Dome-icile of Love

Doors close…tent flaps open.

As reported here,Thursday, Feb. 23rd brought unseasonably warm weather and thousands came to our City by the Sea’s boardwalk, it was in the high sixties.

But Saturday the south wind blowing across the 40º ocean brought a cold breeze to intermingle with that warm land-air resulting in…fog, an air-ocean of fog.

detectorist in fog DSC_6805.jpg But it was still a day to get out for many, fog or no fog.


Sunday however the air temps dropped to the same forty-degree level as the sea and the wind was gale-force at times. The fog was gone and the air was filed only with the scent of salt and the promise of spring.


It was cold and there was hardly a soul to be found except for… hardy souls.

Across our barren sandscape I spotted, off in the distance, a lone dome, an isolated igloo of sorts. Now, we city-by-the-seasters often see sun-shelters in summer. But not so much in the gales of February.


As I drew near I saw a man fortifying and securing with sand his digs at it’s base. Who was this determined shore lover? Curious, I inquired within.


DSC_6881 (1).jpg

Ensconced in the dome was a couple determined to enjoy the expanse of the seascape while protected from the grainy wind. I had a nice conversation with the delightful duo.


As I spoke with Rob and Tara I could not but reflect on them having, at least for these moments, an even better ocean view than the tall and expensive condos towering behind them. Might even be happier, at this moment, than some living in those lofty dwellings.


Rob works as Regional Sales Manager for pre-planned funerals. As such he does presentations, often in restaurants. Rob said he always did like his field, his family has been in the funeral business for four generations. He seemed proud to speak of his role as operations manager at Frank E Campbell funeral home in Manhattan. He handled the funeral of Welling Mara, the NY Giants owner. The services were at St. Patricks Cathedral.


Tara, his wife, is a nurse with Winthrop Hospital’s ambulatory surgery in the vicinity of the Roosevelt Field Mall. She prepares patients with pre-surgical testing: EKGs, blood samples, instructions, etc.

Rob and Tara are two people having jobs obviously different yet very similar in that they work with people in very specific ways. But it is hard work they tell me.  And now they came to the beach on a cold and windy day…just to be together…just to have fun. Tara said, “This is so therapeutic.” She said to Rob, “You work very hard, Rob.” He said, “Thank you, Tara.”

Rob didn’t respond in kind I noticed. But that would have been superfluous, did I mention …Tara is a nurse? That would be like telling the sun it emitted heat and light.

The couple have a home in Long Beach and have three children each from former marriages. Tara’s kids are grown. Rob’s live with his ex-wife. “It’s the second time around for both of us,” said Tara, smiling.

They are like many of us who experience changes in our relationships, changes that come in different forms, sometimes bitter, sometimes tragic, sometimes just semi-agreeable partings. But changes are sometimes blessed with a road to happy unfoldings…new beginnings. This seemed like one of those times.

Rob and Tara were alone this afternoon but have had nephews tent-stay with them in the past, Tara has 12 siblings. Counting nephews, “We have 36 kids between us,” she said. “We always have kids with us.”

Rob’s a sailor too. They are both very active, very enthusiastic. They snowmobiled a couple of weeks ago for the first time. They are a vibrant couple, Rob and Tara.  I’m just not sure if the vibrancy is expressed by their togetherness or their togetherness results in their continued vibrancey. Whatever the answer…stay the course.


Rob and Tara’s sun and sand home-dome is made from combining a huge beach umbrella with a tent. The green eighty-dollar tent was bought by a co-worker friend at a thrift store for five bucks. And that very fine friend even refused the five bucks.

The orange half was a seventy-five dollar purchase by the happy team. The joined halves made for a comfy fit, complete with music. Pandora served up their favorite tunes.

The blissful second-timers within made a comfy fit as well, it appeared. I don’t know how long the pair have been together but their spring tide has certainly not ebbed.

There was a subdued yet notable giddiness in this couple who pitched their lone tent on wind-blown Long Beach. They evinced teen-like adventure in new second-time life. They had survived the pain of parting and now set a new course of joy.

Doors close…tent flaps open.

 tent w gull IMG_8493 vign.jpg

Be well,

See my sister blog:

4 replies »

  1. Tara, Rob

    Wow, what a great response. Thank you.

    It was my pleasure to relate to others this gem of a love dome-icile on our Long Beach shore.

    You guys are an inspiration to the legion of lovers on their second (or multiple) times around. I sincerely wish you, and all my comrades in (another’s) arms…long lasting love.

    Be well,


  2. Dear Lee,
    Rob and me could not have been more touched by your article about us. We cried and laughed when we read it and then of course we had to re-read it again. Your creative writing skills made it that much more interesting and enjoyable . Whats so beautiful is your enthusciastic curiosity towards others and the journeys they have taken in life. It is so impressive how you captured so many details about us and our relationship. And yes is not always easy for us & there is always some sadness with divorce especially when it comes to our children but being so fortunate to have met and now to be able to share our life in this beautiful place we now call home, Long Beach, we know how blessed we are. Like you said and I quote ‘New beginnings…a road to happy unfoldings”. And yes we will stay the course! Thank you for writing such a beautiful article about us.


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