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Sixty-Something: Loving The Mid-September Weather On The East End

T.J. Clemente

A perfect fall beach day. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

It's almost officially Indian summer time in the Hamptons and this last weekend was a prime example of how great it just can be. At sixty-something, it's always a pleasure to get a warm, slight breeze, beach day in late September or early October! The water sparkles with a different sun angle, and for whatever reasons one can hear the seagulls reveling, doing easy landings to float in the sea as only seagulls do.

I was sitting in my beach chair watching folks both kayak by and paddle board by effortlessly. Every song shuffling through my headphones via my iTunes collection was a perfect song for the day's pleasantness. The absence of a real strong breeze did not have me longing to be out on my sailboat. Today, I knew I was in the best place - in my beach chair. I had some iced tea in a thermos, a nice big hat, a fabulous adjustable beach chair with an awning to shade my eyes, - and to top it all off - I was wearing my favorite sunglasses. With my very happy Cindi nearby, yes, I truly felt that life is good today.

On an extremely low breeze beach day you can hear children playing on nearby beach swings or just digging sand castles. You can catch every other word of that playful banter. It is timeless. It reminded me of my baby girls that are now all grown up and living their lives so far away. I received, not too long ago, a photo of my daughter with her daughter at a beach very far away overseas; you see, there is a cycle of life.

My wife and I used to jet away to St. Thomas or Mexico around mid-September for what we called "an extended summer." This time of year is called the off-season in both Mexico and the Caribbean - because of that we would get great rates and deals. Yet, when we were down there, we would notice most of the time the weather back home on the East End of Long Island was as good!

There was a time when I lived in Montauk that this time of year was a local's paradise. However, reports from friends still living there say not this year with the hamlet still as crowded as it was during prime summer due to COVID-19 refugees and the new nemesis of the East End; the day trippers!

I love recalling how after Labor Day driving access to where I was living at the very end of Deforest Road, just past Ditch Plains Beach, became hassle free. A funny story is my first year living there, I moved in during the winter. Driving back and forth to the village of Montauk was a trafficless deal. Then came my first Montauk Memorial Day weekend and I pulled out of our driveway and it took me 45 minutes just to drive one mile to Route 27 to get into town to get some milk at the IGA. When I finally arrived at the Montauk IGA, there wasn't a parking spot to be had! It's not quite like that now, but it's also not the way it was.

Usually after Labor Day things went back to normal. On "Tumbleweed Tuesday," the name locals call the day after Labor Day, one could feel the absence of those who just left. My Montauk friends now say you can feel the presence of an expanded citizenry. School registration is up, but at the beach there is still plenty of space to be safe, content and relax. Great weather is the great equalizer. A beautiful day makes everyone see the beauty around them so much easier, and on the East End, there just is such an abundance of beauty you just can't help but smile.

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