Including my husband, who at the time was just a friend.

We'd crowd into someone's car with a towel, cash for the concession stand and batteries for our boombox. Without my mom there to remind me to put on my sunscreen, I'd come home fried from the sun.

But everyone else looked the same...so it was ok.

In college, I ventured further out on the island, to the Hamptons, camping out in cabins at a friend's house.

Visiting dance clubs like Bay Street, restaurants like Bobby Vans and eating too much for breakfast at Bridgehampton's Candy Kitchen.

My husband asked me to marry him on Gin Beach in my 20's. In Montauk. The very tip of the south shore of Long Island and the last town in the Hamptons.

East Hampton Village

Once we were married and the kids arrived, my favorite summer vacation spot became my second home.

My youngest learned to walk out there and celebrated her 18th birthday on the same beach.

A few weeks ago, we dove into summer with another visit. And it was bliss.

We shopped in East Hampton. 

We ordered a family style dinners, including a dish with the most amazing bolognese sauce, and ate them on our deck in Amagansett...

Deck Looking Over The Ocean

Because who wants to be stuck in a restaurant when this is your view?

We watched deer run across the dunes at sunrise.

We saw sharks or dolphins jumping in the surf. Too far away to tell which.

We swam. With one eye on the surf...and the other on those distant fins.

And we walked, for what seemed like miles, every day. On the empty beach.

Amagansett Beach

In the morning and again at night.

Gathering shells for crafts.

Gathering the magic of summer.

Gathering new memories and revisiting the old.

Some that included my mom.

Since we used to take her on vacation with us, nearly every time. She'd sit on the deck as the sunset, listening to the steady roar of the ocean and say, Bury me at sea!

A wish not granted, but one that still makes me laugh whenever I hear those words in my head.

Remembering the love of the water she instilled in me.

And grateful that I'm still surrounded by it.

Especially in summer. 

😊

Where do you live?
  1. Oh Kim I just was swooning through your post this afternoon. How fortunate you were to have the water growing up and a mom that wanted you to embrace life by the sea. Oh to have the beach and ocean within reach must be heaven. Glad you still have this to share with your daughters. We only get one chance in life and we should be surrounded by things that make us happy. I am living vicariously through you. Oh how I would love the ocean in my reach each summer. xoxo Kris

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    1. Kris, I feel very blessed to live here and to have grown up here, as well. My husband grew up a few miles from me in the next town, so he had the same carefree, beach filled youth. It was important to us to let our kids have the same experiences…in the summer anyway! Winter here is a bear!! I know you can relate! xxoo

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  2. I didn't realize you were on Long Island! My ex's inlaws live in Southold on the water; I think that's Peconic Bay. I loved visiting them back in the day, and my son just came back from a visit. One former sister in law lives in Massapequa and another one grew up in Huntington (I'm still friend with both of them I'm glad to say). I'm very much a summer girl, and fortunately I get 6 months of it in Texas :-)

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    1. It's a very small world...and a very small island. I'm well acquainted with all those towns! I'm also very envious. Six month of summer? That sounds dreamy!! Maybe I should move to Texas!!

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  3. I would imagine that your weather is very moderate in the summer. I live in north Texas, so our temperature is 100+ at this time of the year. I run from my car to shop, then back into my air conditioned car. I DON'T enjoy summer here, but I do love living in Texas.

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    1. It can be moderate, yes. We don't get a lot of 100 degree temps, I can see how that would unbearable after awhile. We do get a lot of 90+ degree, hazy, hot and humid days, but I enjoy them since they don't hang around long. They're a lovely contrast to the subzero temps and snow we get in the winter, which can last from December to April. That is not my favorite!!

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  4. What a blessed life! - Briana from Texas

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    1. Thanks Briana. There's nothing like the beach...

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  5. Kim, this land locked Canadian prairie girl enjoyed reading this post so much. I ditto verbatim what Kris (junkchiccottage) said! You're living the life I've dreamed of having one day, including the backyard pool. But at 64, that ship has sailed, especially now that we have four grand children. So instead I soak up every second of my annual winter vacation on the beaches of Mexico.

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    1. Your vacation sounds fabulous, Marie!! A little ocean every now and then is better than none!

