The Mast-Head: Montauk Afternoon

It was time to get them out for some air

   Sunday afternoon, after having kept the kids cooped up in the house for the preceding 24 hours or more, it was time to get them out for some air. Lisa took our eldest off in one direction, and I loaded the other two into my truck for the drive from our house in Amagansett to Montauk.
    Our destination was the Montauk School playground, which is probably the best one around. A thick layer of ground-up tires covers the ground and provides an appropriate cushion for Ellis, our 3-year-old, who knows little in the way of physical fear.
    The air was cold with a northwest wind coming from where the school sits atop its hill. My knit cap, vest, and denim jacket were hardly enough to keep me comfortable, though the kids stripped down to T-shirts almost as soon as we arrived.
    Despite the wind going the other way, we could hear the starting strains of a band warming up at the Surf Lodge across Fort Pond. Evvy insisted that the music was from a vehicle parked on the street, it seemed so loud and close.
    After a while someone got hungry, so we drove the long way around, up Second House Road, down Edgemere, and into the downtown. I opted for quesadillas and a burrito at a back-street takeout joint, and we headed for the beach.
    I had wanted to see the new rock seawall at the trailer park and thought the kids would like to explore a bit. After they ate, Evvy and Ellis headed for the water’s edge. The tide was out and they could scramble across broken-up pieces of concrete. Then we headed for the stone jetty, where for more than an hour they collected seaweed, shells, and fishbones, piling them on a flat rock and declaring it “salad.” Evvy, who is almost 9, indulges her little brother in games.
    At one point a father with two young children came by. While he stood at a distance, the older of his girls scrambled right up to see what we were doing.
    “Where do you live? Here?” she asked Evvy.
    “Well, sort of. Amagansett,” Evvy answered, not seeming at all proud, the way someone older might have been.
    We played for a while, tucked out of the wind behind the rocks and concrete, then, into the sunset, we went home.