We had arrived on a Saturday, and no one else showed up until Monday, although a few people parked in the cul-de-sac and walked over to the beach, or they might just show up, dragging a canoe, from one of the nearby houses further inland. Imagine how pleased Theo was to hear that going over the loose plank boardwalk. Pretty much as thrilled as he was when the waste management people showed up in the middle of the night.
Theo himself never got near the walkover, nor did Joyce, nor any other dog. I felt it was just too dangerous and not worth getting hurt for. We had found a public parking lot over less of a dune on the far end of town, and hoped eventually to take them onto the beach that way. Besides, seriously, Stella probably collected that piece of cactus when exploring the tall grass around the house, and we didn't want them collecting anything else. We had to deal with sand spurs daily as it was. So we just kept them on the mowed part of the yard, which was adequate. Not pretty, just enough clear space and some sad grass.
Anyway, the first neighbors to show up came very late at night in a huge van. More and more and more children kept getting out of it, so that I wondered if it was a trip for an orphanage or something. They made a lot of shrieking noises and we figured we were screwed and ought to think about going home early.
Next morning, we saw that all the children were girls and all the adults were wearing long checked dresses and little cupcake hats. Yes, they were Mennonites, and very nice people besides. Except for the first night, and whenever they used the walkover, we hardly heard a peep out of them. They borrowed our picket fence for a group picture which was when the mothers told us they were all sisters and all the girls were cousins (six of them) which reminded me of my own childhood with my cousins down the shore in New Jersey.
So we really missed them when the next two families showed up. The Mennonites had been directly behind us, but the new families were catty-corner behind us, and also directly to our left, or north. And did they fight! And when they fought, our dogs barked and set off the other dogs in the neighborhood. So we talked even more about leaving early.
In this shot, taken from atop the dune I climbed, the Sandpooper is just right of center, and the Bickerson's house is to the right of that, about twelve feet away. This is not far enough in relation to sulky teenagers, screaming toddlers and big-mouthed, pushy husbands. They carried on like there was no audience for their antics, and believe me, I wish there hadn't been. And you can see the width of the path over the dunes, which makes it easy to understand why we would not walk the dogs out there. Finally, this shot illustrates really well how far the house really was from the beach. Don't forget to click on it.