When my friend Cyndi came to visit us this summer with her family, she happily told me that when she gets a beach house, she will name it “No Egrets.” We laughed then but the more I have thought about it, the funnier it has become and now anytime I see egrets or a silly beach house name, I think of Cyndi. I measure my friends on the silver to gold scale by the things that make me think of them. Cyndi is definitely solid gold. I had lots of chances this past week to read those fun beach house names when my family was offered a Pawleys Island beach house for the week. It is the second time we had the immense pleasure of staying at Granny’s Beach House and it is a no frills, no worries, hammock on the porch, sleeps 21, bare bones beauty of a place. We were all a little sad to lock the door on Saturday and head back to our own house but so thankful for our week “away.”
Even before our week at the beach front, I was busily cleaning the house while Lilly and Willow watched Octonauts when the door bell rang. I thought it strange since Wil was outside fixing….stuff. I opened the door prepared to see Wil there with a story about why he rang the doorbell and I had a silly song about beans trying on some jeans I was going to serenade him with but surprise surprise, it was my mom and dad! They had kept the visit a big ol’ secret and I had been thinking they were in Michigan or Minnesota or one of those M states when they had called earlier in the day. Their two week visit was full of hugs, laughter, dad/daughter breakfast gab sessions, free babysitting, and that comfortable feeling that only family can provide. Mom, myself and the girls made a trip to see some of my aunts and uncles while they were vacationing at Oak Island and my mom surprised all of them too. Some things never change: Aunt Sandy still makes cat noises, Uncle Larry is still adored by the little ones and gives the best hugs, Aunt Linda is a great person to talk to, Aunt Rita for one makes excellent party trail mix and is hilarious with her dog, Uncle Mike is loud but considerate, and Vickie fits right in. Lilly and Willow adored having my folks here and Willow asked for them for many days after they left.
One of the days my folks were here, I was able to go shrimpin’ (the g is not allowed). The company of the Nichols was great but popping heads off shrimp isn’t quite my thing. We saw lots of jelly fish and heard the sound of a sea turtle surfacing near by. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the time away from the routine of kids.
Last year at this time I had the fall blues because I knew what fall was supposed to feel like to me and it just doesn’t feel that way here. This year, I am still aware that the leaves are changing somewhere but I’m okay with it. Maybe I’m okay with it because Willow is hitting the twos with a vengeance and that keeps me deliriously on my toes. Maybe I’m okay with it because I have purpose here that I was struggling to establish at this time last year. Maybe I’m okay with it because wearing flip flops and t-shirts is cheaper. Maybe I’m okay with it because this will be home for my children and this will be what is in their blood for October. We still put up fall leaf decorations today in honor of my hometown but I feel a little crazy doing so. As I was hanging the orange and yellow leaf filled wreath, two frogs were stuck to the door silently protesting my choice. A parishioner and friend at our church came up to me excited to share a tip since she to is from Western North Carolina. She said that she has had time to really see the ocean and beach through each season and that she now knows the sand changes texture and color too. Guess I’ll need to do some research while basking in the sun and watching the waves roll in and out.