Our July Check in

So, the last time we checked in with a report on our beach bum life style we like to call retirement, was about a month ago. That was when we talked about the visit we had from Grandkids Layla and Henry, their Mom and Dad, and Aunt Krissi. We figured it was time to check in again and give you an idea what we’ve been up to.

imageWe’ve been living the life we always hoped we would when we retired. Our daily routine is that we get up between 7:30 and 8 AM (without an alarm), check in on our iPads with mail, Facebook, and other happenings, and then get ready for the beach. We are definitely morning beach people, who like to hit the sand sometime between 9 and 10 AM when it’s still quiet and pretty empty. Our favorite place to park on the beach is as close to the water as we can so that the sound track of our beach time is nature’s best beach sound, that of the waves breaking on Pennlyn Place Beach! Most mornings Frank will remember to check the tide app on his iPhone so we can get exactly where we want to be and not have to move. We stay at the beach anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Our length of stay usually depends on the weather (it’s been really hot and humid the last couple of days so shorter stays), what if anything we’ve got going later in the day, and how crowded the beach gets. On the 4th of July weekend, when a loud family plopped down 4 feet from our chairs, we decided we’d had enough! Our favorite thing is to be heading back home as the big crowds start coming to the beach. Often times we will pass neighbors and friends, just heading to the beach as we head home, and joke about Beach Sharing!

imageimageOnce we are home and have hosed off the sand, it’s time for a cold one on our porch and a little relaxing time before lunch and a shower. We love sitting out there, watching the Pennlyn Place World pass by, having a drink, eating, or reading our Kindles. Speaking of our porch, we both agree that it is by far our favorite room of our Ocean City home…and to us, it is very much a room! This year Susie got a wish fulfilled she’s had for several years, when we bought a couch for the porch. The addition of this piece of furniture has really completed our outside living space and really cemented it as a room. Well, really two rooms…a living room and a dining room, as most of our meals are eaten out there too!

imageOur front porch is also the unofficial gathering spot for our Pennlyn Place Family. Be it planned gatherings or impromptu after-dinner get-togethers, our porch seems to be the venue of choice! For example, this past Friday, our good friend Sue joined us about 5:30 on our porch for Happy Hour. We met Sue a number of years ago at Charlie’s in Somers Point, and we are happy to say that Sue and her husband Jim have become good friends! After a couple of drinks, and an Italian dinner that Susie threw together, we were joined on the porch by our good friends Denise and Chris Maiden who were riding by on their bikes. A little later after Sue headed home, our neighbors Karen and Bob Byrne were walking their dog Abby past the house, when they were encouraged to come up and join us on the porch. This is the kind of thing that happens often, and the kind of thing that we love!! We always have a full beer cooler on the porch, and lots of other supplies on hand to take care of whatever drink folks might want. There is nothing we love better than a porch full of friends who think our porch is the perfect place to end an evening!

imageWe are also lucky that we have so many great friends on our block and in the surrounding blocks that we think of more like our Ocean City Family. Be it a casual WAWA Hoagie dinner on the Somer’s Point Beach as we listen to 60s and 70s music, or a fun evening of just hanging out and ordering in, or a BBQ in someone’s back yard, a potluck supper, or a nice dinner in an off island BYOB restaurant, you can guarantee that every weekend our group will be doing something! Some weekends Frank will even go out on our friend Chris Maiden’s boat. This weekend was the Ocean City Night in Venice Saturday when there is a boat parade, decorated houses, and a fireworks display on the bay side of the Island. Chris and Frank, along with Karen and Bob ventured out late afternoon to check out the house decorations and the parties that had already started. Like we said, there is always something going on with our Ocean City Family!

So that’s what we’ve been up to. We leave in a little more than a month on our big trip, and trust us, we are excited about that, but at the same time a little sorry it’s happening. We’re sorry, because after 11 summers of being here for weekends and a couple of solid weeks, this 12th summer at our house is exactly what we hoped it would be. A little lazy, a little crazy, a lot of beach, a lot of bare feet, and a lot of feeling like it’s home and exactly where we belong. We have returned to Long Island every couple of weeks for important things like Nail Night, Doctor Appointments, and for Susie to check in on her Mom, but even when we are on the LIE, our minds are still at 854 Pennlyn Place in Ocean City. When some idiot Long Island driver cuts us off or speeds by us at 50 mph, we just look at each other and know we both want to be back on our island in the sun where the speed limit never gets over 35 mph. Even now, in the height of the summer, with all the tourists and weekly renters in town, there is no place we’d still rather be than right here on our island off the Jersey Coast with our Ocean City Family!


July 3rd, 1977

This blog is called R New Adventures, and its purpose is to document our lives together as we move into our next chapter, retirement.  That’s all well and good, but if something hadn’t happened 39 years ago today, there would have been no chapters in our life and no blog. That’s because  July 3rd, 1977 was a monumental day is Susie and my life.

imageThe summer of 1977 found me working as a Vacation Relief Engineer at ABC, but July 3rd found us in the middle of a 5 1/2 month strike by our union (NABET) against the American Broadcasting Company.  That meant that rather than being in MUSICRADIO 77 WABC’s Studio 8A with the likes of Dan Ingram, George Michael, or Chuck Leonard or in 95.5 WPLJ’s Studio FM-1 with Pat St John, Tony Pigg or Carol Miller playing music, we were outside the ABC Building picketing 3 times a week!  Meanwhile, Susie was working as an RN at Glen Cove Hospital, covering the evening charge shift in Pediatrics.

So, on Saturday July 3rd, 1977 we were both invited to an early July 4th BBQ at our friends’ Maryanne and Bill Epperhart’s house.  I knew Bill from WCWP and Susie worked with Maryanne at Glen Cove Hospital.   Years later, we discovered that the purpose of the whole party was to get the two of us together, but on that day 39 years ago, all I knew was that I was able to attend a Saturday summer party at a friend’s house, because we were on strike and I didn’t have to work!

I’ll tell you something that did work…getting the two of us together!  Susie had some fireworks she’d brought back from a road trip visiting relatives, and I was imagedesignated to be the one to help her ignite the display.  Something besides those fireworks ignited that night!  Frankly, it was love at first sight and of course I wanted to see her again!  The next weekend, we went out on our official “first date”.  One of the elements of that date was dinner at a favorite Chinese Restaurant.  My fortune cookie told it all that night.  “You will marry your present lover and be happy”, was what the little slip in the cookie said, and it couldn’t have been more right!

So 39 years later, we still celebrate this day as a milestone in our life together, and every night I give thanks for meeting the most wonderful person, the love of my life, my best friend, and person that I have shared every adventure in this life with!  Love you Susie and am so thankful that July 3rd, 1977 happened and gave me my life!!!  You are the best and the key to our adventures!