Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Seventeen Sounds

WARNING: The following words are extremely family infused- stretching even to extended family. (Yawn -- and keep in mind, I have trouble with "short".) In other words, it may only interest those who are mentioned and maybe not even them.

As I sat in the turquoise kitchen of the house on St. George Island down-
loading pictures I had taken of my cousin’s family, I realized all 17 of us were in the same room. I didn’t notice it because of lack of space, but because of the sounds. No particular person was making that much racket, it was just that there were, well, 17 people. Six were at the dining table playing cards (and 5 of them were waiting-not patiently- for Daddy to finish his turn-- AGAIN). One was standing in front of the open refrigerator, tapping fingers on the handle, with that familiar blank-really-not-hungry stare. Three little boys were putting blue plastic train tracks together, each with their own brilliant idea. Julia was opening all the lids of the homemade goodies deciding which one she would like to enjoy next. Two were reclined in the adjoining den watching ESPN. Another was napping, though I am not sure how. One was doing laundry and the 2 ½ year old was singing, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. I thought, now, THIS is fun. So as the week slipped by, I realized there were lots of little things I was able to learn about my family because of this opportunity to live together for a week. So here goes.......

My Dad- Because he doesn’t care for the beach, I think he likes this trip for the 6 days out of the year he gets to have oyster omelets for breakfast. (It is almost hard to sit at the table with him.) However, it is easy to overlook his morning eating habit after tasting the dinner he prepares!
My Mom- She just basks in the notion that all of her family is together and that there is usually someone around that wants to play cards. Every time I see her, she has a grin on her friendly face except maybe when she is losing at cards or there is no ice in the freezer for her glass of tea.
Blake- Being the A/C lover he is, I can’t figure out exactly why he comes, but we are glad he does because we all benefit from his ability to cook seafood. He unashamedly loves my kids to a fault which endears him to me even more.
Adele- Even at the beach, she has a thing for doing laundry and taking extremely good care of her children. The most I saw her eat all week was when a pie made with Pa Paw-grown blueberries was served.
RJ- For a boy on the brink of his driver’s license, he loves hanging out and helping with the children, even when it comes to answering Brighton’s questions about the pool lights at 2 in the morning or flying Thomas the Train kites. As we like to say in south Georgia, “He’s a fine young man.”
Hunter- What 13 year old goes to the beach without her Coach purse and her Costa del Mar sunglasses? She is super helpful and, on this trip, she endured a 6 year old sleeping partner and a blonde headed snorer almost every night. I see glimpses of my own childhood in hers—minus the purse and sunglasses.

Uncle George—We found out that this “man’s man” has been reading romance novels under the guise of “historical fiction”. When he doesn’t have a fishing pole in his hand or when he's not rubbing his wife's back, he is our amazing fry cook.
Aunt Patsy- This little 5 foot woman has irrepressible energy, a knack for making things fun and a reputation for getting stains out. The fact that she has her husband reading romance novels with her says all the rest.
Bill and Patty- Every bone in their bodies were fashioned to be helpful except for a couple, maybe, and those were reserved for being fun and “smart alecky”. Jeff and I enjoyed beating them in cards every night--- or was it the coffee drinking ritual? Or maybe the whipped cream?
Brayden and Barrett- During the day, they reminded me of the sand crabs that scurried about the beach—small and fast-- but at night, when tiredness would descend, it didn’t matter where they were. Like Mr. McGoo, their eyes would begin to droop and they would give in to sleep, though not without a noble fight.
Ivey- Her adorable face produces a smile that has at least 1000 watts and she loves to play “get me!”
Jeff- He values my love for the ocean and encourages me to get my fill. With much fervor, he plays cards like he has been doing it as long as I have! (Of course, I taught him well.) And even on vacation, he can’t sleep past 7.
Julia- Just like me, she likes to find treasures (shells) and appreciates a yummy Georgia peach, eating one with each pass through the kitchen. One night, she proved herself relentless when it came to catching sand crabs in her net but squealed as loud as I did when the crab mistook our feet as part of his escape route.
Brighton- His love of building/constructing followed him to the beach, as well as his need for goggles. His capability of amassing great quantities of sand in his swim suit lining was stunning.
I learned that both of my kids can function on VERY little sleep, happily watch the same “Tweety Bird” cartoon over and over and maneuver a boogie board surprisingly well.
As for me, I never get my fill of the ocean, though I think it would be a dream come true to try! However, now that I am home, I could go a few more days without squeezing sunscreen out of a tube and tackling the thankless job of sand maintenance 24/7! So, what AM I missing now that I am home? Without hesitation, my answer would be the sounds of 17 people.
Here they are!

Mom and Dad, fortunately, the week lasted longer the caramel cakes, but still slipped by quicker than seemed possible. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to make these memories in such a lovely house on such a beautiful stretch of deserted beach. The people you invite are okay too. Lots of love to EACH of you.

( Bill, cool necklace you've got there. If you don't remember which one you chose for the picture, click on the picture to enlarge it. And Mom, can this be my "thank you note?)


"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

This is great for all of us who wish we were one of the family. The comment about Uncle George is priceless!

Anonymous said...

It was even better than you describe it sis. Best 1 yet. Already counting down to next year. Folks, NOBODY loves the sun and beach better than Krista. squeeze the kids. luv bsd

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was another fun week. It just never lasts long enough. You didn't mention Julia's first black eye. You've written a great "thank you note" as always. You also did a great job as our "official photographer." My very special daughter!!! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Alright, let's be fair! I only did 3 loads of laundry this year and it was for my guys who never pack enough beach clothes. I wish I had that washing machine now. Mine is broken now! What will I do???? It really was a great time for someone who can't stand the sand and sunscreen mixed together. YUK! Maybe I can be known as the "dip" woman instead of the "laundry" woman next year. Each year seems to get a little bit better. I love the pictures! Love, AHD

Beth said...

Do you think you could find a role for me at next year's gathering? I'll do whatever needs to be done--scrub the tiolets? wash dishes?

Sounds and looks like a wonderful family vacation--thanks for sharing it with us!

Krista said...

BSD- Maybe Aunt Patsy??? Consider them squeezed.
Mom- she was proud of that black eye and is now sad it is gone. The only problem with my photography is that I forgot you and Dad!
AHD-- you are right!!! How could I forget the yummy dips and my favorite -- the amazing brownies you made. Kind of like Xmas-- you forget because there is SO much. Okay....... only 3 loads... are you sure??? ; )
Beth-you'd want out by Monday morning!

nikki said...

first, i wasn't in the trip- but found this so fun to read!!! second, i'm coming next year!

Kathie said...

You may be "long winded" but I never tire of reading your stuff!
The card playing is what really gets my attention. Being a card player from way back, my visits with my family include many hours spent "shuffling and dealing" (and of course winning!) kath

TJ Wilson said...

Still smiling at the images of your mom without ice and your dad's oyster omelets. Yikes.
Sounds incredible, feel like I was there with your descriptions. RJ looks SO MUCH like BSD. Wow. Great words, great photos, great family.
I guess I'm ok being left out of a family vacation, as long as your dad continues his generosity with his pickled okra.

Dondra said...

loved hearing about your vacation! It sounds just as sweet (and crazy) as ours was! :)