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A Sunny Visit Back Home

Lauren Sass '26

Today is the day circled on the kitchen calendar in firecracker red ink. It is our first weekend down the shore, officially starting the summer season. As we cross the Margate bridge, I roll down the car window to finally take it all in. The blazing, buttery yellow sun and palette cleansing air are no longer a distant core memory. Cedar grove is more than just the street that fostered our white-paneled home, it’s a sense of peace even doves wouldn’t understand. The rusted picnic table older than me is always filled with decadent charred barbeque fresh off the grill.

It is home. The refreshing aqua waves that crash past the horizon- is home. The gritty bronze sand on the beach that gets stuck in the insoles of my flip-flops like cement- is home. The feeling of a ripe sunburn on your face after a rejuvenating day at the beach- is home. Saturday night rounds of intense mini golf, followed by a chocolate-vanilla soft serve twist (with rainbow sprinkles) in a sugar cone from the Dairy Bar,- is home. The adrenaline of the boardwalk at twilight, where the sky is illuminated with the bright lights of rides and carnival games,-is home. The island’s surf shop advertising in the window “50% OFF START OF SUMMER SPLASH SALE!” with an array of fully customizable Margate sweat sets for those breezy bonfire nights- is home. Early morning walks down Ventnor Avenue to get açaí bowls with friends before spending hours at the beach-is home.

We show the toll collector our toll pass. The protected key grants us access to the coveted diamond in the rough. The collector nods, and the candy cane barrier lifts into the sky. We continue to cruise down the street, and there it is: the icon itself; Lucy The Elephant. Built indestructibly in the ground, I can almost feel Lucy whisper through her long pearly white tusks, “The wait is over. It is summer. Welcome home, Lauren.”

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