Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ten Years on St. George Island

 {I’ve used this caution before.}
WARNING:  MORE THAN USUAL FAMILY-INFUSED BLOG POST If you aren’t one of the 17 (or so), more than likely you’ll want to skip out on this one.

The beach trip is hard to write about because, to me, it’s so big, or maybe it's because there are so many pieces that come together that make the week the pinnacle of summer.  Just a few of the pieces...road trip-- and the road trip playlist {!!!}, extended family living in the same house, yummy food, card playing, Aunt Ebby’s, new books started and finished, sore stomach muscles from laughing, more yummy food, late nights and then there's the BEACH itself and all that comes with that!  Spending it with people you truly enjoy just makes it all the sweeter.  Even minimal housework seems fun with 16 other people around.

Julia with Brayden and Ivey

On this trip, there are four age groups:  Olders, Middles, Teeners, and the Littles
Our activities overlap somewhat and also, couldn’t be more different.  Some but not all of the Olders' activities are:  preparing breakfast, playing cards almost all day, fixing {yes, I said “fixing” and I am going to say it again later} food for the Littles if one- or five- venture through the kitchen during lunchtime when the Middles are MIA {beach maybe?} , reading books, staring at iPads, planning dinner and grocery shopping.  {The Middles help with this just a tad. A "tad" means very little so I can't put that on our list.}  A couple of them venture to the beach to read and/or play with the Littles or to watch the Littles in the ocean worried that the Middles aren’t watching close enough.

Proof that the Olders work really hard on dinner... we are SO thankful.
The Middles, six of us, are a diverse group.  For the most part, three or four of us are on the beach pretty much the whole time- some under a tent, some not and a couple of them steer clear as much as possible.  Fishing, napping, watching the Littles in the ocean, sunning, fixing food for the Littles, doing laundry, watching the weather radar, eating, watching ESPN, hunting shows and on one occasion this year HGTV because "there's nothing else to watch" announced quite defensively, and aggravating the Littles or a fellow Middle are just a few of the activities of the Middles.  The one thing at least five of us have in common is that we get LOTS of reading done.

How many Littles can fit into one chair?

Hard evidence of a Middle tormenting the Littles

The Teeners sleep late, get a cold breakfast if there is any left, shop, go through a lot of clothes, give pedis to the Littles, help with puzzles, stay up late, handle Really Awkward Situations really well, sunbathe, put on makeup and play Really Energetic Activities with the Littles on the beach.  Their list might not be long but that last one is worth paragraphs.

Scott and Brenda, you've made a lovely girl.  Inside and out.  Thank you for sharing her with us for the week!

Hunter brought her best friend this year, Bailee, who we enjoyed COMPLETELY.  Her Mom and Dad were in my graduating class so I spent my 8th-12th grade year with them every day and every class.  They NEVER dated until after we graduated.  It was my job to teach Bailee how to play our card game so I sat next to her all week {though she caught on after hand #1} so as I would catch her eye from the side all I could think about was her parents because I kept seeing her Daddy's eyes and her Momma's smile-- or maybe her Aunt Glenda's....  {She was also the “wrong person” Mr. Tooth Fairy freaked out in the Really Awkward Situation.  Bless her. I wonder how well she slept the rest of the week.}

The Littles devour yummy hot breakfasts, do “club” in the “clubhouse”, get in and out of the hot tub, ask for food other than what's for dinner {seafood}, play HARD on the beach, get sand in all the right places, lose beach towels, find treasures on the beach, squeal with delight when the Olders, Middles or Teeners play with them, play on DS’s, stay up later every year, go crabbing at least one night, ask to go to Aunt Ebby’s every night {ice cream} and watch movies while they fall asleep.

After the Middles try to clean up dinner before the Olders get to it {since the Olders prepared the bulk of dinner}, the Olders play cards on one end of the table and the Middles play on the other end.  THIS YEAR, the Teeners joined the Middles in playing cards and drinking coffee.  Definitely, a landmark year.  Big stuff.

Chasing parachutes.....

And B going up for the grab.....

And his instant replay if you missed his catch.
 Just a few memories from this year....Frisbee football, starfish under our toes, dolphins EVERY day ALL day, Instagram rookies and Bill with his SGI peeps, Mr. Tooth Fairy freaking out the wrong person, being on the same losing team EVERY night, missing RJ and Meghan, Bill catching a sting ray, puzzles, new recipes every night, favorite recipes every night, four turtle nests in front of the house, Brighton’s hole to Bejiing, Bezzerwizzer {we ALMOST won, Mom!}, can’t-eat-them-they-are-so-hot jalepeno appetizers and the faces that followed, hearing play by play of RJ's at bats in Baltimore from the computer, rain shut outs 2 1/2 days, amazing cooler weather, men drenched from rainy fishing trip, Bill’s bucket of water for Blake

It was on his pole first and then, well, Bill is such a show off. {Hardly.}

The beginning of B's hole-- That's Barrett in the middle
Ivey getting her play from her Daddy
It's serious, folks.
Bill blocking for Ivey

Me and my big mouth-- while taking pictures with my phone, I could not see that my camera had been switched around so I have a series of these pics of my big mouth wide open having a lot of fun thinking I was taking pictures of the frisbee football game.

Check out my Jeff's veritcal!
B celebrating after his winning touchdown-- football in plaid- love it.

A favorite bookstore

This was our first year of finding these.

Aunt Ebby's!!! 

I had several of dolphins-- groups of them, partial bodies, fins and tails-- but the reason for posting this one to show you how close they were.  See the wave breaking on the surf?  I love how everyone stops to watch them.  So mysterious.

Apalachicola is known for its oysters and no matter what amazing topping concoction they come up with to put on top, I canNOT let them slide down my throat.

And then there are the planned pictures...

And a few favorites of my kids...

Just keeping it honest

It was our tenth year on St. George Island and our seventh year in this lovely home.  We realized that RJ was Brighton's age when we first started coming.  Crazy.  Words cannot express what a blessing it is that we enjoy each other as much as we do as different as we are.  RJ was sorely missed and his absence was a big hole for each age group.  Meghan was missed too-- it was a lot quieter around the house without her.  Mom and Dad, thank you oh so very much!  It's a gift of grace.

Oh, and if you are a "Teener", you put your hand on your hip when you have your picture taken.

Until next year.... 


Alyssa said...

It would be so hard to leave that! Good, good stuff there, and I'm so grateful for the recap each year (especially this year's breakdown of the activities of each age group)! And those photos you capture - to die for!

Emily said...

I love the pic mishap as we got to see an extra shot of Krista, normally behind the camera. Love it!

Patti said...

I loved every word of this. Ten years is an amazing feat. There is a little girl in my house who would be VERY interested in seeing it if someone managed to get a photo of "Bill catching a stingray."

Krista Sanders said...

P--can't believe you read the WHOLE thing! You are too sweet. I added a picture of the sting ray. His wife had it {Patty, also} so she texted me one this morning. I hope your girl is not disappointed!