Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family Summer Vacation

The POPrs Cousins in Duck, NC-1999

The summer after my Mom died, I received a phone call that changed my life. It was from my oldest brother, Moker. He invited my family to vacation with his, in North Carolina, at the Outer Banks. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and it's a short hop to the beach. We don't, and it isn't. But...

This brother is 7 years older than I am. When I was 9, he was driving. Every Saturday morning, he had to take me to my swimming lessons at the YMCA, in the neighboring town. I used to charge his friends a nickel to talk to him on the phone. I'd hang up if they didn't promise to pay the next time they were over. I was a PEST.

When he went off to college, I was only 11. I guess you could say we weren't tight. So when he called so many years later and extended the invitation for the beach vacation, I felt like Sally Field when she won the Oscar, and she got up on stage and said "You like me! You really like me!" We went.

And have been going ever since.

Soccer Boy in his Speedo (sorry)

We have stories. Memories. The time we went to the restaurant and realized, in the middle of dinner, that we were one child short (he was downstairs back at the beach house, asleep). The time I was pregnant with Soccer Boy and refused to get back in the car after a rest stop in Milwaukee, 90 minutes from home, with 16 hours more to drive. The time we went crabbing and Uncle Moker got bit when he was showing the kids the "right way" to take a crab out of the net. He shook his hand violently, and the crab hung on. Blood flew all over. The kids may have learned a few new words that day!

Reading on the beach. Getting sun poisoning, and an itch so bad it just could not be soothed. Having ice cream on the Boardwalk on a hot summer night. Then going home to walk the beach with flashlights and look for ghost crabs. Boogie boarding. Eating crab. Eating more crab. Buying T-shirts to wear 'til they wore out and we went back the following summer to restock. Sitting on the beach with a bucket of Rocks (Rolling Rock, from Latrobe, PA, for the uninitiated).

Floating in an inner tube and watching dolphins, then realizing I was too far from shore and unable to get back in alone. Being towed back to shore by a cute young college boy in a yellow kayak. The walk I had on the beach with my oldest just last summer, when he confided in me that maybe getting married in the fall might not be a good idea.

And Cornflake Monster. But you have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that!


alamodestuff said...

Beach vacations are the best! I've been wanting to visit the Outer Banks! We're heading to the Cape in a few weeks w/ my family.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your advice. I've been letting the car sit with windows down in the garage. I think it will just take some time. The whole situation kina makes me laugh.

Stop by and say hello again!!

Sarah Brown said...

We are headed to the beach....my sister lives in Oceanside, Ca tomorrow. I live in AZ and it is time to get out of the heat for awhile.
Thanks for coming by my blog. I will have to order some POPRs when we get back and give them a try.
Have a great week.

Susie said...

What a great memory:-)

Marrdy said...

What a nice post. I love hearing about things like this. And Soccer Boy looks darling in his speedo...the only age when males are allowed to wear speedos!!

freegal1000 said...

awww I love the beach the with cousins!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Your words are powerful u can write a book-love your stories.

Melissa B. said...

Love Soccer Boy in a Speedo! Remember pulling gigantic splinters out of Shark Boy's foot?

Caroline said...

Wonderful story! I love OBX and will hopefully make a trip soon.

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