Our family flows toward the Atlantic each summer with our rafts, sunscreen and spawn. We go there to study our familial three R’s, to relax, reconnect and recollect. Memories of past trips to the beach are filed in my head going back to when I used to hide True Story magazines under my mattress to be secretly studied with my cousins while the grown-ups drank beer and played cards in the swaying cottages we’d rent in places like Ocean City, Maryland and the Outer Banks.
This year (as in the past 3) we have trekked all the way to Oak Island, NC. I’m not sure how many of us were there in total, the extended family has a lot of extensions. But in our bank of four cottages we had twenty-one sun-toasted surfers.
Beyond celebrating the sun and the sand, we also celebrated my Uncle Bill and Aunt Sophie’s 65th wedding anniversary with cake, barbeque, and two cannon blasts that rocked the iced tea right out of my cup.
Scottie (3) learned to ride waves, Steph (6) learned to body surf, Ben (7) learned it takes patience to fish on the pier, Thomas (2) couldn’t get enough of the waves running headfirst, getting blasted in the face and popping up with a smile, wanting more. Danny (3) sat in his chair or played putt putt on the par 2 course his mother Kelly made for him. Frank (15) built Frankopolis, the deep sea fishing expedition brought in 200 lbs of fish now in freezers in OH and VA to be retrieved like a warm memory on cold winter nights. Sara Kelly (7 months) just bided her time till next year when the water will come to tickle her newly walking toes. And the grown-ups?
We rode waves of gratitude.