My grandparents’ [Lena and Isadore Kruger] cottage on Seabreeze Avenue was a gathering place for the whole family. Sometimes we would be the only family staying with my grandparents and at other times another aunt with her family stayed, as well. My mom told me that my father put in a proper bathroom after staying there two summers with only an outhouse.
I have fond memories of staying there in the summer: walking the path to Bagel Beach, playing on the sandbar, and digging for clams, which we would throw back into the water. Sometimes, I would sit with my grandfather on the edge of the water and wait patiently for a wave to knock us down.
My mom, as I look back, spent a great deal of her time cooking and cleaning. I believe my dad commuted to work from there each day. I only remember him being with us on Sundays.
Every Saturday, I walked with my grandparents, my brothers, and my mom to shul. What stands out in my memory was how much smaller the Woodmont shut was in comparison to Westville Synagogue, in New Haven, where we went the rest of the year.
Everything seemed to be in walking distance from my grandparents’ cottage: the kosher butcher, a place to buy produce, and loads of other children to play with.
Not far from the cottage was a large hill. But in those days, it seemed to me and my older brother like our very own mountain to explore, and we did, every inch of it. One day we found a kitten and brought it back to the cottage, another time we found a land turtle. The kitten scratched me and my mom said it had to go. The turtle just disappeared one day.
Even on rainy days I had fun. The publication Weekly Reader came in the mail and I would save them up for a day we couldn’t go outside. There were also scraps of fabric, which my mom had, that I would use to make things for my younger brother.
It gives me a warm feeling just remembering those carefree, wonderful days in Woodmont.