Courtesy Reminisce Magazine
Recently, my wife and I were taking advantage of the preseason rates at a motel in Ogunquit, Maine. As usual, I woke early, while Terry enjoyed sleeping in.
On this day, my early wanderings took me to Moody Beach. As I sipped coffee, my mind drifted back to our first visit to this beach in the early 1970s.
It was a month after our wedding. Our budget was paper-thin, and we were still trying to furnish our small one-bedroom apartment. The car we drove used more oil than gas, had four bad tires and was missing a spare.
But youth knows no fear. With $30 in our pockets, we bought four quarts of oil, gassed up and headed for Maine. Along with minimal clothing, we brought along a large pot, a rack from the oven, an old metal coffeepot, a jug of water, two cups and a few kitchen utensils.
Since Ogunquit charged a parking fee, we went straight to Moody Beach, which had free parking in a dirt lot. We walked the beach all day, ate nothing, and lived on—love, of course.
In the late afternoon, we splurged and bought a small live lobster for Terry, a steak for me, two potatoes and a small jar of instant coffee. We gathered firewood, and as the sun set, we scooped a hole in the sand, put a few stones around the circle and started our fire. By the time the flames had produced coals, the moon was out.
With the potatoes in the coals, I boiled a pot of seawater for Terry’s lobster. When the lobster started turning red, I put my steak on the rack. Wrapped in a blanket against the cool night air, we cuddled next to the fire and listened to the steak sizzle as sparks flew off to the sea.
After our meal, I pushed the soft sand into a hollow just big enough for two bodies wrapped in a blanket. With the stars above and the sound of the waves, we enjoyed the night.
The next morning, Terry, never really an outdoors person, asked, “Where’s the bathroom?” When I pointed to the dunes, she said, “Oh, no—I can’t!” In the end, nature overcame shyness.
Later, we walked two miles on the sand to Ogunquit and paid a dime each to shower in the bathhouse, then enjoyed our day.
Leaving the beach, I realized I had lost our little pouch, which held just enough cash for the tolls home. We spent an hour retracing our steps, but we found it!
When we got home, our humble place seemed like the Ritz.