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John and Nan
“John,” Nan hollered out the kitchen door, “I’ve got almost everything packed. Will you please grab the small cooler out of the barn? Oh, and that collapsible wheel wagon too!”
Every year, not a day earlier and not a day later, on July 15th, John and Nan filled the back of their white Mercedes station wagon with beach bags loaded with towels slightly faded from the sun and a slew of magazines she’d saved for months, driving the 4 hours up the coast to Maine. The innkeeper cheerfully welcomes them, easily remembering their names after all these years, hovering to make sure the new girl at the counter gives them their usual cabin number 8.
The cabin door creaks open like it always does, and they silently take several trips unloading the car without even needing to speak since they have their unpacking routine down to a near science. Nan adds the small quilted Vera Bradley toiletry bag to the bathroom counter as John rolls the wagon onto the back patio, ready and aimed toward the beach path. He opens all the windows as far as they will reach, and Nan places her readers and eye mask on the nightstand on the right side of the bed - always her side.
After 20 minutes of getting the car empty and the room situated, they slide out of their road clothes and pull on their swimsuits. John fills the cooler with a bucket of ice from the clunky ice machine next to the reception door, and Nan drops three magazines into the beach tote.
With a wink to Nan, “You ready, Nanners?” John’s nickname for her since they started dating in 1997.
“Yep, I’m ready Johnnie-boy,” Nan answers back with a soft slap to the back of his swim shorts, “let’s go to our beach!”
[photograph by me - story is fictional]
Note: Photo taken July 26, 2023 on a hot day in Maine. Mike and I had our blanket and chairs parked in the sand behind these two and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and were enjoying the day. In between my reading and lounging, I sat there wondering about them, having a lot of fun creating this story about them.
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