Ramblings from the Cove...

November 2015

By Lars Gren

My watershed of 15th of June has passed and surprisingly, rather than days dragging by, I cannot fathom the fact that we are nearing the holidays. Of course there had been hints along the way, such as not leaving the windows open after 4:30 pm when the prevailing S.W. winds are chilled by the waters to such an extent that even in midsummer we do not need an air conditioner to keep us cool. You might wonder as to swimming since we have easy access to the rocks and off one can go. Having lived at the Cove for some 34 years, the next time that I stick my toe in it will be the first time. Oops, except for the tide pool where in mid-summer I used to wade in knee-high to pluck some mussels from beneath the seaweed clinging to the rocks. Elisabeth would take the catch and then on to the stove for a light boil or in the pan with a bit of butter and we would have our delicious pre-meal appetizer.

Now Elisabeth loved a swim. Well, pre-1990, she would go down on the rocks and somehow manage to get in. There is no real danger but the water is rarely without swells so that whether entering or getting out one gets a bit of a pull or push. Of the two, the inbound can be the tricky one for there is no sloping shelf or sand bottom to walk on as one would on a beach. Elisabeth would mind the swell as it came in and then, as bus drivers in England encourage a lady boarding the bus with, "Up you go, ducks"-- Elisabeth would push up and get her feet on a couple of flat rocks and then it was just a matter of balance from rock to rock to the path leading home. Why she enjoyed that sort of a swim I have never understood; plus, the water is so cold that even in midsummer the average temperature is 66 degrees so that one’s skin color varies between pink and bluish pink. When she got to the house she might shiver a bit but then claim that it was refreshing. "Well, good on you!" as the Australians exclaim in their much clipped accent, "but I’ll skip the dip, thank you very much."

Strange how when one is left alone after thirty-seven years of doing things together that even a walk-- a solitary walk, that is-- is more of an effort. Elisabeth was big on walking, it didn’t matter what the weather was like. Well, a heavy rain would generally cancel the outing but neither wind nor snow would stop the call for a walk. I recall one day when the sleet/snow driven by the wind stung our faces to the point that we turned our backs to it and thus walked backwards until we got away from the waterfront where we were then sheltered a bit by the trees and houses. I suppose our last real walks ended in ’10 except when we acquired a wheelchair and set out on a round together and I would point out things that we had seen or that had happened on earlier walks. Now when I walk and pass the bench on Shore Road, I at times recall how we would have a quick sit-down. Then later when walking was less, we would sit for a good while, seeing to our left on a clear day the tall buildings of downtown Boston, or look to our right and scan the Magnolia beach which is about a short block wide and five blocks long with a few boats bobbing in the water shifting around on their moorings. Some days I would say, "Dahlin, I’m going to do a quick walk to the turn in the road and then be right back." Her response was always, "Good" or "Fine" and only a few times did she get up and walk around a bit. When we did our walks we were creatures of habit in that we had only two routes, so if and when we walked independently it was not difficult to find each other. Now of course all of this has changed since she has finished her course and I am yet on mine, left alone but for memories that will linger on.

God bless y’all with a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year, and that’s it from the Cove.

Lars

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