Summer Beach Memories

On a day when the wind chill is in the 30’s, it warms me to think of summer memories at the Jersey shore and the peacefulness that I feel when I watch the waves. Hopefully, you will enjoy them too. 🙂

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ ( SS Atlantus wreckage)
Sunset Beach (Delaware Bay) on a windy day

Simplicity

In today’s world, it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of our society. Our life can become a whirling mass of chores, things, people, responsibilities and places, leaving us feeling lost and joyless.

When that happens, take some time to make yourself a top priority. Decide what really matters to you…your well-being and peaceful existence. Eliminate as many of the “shoulds” as possible, and let go of unnecessary things and people. Take some time to do what makes you happy and clears your mind. Relax and go with the flow of life; don’t complicate it with overthinking. When you return to what you absolutely have to do, you will approach it more lovingly because you’ve found time to nurture yourself and relax back into yourself.

My favorite go-to place locally is without a doubt, Cape May, NJ. The beauty of the ocean and rhythm of the waves relaxes me and helps to clear my head. The same is true to some extent for writing and genealogy although those activities can at times be bittersweet. 🙂

Do you have a special place or activity that allows you to relax and free yourself from your routine?

Along the Delaware Bay

I love to stare at waves rolling onto a sandy beach. The motion and soft sounds usually lull me into a state of deep relaxation. Here are two videos I took earlier in June this year in the area of Cape May, NJ. Perhaps you’d like to share a peaceful moment with me now…

The above video was take at Sunset Beach in Cape May Point. If you look closely you will see a sunken concrete ship, the S.S. Atlantus, at the end of the video. You can read more about the ship HERE.

This video is taken at the more rural Higbee Beach in North Cape May. The morning was cloudy and windy, but the waves and slight howling of the wind still did the trick for me. Here is a LINK to the colorful history of this beach.

A few more looks at waves…

Sunset Beach
Higbee Beach
Higbee Beach

Pathways

After a recent trip to Cape May, NJ, I noticed that many of my favorite photos centered on this walkway from a Sunset Beach cottage to the Delaware Bay. Thinking back, I realized how I have always been drawn to photos of pathways.

Perhaps, the times I enjoy them the most are when I am examining my own life’s pathway. Following a new road can be exciting, scary, and wonderful. The uncertainty of it all can be very enticing. The opportunities it brings can be challenging and stressful. Nevertheless, there is one magnificent guarantee – it will bring change…change which is the driving force of life that frees us from stagnation and allows us to grow.

Return to Cape May

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Sunset at the Point

Summer would not be complete without my annual trip to Cape May. Actually, I usually travel there the last week of spring to avoid some of the craziness of the crowds that later flock to the Cape May area. My favorite part of Cape May is Cape May Point which is a mile or so outside of the quaint Victorian town. This is the area where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Delaware Bay. It is primarily a residential community with only one store/restaurant, a post office and many churches.

Catholic Church, Cape May Pont

Catholic Church, Cape May Point

Last week, my daughter and I stayed at a cottage on Lake Lily, a thirteen-acre, fresh water lake with a colorful history. Apparently it was a special watering hole for the Kechemeche Indians. Rumors of British soldiers and Captain Kidd are intertwined in its history.  Recent efforts by the Friends of Lake Lily have kept it a peaceful, healthy retreat for both humans and wildlife. I spent many relaxing moments sitting on this bench. I have to say that as much as I love sitting by the ocean, I found it more peaceful here.

View from Cottage

View from Cottage

Swans on Lily Lake

Swans on Lily Lake

Lake Lily

Lake Lily

Here are some of my photos at the point including the remnants of the S.S. Atlantus, the concrete ship that sunk off the coast in 1926. For some reason, I feel compelled to take one of the wreckage each year even though it doesn’t change very much.

S.S. Atlantus

S.S. Atlantus

At Cape May Point

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At Cape May Point

Cape May Point

Cape May Point

At Cape May Point

This area has a few excellent wineries which are fun to visit when the weather is not ideal. We spent an hour or so relaxing at nearby Willow Creek Winery.

Willow Creek Winery

Willow Creek Winery

At Willow Creek Winery

At Willow Creek Winery

Recently, I discovered that my great-great grandparents retired to Cape May Point back in the 1870s after a life on the farm in Burlington County. Unfortunately, the 1880 census does not give the street address.  One of the fun things we did was to eat in a French New Orleans restaurant at 410 Bank Street in the town of Cape May, a house where their grandson, and my first cousin 2x removed, lived in 1920. Maybe this family connection partially explains why I’m drawn here again and again.

