Sunday, July 5, 2015

Back from the beach

I have not posted for over a week because I was on family vacation at the Outer Banks.  For many years this was a yearly event (beginning in 1962.)  And the different "family" members have certainly changed over the years.

At the beginning there were  three teenagers - Wayne, Margot and Geoff and our little sister Ellen, mom and dad and ....sometimes grandma, sometimes Aunt Shirl and Uncle Sam and our 5 cousins, and often friends.  I remember one year when we had 50 people  who came down together and rented houses.  Our parents would have happy hour and we kids would play four square and other games.
And of course all be together on the beach.

This year there were 26 of us who rented three houses.  I was joined by my two brothers and their families and my daughters and grandchildren and then friends who are like family.  A lot of people and alot of conversations and laughter and fun.

There was one real disappointment this year - the appearance of SHARKS which were very real.  The first day we were there we saw ambulance down the beach four houses from Marnie and Kacey's and YES it was a shark attack.  So, no boogie board for me and much less time at the beach.  But the blessing - and what a blessing - was that we were the house that had the pool and so everyone came at different times of the day and it was a place of so much life.  We had children splashing, wild and competitive water volleyball games and then a place for us "seniors" to float and even swim.  I even got Chuck in the pool this year.

So, I am tired after a long drive home yesterday but extremely grateful
Anyway, here are some pictures and descriptions  of  some of my favorite parts of this week.

1. Porches - a great place to see the ocean or the sound.  A great place to be alone or with others.

2. Meals - I wish I had a picture of some of the great meals we had around the table.  We all took turns cooking and I enjoyed some different dishes. I am blessed with two sisters in law that I love and who really are good cooks! And the conversations were always stimulating.

3. Lunches out - I got to spend time with my niece Gillian and her friends, with Dawn and Jason and then with Kacey and Audrey.  Here is a picture of 2 goofy girls after our meal.

 4. Games - again no picture, but lots of memories of dominos, rummikub, hands and feet and solitaire.  I really enjoyed having my great nephew Evan and I felt like I was channeling my mother in teaching and playing cards with the kids.

5. Family life - I got to babysit for Maggie and just be around everyone as they were getting ready to go to the beach.  There is something about the ordinary moments that is so special.  Here are Dawn and Kacey getting their husbands ready to go out in the sun.

6. Grandchildren - I spent time at the pier with Addie and Jackson.  Remembering being at the pier with my Dad when I was their age. And walking on the beach with Reagan and Alyse.  With both pairs, they talk constantly to each other and I wonder what they are saying - but love watching their relationships! 

7. Music - my brother Geoff brought a keyboard and Wayne a guitar which meant there was singing in our house.  Plus we had 2 year old Dino (my great nephew) and got to sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" "People on the Bus" "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" etc. The best part was Friday night when we wrote song parodies about our week - mine was an homage to the swimming pool to the tune of "Amazing Grace." Others were about shark bites, shopping, sunburn and Audrey missing the ferry at Okracoke!  Rumor has it there is a video, but probably - you had to be there.

I think I will stop here but just end with a word of gratitude.  For the blessing of a family that will actually come together in a somewhat regular basis - beyond weddings and funerals.  It is in times like this that we really get to know each other as we are now - and to savor the blessings of our past as we continue to make new memories together.

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