Posted by: ktzefr | August 1, 2010

On the Delaware Shore…

“Maybe it was the fast-moving clouds/or the spring flowers quivering among the dead leaves,/but I knew this was one day I was born to seize –”  ~ Billy Collins, Ballistics

I seem to be more mindful of time when I travel.  Even if I’m more relaxed, even if I don’t wear a watch, even if I don’t have an itinerary or a schedule to keep…I’m still counting in the back of my mind the number of days, nights, hours that are left before it’s time to head home.

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Bethany Beach, Delaware

I was reading Billy Collins at the beach.  The poems — “August in Paris,” “The Day Lassie Died,” “This Little Piggy Went to Market” brought back memories that got in the way of musing over the meaning of the poem.  My own August in Paris… I loved the Lassie show and books when I was growing up (a  gray-haired, bespectacled fifth-grade teacher read Lassie Come Home aloud to us on Friday afternoons)…and who hasn’t done “This Little Piggy Went to Market”?  In the poem “Tension” the narrator lies on a couch, closes his eyes, and suddenly pictures the Andes and…”a path that led over the mountains to another/country/with strange customs and eye-catching hats…”  I recall walking a number of those paths and marveling at that great sea of identical hats in the market place.

My favorite bookstore at the beach is being sold.  The owner is retiring and I’m hoping, as are a great many other people, that someone buys it and continues to offer quality reads at the beach.  It’s a cool, quiet place to escape the hoopla of the beach and boardwalk on a hot day.

Looking North on the Bethany Beach boardwalk...Mango Mike's upstairs has great ocean views

Not a bad beat...

A little of this and a little of that…

One of my favorite shops is Made by Hand, a fair trade shop where I always find something special.  This time a small, intricately-woven basket made by Mayan women in Guatemala, a bead necklace made in Kenya with recycled paper, a thin, colorful bedspread made in India that will become a tablecloth in Virginia…


The “quiet” resort is even quieter five minutes inland on the Salt Pond.   Late afternoon seabirds dive for fish, ospreys settle into a nest in the wetlands across the pond, the sun set is red and orange, the moon full.  After several days in the upper 90s a storm came up last Sunday with big, black clouds suddenly rolling in and bringing wild gusts of wind and driving rain.  We hurried inside a local restaurant as the rain started to pour.  For years there has been an osprey nest just outside the restaurant windows.  We watched as one of the big birds tried to land on its nest, but the wind kept the bird aloft.  It flapped its wings furiously as it was swept backward again and again.  When the rain stopped the weather cooled, making for great screened porch and deck sitting.

Looking at the Salt Pond…  And through the willows…

The fig trees are full of fruit…  And the whole town is filled with blooming crepe myrtles…

Patsy’s with terrific Key West inspired cuisine is always a favorite for dinner!  It feels a little like sitting on a good friend’s porch on a summer night in the 60s.  Twinkling lights, a cool breeze, a little music…

…and there’s McCabe’s Gourmet Market sandwiches, Grotto Pizza (the sweet peppers make it the best pizza on the beach), and the Frog House breakfasts — stacks of hot pancakes with pecans and cinnamon or bananas or cherries or any number of other fruits and flavors.  Morning latte at The Artful Bean…just-made doughnuts and muffins and pastries at the bakery…the beach is all about eating!  And feeling sand beneath my toes.  And reading on the porch in the breeze with the birds singing in the trees.  And visiting with family and old friends.  It doesn’t get much better!



  1. Makes me want to go there sometime. 😉

    • Perhaps some alone time after the big day is in order…

  2. Can’t believe I’m just reading this post. We used to vacation in South Bethany many years ago. What wonderful memories your post brought back! I can smell Fisher’s popcorn and taste the sweet salt water taffy. And wandering through MaCabe’s was always such a treat. But my favorite part of our stays was the beach in late afternoon, as the crowds left and the heat of the sun dwindled and we would sit on the deck, usually with a cool drink in hand, looking across the sand to the blue water, enjoying our own personal oasis. Heaven.

    • We still try to get one summer week in Bethany every year, rent the same place, and usually have a house full of people. I love it!

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