410 Bank Street

410 Bank Street

So how about you? Do you have any fun summer plans?

There’s Still Magic at Cape May Point

Nikon photos 051

Recently I spent a week in Cape May Point, New Jersey hoping to find the magic that I wrote about last year in Magical Moments. Although this trip with my daughter was just as fun and relaxing, I still hadn’t experienced that deep sense of inner peace and connection with “all there is” that I had found there previously…until the night before we left.

I love when the sun or moon sparkles on the water. It speaks to the innermost part of me in ways I can’t describe. Frolicking dolphins are a sure sign that there’s magic in the air. This is when it began for me, about an hour before sunset on Sunset Beach.

Frolicking Dolphin

Frolicking Dolphin

 I looked at the water through the lens of my camera and the magic began (at least for me).

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

It’s exciting to catch a wave crashing on the shore.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

Just before I left I had to capture this from the parking lot.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

 

I hope you enjoyed sharing my special memories of Sunset Beach! Have you been to a beach lately? Any special moments you’d like to share?

 

Magical Moments

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Unknown

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

I returned a few days ago from a relaxing, refreshing week in Cape May, NJ. Holding on to that sense of inner peace I’ve felt since I returned becomes more difficult with each passing day, but I’m determined this time to wait a bit longer before I allow it to slip through the cracks of everyday life.

I spent a lot of time sitting on Sunset Beach at Cape May Point staring at the Delaware Bay watching the dolphins doing their spins. The sand there is filled with bits of quartzite which are polished to a brilliant shine and sold as Cape May diamonds. Off shore lies the remains of the SS Atlantis, a concrete ship from World War I that was towed to Cape May to be used as a ferry dock in 1926. In June of that year, the ship broke free of her moorings in a storm and ran aground here.

SS Atlantus, Cape May Point, NJ Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

SS Atlantus, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

On the cloudiest day of the week, I was enjoying the refreshing salt air on Sunset Beach when I began to see a band of sparking light along the horizon. A few minutes later the entire bay before me was covered in sparking sunlight. Several more dolphins were frolicking. Soon the sunlight faded completely and minutes later the band of light appeared again on the horizon and stretched again across the bay as the sun and clouds did their dance. This repeated a couple of more times. The picture at the top doesn’t do it justice. It looked like nature’s beauty at it’s best and felt like God had the paintbrush in His hand.

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ  Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ
Copyright 2014 Shirley Sorbello

I had always believed that Sunset Beach was a special place because the energy there felt so positive and relaxing. Now it’s even a bit magical for me; I can’t wait to return.

How about you? Magical moments are gifts for the soul. Have you experienced any lately?

Cape May Point Therapy

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ

As I sadly watch the orange and red leaves swirl in the cool October winds, my thoughts return to a warm, sunny week in September…a peaceful time with perfect weather spent in Cape May Point, New Jersey. It was only a few weeks ago, yet it seems a distant memory now that we are well into October.

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point, NJ

It is here where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. You could even say that time has slowed or, at the very least, left behind parts of this community with its Victorian homes and cottages from early 1900’s. Of course, modern houses dot the neighborhood here and there, but a strong sense of the past remains as evidenced by the community post office and general store.

General Store, Cape May Point, NJ

General Store, Cape May Point, NJ

Cape May Point, NJ  Post Office

Cape May Point, NJ Post Office

Sometimes it’s good to just let yourself “be” as I frequently did in this idyllic community along the Jersey shore. It was easy to feel completely contented rocking on the front porch or staring out at the ocean without a thought of the past or the future. Butterflies dotted the bushes in front of our cottage while an occasional dragonfly darted about. I was part of their world and they were part of mine. Being fully present in those magical moments of oneness felt calming and regenerative to me.

Butterfly, Cape May Point, NJ

Butterfly, Cape May Point, NJ

I urge you to make an appointment with yourself to go somewhere peaceful and relaxing for at least a few hours and “just be.” Focus on the present moment. Look, smell, feel, touch, maybe even taste.  It doesn’t have to be an exotic location; it can be a quiet retreat in your own home or yard.  The result can be as good as any medication, and it will regenerate your body, mind and spirit.

I look forward to sharing more of Cape May Point with you in future posts.