Sunday, February 16, 2014

Beach Life Series ~ Chapter I: Renting for the summer

Growing up my Nan and Pap owned a house at the beach, bayside near Rehobeth, Delaware.  I have so many fond memories, crabbing off the pier, playing cards in the evening, sitting on the front porch after dusk listening to the ocean, smelling the salty breezes.  I spent a good amount of my childhood at the beach house, during the summer and family vacations.  So when a boyfriend after high school graduation suggested we move to the beach, Ocean City, Md for the summer, I was game.

First, we had to make several trips down to scout out suitable living quarters and early.  If my memory serves me, we visited in March and April to check out available rentals.  If you wait till May all the rentals are already taken.  We found one pretty quickly, thanks to the signage found in a building window on twenty-sixth street, across from Happy Jacks Pancake house.  Made a phone call and setup a meeting to do a walk through.  The property was owned by two friendly gentlemen, we payed a month of rent in advance, $1000 as our deposit, plus an additional $1000 for the first month rent in May (the year was 1999).

After securing a place to live for the summer we started looking for employment.  I spied Down to Earth Wear located on the corner of Talbot Street and South Baltimore Avenue (the owner has since moved on and the whole strip of stores has been remodeled).  I applied and was immediately hired.  With the knowledge of macrame and art, I am a prime candidate for henna tattoos, hair wraps and mass macrame jewelery production.  My boyfriend found a job working with The Pier.  Here is a  cheesy video showcasing The Pier in all its glory.  My boyfriend was hired as a game agent, running games like Stand the bottle, Rope Ladder, Shoot out the star, Cover the circle and cross bow.  I am sure he ran other games too, but I digress.

Every day we had the pleasure of strolling down the boardwalk to and from work (quicker than waiting for the bus).  Our rental was one block from the beach.  However our rental was shared.  Our floor, which I believe was the third floor, had one common area, I think (my memory is fuzzy) six bedrooms and two full bathrooms.  Each room was big enough for a set of bunk beds or two singles, a dresser and one or two tiny windows  - that's it!  The common area had two couches, a chair, a sink and microwave, plus a TV and VCR.  When you are 19 years old this setup sounds like a dream.  We had no idea who the other people were or where they were from until we moved in with these strangers.  The apartment across the hall had a living room, kitchen and several bedrooms (more like a real apartment).  The renters were also in their late teens/early twenties, during the summer they removed a closet door, stole two saw horses and made a beer pong table for all of us - we had beer pong tournaments alllll summer long.

Neither my boyfriend or I had a car or much money when we moved to Ocean City, Maryland, but we did have lots of hopes, blind faith and lots of excitement.

Chapter II: A day in the life

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