Saturday, October 31, 2009

Beach Memories

Most every Albert family member has distinct beach memories from many Sunday visits to Kinney Shores, Old Orchard Beach in Maine. Vicki described some of her memories when she commented on my last post:   "The slightly damp musty smell of the garage under the house with it's shower, workbench and shelves of pickles. The smell of the petunias over flowing the front window boxes by the stairs. The smell of the salt. Also the gritty feel of the sand as you descended the stairs to the beach". I do not currently have a picture of the beach house but I did find two pictures of Memere and Pepere on the beach shown below. The black and white picture may have been taken before they started their family. Here's a lesson: always date your pictures. Unfortunately, most of the pictures I have already collected for family history are undated.
Memere and Pepere ran a tight ship at the beach. Their primarily traditional roles were clearly defined. Memere took care of the cleaning and cooking and Pepere did the handy work mostly outside and in the cellar.  Who can forget Memere's warm tomato soup on a chilly day by the ocean? Another tight memory is Pepere's stash: a ready supply of bottled sodas in racks stored in the basement much to the delight of his constantly visiting grand kids. It's hard to imagine Memere and Pepere ever spending time alone because they so much loved their extended family.  
What are your beach stories from days gone by at Kinney Shores?  
NOTE:  If you have any pictures taken outside on the lawn from our many Sunday afternoon family get-togethers, please send them to me. Also, I am still looking for any pictures of Pepere's parents.  This blog is a great way to share memories but it's also a way to gather missing pictures. If I get enough pictures related to specific blog posts, I will post a link so they can be viewed from the blog.  Pictures can be sent (preferably in JPG format) directly to my email which is shown on my complete profile. Thanks to Diane for sharing her beach pictures.


Anonymous said...

Hi Craig!

I am so glad you are taking on the role of the Albert family's historian and collecting/archiving photos, information and anecdotes. I love looking at the photos and reading your posts. Thank you so much!


Sue Lebel Young said...

Sometimes I get myself into a funk and feel as if I don’t belong anywhere (except maybe a yoga studio).

But before my growing-up story of “I don’t belong,” is Kinney Shores where Memere and Pepere wait for us with their half chocolate/half vanilla ice cream Hoodsie cups with the peel-off paperboard lid and its half-circle tab hanging out, which I pick with my teeth, much to the dismay of my dentist-father. I also lick the inside of that brown and white demarcated cover after I manage to get it off and before I dig in--after I let it all melt a little---with the hour-glass shaped wooden spoon. We all spill the eventually-melted goop all over ourselves, so I do belong here.

And then we need to wash off, so Pepere takes our hands and walks us to the creek (I remember Diane, Mark and Nancy coming along, and how I had to reach so far up, it seemed, to be able to reach the hand of what I perceived to be a very tall man way above my head) . At age four and five and maybe six, I know I belong to the Albert clan.

Pepere teaches us Canadian French songs on the way to the Creek and carries the pails and shovels to the big crested sand bank for us. The water at the Creek is warmer and doesn’t have that undertow which we are all warned against in front of the cottage (did we all sing that sing-songy chant, “I see Memere’s cottage” on the way, in the car?).

Pepere left adults at the cottage to sit on that bank to watch us, his sister Aunt Rebecca was sometimes there, in her full black habit. I always wondered how they could be brother and sister because he was a big kid (which is secretly why I thought he came to the Creek with us toddlers). Sister Rebecca seemed so serious. I was afraid of her.

So, if any of you have that same sense of “where the heck do I belong in this world?” please join Mary Ann, Nancy, Diane and me at Scarborough beach on sunny Saturdays and Sundays in the summer. It ain’t Kinney Shores, but I promise you, at the beach we act more like Pepere than the nuns and priests in the family!! (No prior French experience needed; and we all carry our own pails and shovels now!!)

Paula Siulinski Lowell said...

My memories of visiting the beach house are, of course, in the car as we approached Kinney Shores. The first kid who saw the cottage said, " I see Memere's house, I see Memere's house!"! Then we would all chime in till we got there.

Also, I remember it was a special treat to drive through Old Orchard where the 'rides' were. We would all bug Dad till he would let us go the long way through the town!

My early memories of the beach are riding on the tricycles down the center sidewalk that divided the 2 cottages. There was a red one and a black one. We all loved zooming down the path on one of those!

Then I remember playing with my pails and shovels under the stairs in the sand. I also remember jumping off the wall repeatedly into the soft sand- what a blast!

James August Siulinski said...

My beach memories:

* The red bent-metal bouncing chair on the porch (what ever happened to that chair?).
* Eating peanuts and watching the redsox with Pepere in his chair, feet up and me on that green couch with the rough surfaced patterns.
* The orange crush and dr. pepper soda he used to have in a worn wooden bottle case down in the basement. It was such a treat!
* That painted wooden-slat floored shower in the basement we used to wash the salt and sand off us.
* That cool, damp feeling you had walking into the basement where Pepere had his work bench.
* The flower boxes with the red geraniums that lined the block wall running the length of the driveway.
* Those pebbled-glass wall heaters in every room.
* The closet that connected the bedrooms (we used to crawl through it).
* Memere cooking in the kitchen.
* Memere knitting in her corner-window chair.
* The buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken we had at the family gatherings (what a treat!).
* Crawling into the part of the basement that had a wooden door hatch where Pepere had lumber and other seldom used stuff.
* The one memory I had there spending the night. We slept on the living room floor and I heard the waves crashing all night.
* Walking along that wooden protection wall that spanned the two houses.
* Thinking the Greek people that lived next door seemed 'foreign'.
* Memere playing church hymns on the organ, I remember the organ warming up and how she really fluctuated the volume level with that foot pedal.
* The rough surface of the oxidized aluminum window frames on the porch.
* The sharp, stiff sea grass that was just beyond the wall and on the other side of the house, I remember it hurt to walk through it.
* Walking to the creek with Pepere and walking into the surf.
* Going there in the spring to vacuum and sweep up all the sand from the winter.
* Of course, the smell of the salt air and sound of the waves. Didn't much appreciate it then..
* Everything had that gray, glossy paint on it (stairs, railings, etc.).

Diane Bell said...

Memorial Day 1977
Diane contributed a picture of Pepere working in his garden (click the "beach pictures" link above). She says: "...looks like he's planting tomato plants. I remember he loved that little garden and I also remember trying not to trample through it but around it while "us kids" were playing and running around".