Outside Showers and Summer Feet

John Gordon Sennett
8 min readJul 29, 2022

Memories of youth at the Jersey Shore

Photo by Natasha Sennett

“Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom.” I can hear Seals and Crofts sing their song “Summer Breeze” in the deep recessed echoes of my 1970’s summers in Cape May Point. “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine. Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind.” The chorus lingers like the strong scent of that luscious summer jasmine and all the other life that existed on those summer shores so many years ago. Feet don’t get smelly in summer if you never wear shoes and are constantly walking in sand or dipping your toes in the ocean constantly. Well, of course, the shore etiquette of always rinsing off with the hose or outside showers before coming in. Oh, glorious outside showers of summer. You spent a day in the heat and the sun slowly baked your skin and upon returning, you wait for the hot water in the pipes to rush out and await the cool water stored further below and you step under the shower while the sun still shines and that chill of coolness takes the heat of the day away. Cape May Point water had a particular fresh smell about it and you could stand there forever, smelling that freshness as the steady light stream of the cold water cooled your whole body down. Oh, not to have experienced that sensation would have been a life not lived and now, remembering it, to not experience it at least one more time would seem like an offense to the beauty and tranquility of the experience.

Life in a war zone makes you think about these kinds of things because maybe a Russian rocket or missile will take your life and you begin to wonder what parts of your life will flash before your eyes if death comes. Those small memories get magnified and amplified. So, the advice on the small things in life seems to be correct. Now, I ache for an outside shower. When I say ache, I mean spiritually, physically and psychologically and not out of necessity as in I am not sitting in my own stink. Many of those who have been trapped in other parts of Ukraine only dreamed and longed for a regular old hot shower. Weeks and months without proper food and sanitary conditions. I can’t even imagine what they thought of as they waited or are waiting out this awful slaughter of civilians that is happening in Ukraine. My experience of the war so far has not been anywhere near as terrible as those far away in eastern and southern Ukraine nor as…

John Gordon Sennett

Living in a War Zone. An unexpected twist in life.