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  6. I LOVE THIS! I didn't know you lived on an island. What amazing views! And such wonderful memories.
    I grew up and still live near the big lake - Lake Michigan. We didn't swim there a lot because my mom was always scared of the undertow, but Michigan has a lot of lakes and we would often load up the car and go to a lake for the day. The best days!
    Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Water days really are the best days, Mari, I agree! The undertow is bad here, too, or it can be, rip currents, big waves, etc. I was more adventurous in my younger years. Now I'm less inclined to battle all of that. I'd rather swim in the bay!!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your wonderful growing up years.. and yes.. you must live in such a magical place! I grew up in Portland, Oregon.. about 2-1/2 hours from the Oregon coast, and thankfully my parents took us girls to the Oregon coast many times each summer. We had one special place we always stayed, and us girls also spent many early mornings walking the beach in the mist, finding agates and shells, and jumping from cliffs into the sand! My parents let us go there alone, my sis was 9 and I was 5!!! and alone we went..always cautious of the surf. Many many happy memories of those years. The ocean and coast has been my love forever... I'm a water girl... and unfortunately I now live in the dry, hot, dusty desert of central Oregon where there is nary a creek or river or pond! I dream of getting back to the coast, or closer to it, in the next year or so. I haven't been to the ocean for 3 years! It's just awful. .but many things happened in life that such prevented it. I WILL get back there! Marilyn

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    1. Hi Marilyn! Thanks so much for sharing your tales of the beach. They sound magical. The mist and the cliff jumping sound very cool to this beach girl. Life was different back then, freer I think and maybe safer? I know we respected the surf, as you said, so we only went in when my mom said it was ok, like you we were happy to explore the dunes and sand. I do hope you make your way back to the ocean for a visit soon. There's something about it that soothes the soul and makes us all feel like kids again! Happy weekend!!

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  8. Kim, I'm restraining myself from writing a comment longer than your wonderful blog post, because the beaches of Long Island have such meaning to me! I spent many summers in "share houses" on Fire Island, where I met my husband, before switching to summers in the Hamptons. My husband proposed to me on the beach in Westhampton, and then we bought a weekend home in East Hampton when I was pregnant with my son. He took his first steps and said his first words in that house. I still regret that we sold it! If my husband could pack up our house and move today, he'd pick Amagansett. Now we live in NJ, and although I love my house and tranquil backyard, we are thinking about next steps. We don't know where we will move to next, but I'm determined that a beach will be close by. I loved reading about your life-long connection to what I know are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

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    1. Our beach stories and love of the ocean seem very similar, Amy. I just love it out there…and I’m with you, Amagansett would be my choice, too. It’s very charming, relatively unassuming and quiet. Plus the beaches are THE BEST. It sounds to me like the beach is calling you back. Its siren song is hard to resist!!

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  9. Kim you live in paradise all year long. Even in the wintertime the sea has its charms. I used to go to Greenport every summer when I was young. I loved the relaxed vibe out there. I too am a lifelong water lover. I truly get claustrophobic if there is no water nearby!

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    1. Greenport is fabulous, Mary! We've stayed out there at a lovely resort and we've taken day trips in fall to shop at the farm stands, ride on the merry go round and get brunch at Claudios!!

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  10. Oh Kim, I grew up taking swimming lessons at the same beaches as you when I was a kid. My mom also loved the beach and we went every day in the summer and we all loved it. I love the bay, sound, and the ocean and miss it a lot. We used to go to some of the clubs in the Hamptons and I miss those great times we all had. Yay for the beach life.

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    1. Yay for beach life is right, Julie!! I love that you know exactly what I'm talking about, since you had a very similar upbringing on the exact beaches. Wouldn't it be funny if were on those beaches or at the clubs together all those years ago? I wouldn't be surprised!!

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  11. I am so envious. I have lived near both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and grew up on Lake Erie in Ontario. I miss the water so much. The one thing I miss about living in Atlanta is that it is landlocked. Enjoy every moment of your wonderful summer. xo Laura

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    1. Water really is soothing, Laura. It sounds like you’ve lived in some fabulous places. I don’t think I could live away from the ocean…I’m addicted to the salt! Haha!!

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  12. Hello Dear Kim,
    I loved this post. What a tribute to family, your mom and even friends. And to the shores of water.
    Your mom and I have something in common, I told Jeremy and the boys to bury me on the shores of Lake Superior, my favorite lake.
    xx oo
    Carla

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    1. So funny, Carla! That’s hysterical that you tell your kids the same thing. The pull of the water is strong!! xxoo

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  13. I loved reading all about your love for the ocean, and all your special memories created in that area. I know zero about your neck of the woods, since I'm land-locked in Atlanta, so it was fun to learn about it. My favorite place on earth is the beach...any beach...but especially the Florida panhandle, where the sand is sugar white and the water is clear aqua blue. Enjoy!

