‘The Old Surfer Girl’ Still Has Some Spunk


The writer relaxes on the deck of her LBI rental with grandchildren (from left) Gracen, Ella and Connor. (Courtesy of Mary Jane Hurley Brant)
Can you think about that some men and women never ever go to the seashore? There are people today who reject the sand, the sunlight, the lotion and the rolling surf! I’m not a person of these folks I love the seaside, the bay, the gulls, and especially the enchanting elegance of Very long Beach Island.
When our once-a-year getaway 7 days to be with each other nears, the pleasure grows.  Before we know it, we’re on the Causeway. Which is when a spell falls carefully about me and I listen to Brian Wilson of the Beach front Boys singing only to me, “I have watched you on the shore/ Standing by the ocean’s roar/Do you enjoy me do you surfer female ….” In fact, I secretly feel of myself as “The Old Surfer Female.”
Yes, I am she, the just one, the only, the old salt, so aged that the seashore property exactly where I stayed through my childhood fell into the bay. It wasn’t the bay’s fault the area was prepared and rickety. Locating a new trip home each individual yr, a single that satisfies everyone’s rising demands, is more than an journey it is a mission.  This 12 months we found a beautiful residence in Harvey Cedars just 1 residence from the beach.
Preparing to at last get on to the beach is section of the enjoyable – all that futzing anyone does with lotions, chairs, h2o, and at the very least a person person’s blaming somebody for not bringing something. This year, the moment anyone felt content that we’d uncovered “the great beach location,” my grandchildren invited me into the drinking water.  “Absolutely!” I responded with enthusiasm. They then proceeded to escort me the full way and even presented me their arms and palms for balance. I did not refuse this was the to start with time they have arrived at out like that considering the fact that they were being toddlers. This role reversal didn’t escape me, and their fantastic sweetness washed above me – an additional contact of magic.
Wow, just making it as a result of the tremendous soft sand and down that very first hard drop was a thrill. “Is it me, little ones, or has the seashore gotten a minimal steeper this year?”
Then, an audible sigh escaped my lips as I stepped into that icy ocean on a 94-degree day. It was so inviting I determined to walk out a minor farther when a concealed and steep next fall was underneath my toes and, OMG, down went “The Previous Surfer Lady.”  That was also when my grandchildren frantically shouted throughout the breaking waves, “Grandma, look out, an additional significant wave’s coming in speedy!” Also late, legs straight up in the air, hair falling down over my confront and I was somersaulting uncontrollably back to the shore. Like a 3-12 months-aged, I sat stunned in a foot of h2o questioning what transpired. Then the next wave strike.
Now, in the only ear that could however hear after becoming tossed about arrived a concerned voice, “Excuse me, ma’am, are you, all suitable?” I looked up and, wow, standing suitable in the drinking water up coming to me was a lifeguard, all cute and smiling. This is a very first. I should have attempted this stunt when I was a teen if that’s all it took.
Upright, and again on my ft, I noticed the future wave attaining strength and yelled over the splashing sounds to my grandkids, “I’m riding the up coming a single in!” Gentleman, it was a tsunami and I right away regretted I was not sporting my new Ron Jon’s T-shirt, which would have been authentic proof of what a master I utilized to be at system browsing. “Don’t worry, you fellas, I’ve obtained this one!”
Oh, holy of holies, up near the wave was monster size so I frantically tried using to get below it but, far too late, I was tumbling, tumbling, rolling and rolling.  Right then I understood that the wave acquired me so … I.  Just. Permit. Go.
A serenity and peace washed more than me, redeemed me, purified me. I experienced a emotion of freedom and surrender that I have not experienced because I was a little one. But, hold out, it receives superior.
Upright after all over again, I tossed my moist hair all over like Christie Brinkley on the 1979 go over of Sports Illustrated.  With my tan shoulders thrown back, and my head held superior, I swished and swayed like I was in NYC on the catwalk. That’s when I heard the whooping and clapping from a few guys about my age standing not considerably absent. “Yahoo!” explained the just one dude, “that was wild observing you out there.” The second male shouted, “You didn’t know when to end!” The 3rd quipped, “Better than a Phillies game! Down you went, up and back down once again. Guy, speak about perseverance.” It was a moment. Which is also when I discovered that the symbol on the a person guy’s T-shirt explained “HURLEY.”
“Hey,” I mentioned, with an at any time-widening, toothy smile on my confront, “you’re donning my maiden title on your T-shirt.” I know, I know, I shouldn’t be flirting with any one I’m married 50 many years. Aside from, these many years of cavorting and prancing all over in the water are long long gone, way in the past, to be neglected as soon as and for all – ideal, Old Surfer Woman? Not pretty. The satan, putting on a wetsuit and a grin, jumped into my feelings and wickedly whispered in my ear, “Hey, Old Surfer Lady, a minor flirting is great for you apart from, in which was that wonderful, nervous and solicitous spouse when you have been near to drowning and getting your closing breath, hmm?”
So absent she walked, The Previous Surfer Girl, waving to the crowd, chuckling, kicking her toes in the sand and imagining how every single black and blue human body bruise she would wake up with the future early morning would be sooo fully well worth it.
Mary Jane Hurley Brant is a psychotherapist in Newtown Square, Pa., and a periodic visitor to Long Seaside Island.

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