IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER

August 1, 2016

By MARGARET MENDEL

It’s smack-dab in the middle of summer. New York City is miserably hot and sticky. And lately I’ve been writing so much my brain has gone numb. Even though my latest projects have been exciting and fun, enough is enough. Right now I’m waiting for the publisher to return the final revision of my latest novel PUSHING WATER. Then several days ago I sent a collection of short stories to my publisher. Yeah, time for a break. I am tired. It is summertime and I want to play. So we headed out of town, planning to spend some time at the beach to kick back and cool off.WARF SIDEOn our first day, we traveled an hour east to a harbor community. We walked around the town, did a bit of window shopping. I could feel my body and mind slowly unwinding. Walking along the dock soothed my soul, the rhythmic sound of water lapping against the piers was like ancient music to my ears.

The smell of salty air soothes me the same way that eating comfort food satisfies my soul when I’m disheartened or sad. My breathing also changes when I’m near the ocean. I take deeper breaths and I experience the sea breeze as though I had just emerged from a primal sea and I’m taking in deep lungfuls of a familiar briny spray as though for the first time.SOFTSHELL BLTAh, but woman does not live on ocean breezes alone. It was lunch time. We were hungry. Checking out a few places, we decided on an eatery that had soft-shelled crab on the menu, not just soft-shell crab sandwiches, but a BLT soft-shell crab sandwich. These luscious crabs are only available from May through September. Though I’ve cook them several times already this year, I couldn’t resist what sounded like a fantastic treat.

Soft-shell crab is a culinary term for crabs that have recently molted their old exoskeleton and are still soft and the entire crab, except for the head, stomach and lungs, can be eaten. Oh my, when cooked properly, they are succulent and juicy. And this BLT was definitely not a disappoint.THE FOG ROLLS INFor the next couple of days the temperature hung around the high 90’s. Several times fog rolled in, cooling the air slightly, though it was still sultry. The air was so thick with salty moisture that one day when I licked my lips they tasted like I’d been drinking a Margarita from a glass rimmed in kosher salt.HARBOROne day we scurried into a waterfront joint when the weather threatened to turn nasty. Heavy dark, storm clouds rolled in. Seagulls glided across the inlet water, squawking at each other, while boats rhythmically teetered in their dockage.CALIMARIWhile we waited out the storm we dined on crispy fried squid with two delicious sauces to choose from, one a standard Italian red sauce and the other was a delightfully spicy Thai sauce. A glass of wine, the excitement of an incoming storm, it doesn’t get much better than this.SUNNY HARBORWhat had promised to be a raucous coastal storm eventually turned into a fantastically vibrant shock of light cascading down from the sky. No rain, no wind, only a wonderfully relaxing afternoon.  SUNSETA slow walk along the shore in the sunset topped the day off just right. A few more days like this and I’ll be ready to get back to writing.

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14 Responses to IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER

  1. Michael Gass on August 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    As always, nice job, Marge.

    • Pushing Time on August 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Mike!! And always a pleasure to hear from you. Enjoy the rest of the summer!!

  2. chavalamonroe on August 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    The photographs are terrific. Glad to hear you’re enjoying some time away from the concrete jungle. I’m also happy to hear you’re doing so much writing! Bravo!!!

    • Pushing Time on August 2, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Hi Carol!! Glad to hear from you. Yes, it was great to get away from this noisy city for a while. Dare I say that the peace and quiet was a bit jarring at first. And the writing is indeed going quite well. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  3. Sharon on August 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    The whole adventure sounds so relaxing. The food makes my mouth water, yum!

    • Pushing Time on August 2, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Hello Sharon. It was a very relaxing time and tasty as well. The great thing about getting away this time is that I did very little cooking. That is always a great get away, too. Thanks for coming by and dropping off a comment.

  4. Susan Bernhardt on August 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Always enjoy your interesting posts and photos. I’ve never had soft-shell crab.

    Best wishes on your novel.

    • Pushing Time on August 2, 2016 at 7:39 am

      Hi Susan. I hadn’t had, or even heard of soft shell crabs until I got to the East coast. Until I moved east, I was a San Francisco crab lover, or king crab legs from Alaska. But these beauties are much more delicate and juicy, and eating the entire thing makes it a quite unique experience. Thanks for the good wishes for my novel. It should be out and on the market around the end of the year. Always glad to hear from you.

  5. jeri on August 2, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Out east in the summer – just beautiful. Add some of that yummy seafood and beautiful images and it’s no surprise you’re getting some great R&R!

    • Pushing Time on August 2, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Hi Jeri. It was a great place to recoup some lost energy. And eating good meals and special delights is always a good way you nourish the sagging soul. So glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a comment.

  6. Eric Parker on August 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Lovely stroll and the food looks amazing – Your pictures wonderful as always – thanks
    Eric

    • Pushing Time on August 4, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Eric. Glad you stopped by and left a comment. It’s always grand to hear from you and that you like what I post!! Is it cooling off up north?

  7. Joyce Willis on August 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Beautiful moments; you have captured them vividly in words and pictures, in tastes and smells.

    • Pushing Time on August 6, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Hi Joyce. Thank you for the lovely comment! I am so glad that you could virtually experience this with me. Enjoy the rest of the summer. Say “Hi” to the Bahamas for me.

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