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    1. My sister lives in the panhandle and it is fabulous. The sand and water are very special, but like you said, any beach is a good beach!! Thanks for the comment!!

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  14. You are so lucky that you live in close proximity to all those beaches...and what a gorgeous getaway you had! I'm a summer person, too. I grew up (mostly) in the Chicago area, with Lake Michigan being anywhere from 10 - 30 min away. My grandma always took me and my sister to the lake in the summer and me and I spent a lot of time there on beaches when I was a teen, too. Now I'm about 50 miles away from Lake Michigan, but I am still pulled to it. Whenever Brian and I visit his childhood town of Evanston, which is right on the lake, one of the things we do is bring camp chairs or a blanket and go to a quiet park right on the lakefront.

    We have a small lake in our neighborhood with a tiny beach area, but we never use it. Mostly kids do. That's where we took our kids swimming in the summer.

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    1. I've never been to Lake Michigan, Melanie, but my husband tells me it may as well be the ocean. It's really big and the beaches are lovely. It sounds living nearby would very fun! A lake in the neighborhood sounds lovely, too. I always tell my husband, I don't care what kind of water it is...I'd settle for a giant puddle, as long as I could stick my feet inside and catch the glimmer of the sun!!

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  15. I'm a north east coast girl, so I also have a love for the water. Texas is my home now, and we are so hot and dry we can't even water our yards :^( Yes, I am jealous, but the people that I love the most are Texans, so here I am staying! My Mom and Dad both wanted their ashes taken and released to the gulf. They may be out there fishing today! :-)
    Blessings to you and thank you for a lovely post! J

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    1. A large part of my family has moved to the Florida panhandle recently, J...so I get it about your heart being in Texas. Some things are worth the move. Luckily, my people are still near the ocean, although I kind of like where I am right now and moving sounds like a lot of work! 🤣

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  16. Kim , I too am a Long Island girl and I loved this post. I am a cancer and am also extremely drawn to the water. Watching a sunset over water is my absolute favorite thing to do. It brings such joy to my soul. To this day, I will jump in my car to catch a sunset after a long day at work. When I was young I worked at the beach and on Sundays after work we would caravan on Sunrise Highway with the lifeguards and head to the Boardy Barn…now THOSE were the days girl!

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    1. Susan, that's so funny...we have been known to chase down a sunset over the water, as well. We never take that view for granted. I worked at the beach when I young, too, but only during lucky summers, as a camp counselor. They were much more fun summers than the ones I spent waitressing at Friendly's!! And oh yes, the Boardy Barn...I can still hear the commercials for it on WBAB!!! I bet you can too!!

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  17. You had a magical childhood. I grew up on the West Coast and went to the beach some as a kid but mostly in high school. Now I live in PA. I still love water, but my love has extended to rivers, lakes, creeks.

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    1. The ocean and the salt air definitely feed me most, but rivers, lakes and especially small creeks that wander through quiet woods have a special appeal all their own. Lucky you!!

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  18. I think it looks like you love in a very peaceful place! We moved to Galveston when I was 11, and altho the beach did have its charms, I knew I was destined for the Texas Hill Country! I love it here. Summers are brutal but the A/C works fine. (:

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    1. I can only imagine the heat in Texas, I'm not sure I could deal with 120 degree temps, but the hills sound lovely. I bet the views are stunning, especially as the sun goes up and down!!

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  19. Such beautiful story and gorgeous pictures. I wonder if you know the guy my hubby works with because he grew up on Long Island and everyone seems to know his family name.

    Scott Paternoster. Everyone knows who they on LI.

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    1. It’s a small world and an even small island, Cindy. I don’t recognize the name, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we had friends in common.

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  20. Oh.My.Word. I could stare at your pics all day. How lovely. I miss the sea big time. We have a little holiday home in a small town down at the coast. The temps are around 86 degrees for most of the year and haven't been down for a visit in such a long time. You're living the dream, Kim. It's beautiful.

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  21. Living on a body of water has always been my dream, Kim. I do love the ocean, and while living in Southern California my late husband and I often frequented beachside restaurants, and took walks on public beaches after dinner. It was a wonderful life, even though our home was inland about 25 minutes. I'm grateful for those years when even though I didn't LIVE on the beach, I could certainly frequent it. I know you appreciate what you have, and what you have is amazing. Hugs, friend!

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