OIB 2010

Man. What a crazy-awesome week last week was. The kind where you’re too busy having fun to take many pictures. But really, pictures could never do it justice. For some reason, I’ve been putting this post off. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just hard to put it into words. And maybe I’ve gotten lazy and started using pictures instead of words.

Every year, for a week, my mom’s family goes to the beach. I’m not talking about my grandparents and cousins. I’m talking about great-aunts and uncles, 2nd and 3rd cousins, the whole enchilada.

These people.

Okay, so ALL of these people don’t go to the beach, but a lot of them do. (This was everyone at Thanksgiving this year.) My grandfather has 9 brothers and sisters. And 6 of the go to the beach every year together, along with their families and various other cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and out-laws. Some of them just aren’t able, including Papa. But it doesn’t matter. It’s just like we’re a part of their immediate families, anyway.

I guess the part that’s amazing to me is that the Reas are so big, but they still take the time and make the effort to get together every year, multiple times a year. I know many families that are much smaller that don’t even take the time to do that. I hope this is something that we continue to do forever. As I’ve gotten older, this has become something even more special to me.

This is only the 3rd year that we’ve gone to the beach. Growing up, we always had camps and other things going on in the summer that kept us from going. Although I wish we had been going for forever, I’m just glad we go now.

The way the Reas do the beach is how I like to do the beach. Wake up in the morning, put your bathing suit on, eat breakfast, and go out on the beach. Nobody lays out. The “old people” sit under the umbrellas or go for walks. The “young” people are in the water, on a boogie board or on a huge raft. Come in for lunch to a tomato sandwich that Aunt Betsy grew in her garden with tons of mayo, salt, and a little pepper. A slice of cheese if you’re lucky. Sun chips, bowls of watermelon, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and a slice of cake if there’s still room. Ice cream if there’s not. After lunch, take a nap, go shopping, or watch a movie. Get up and go back out in the water for a few hours before dinner. Fresh boiled shrimp, fried okra, corn on the cob, slaw, and more tomatoes and fruit for dinner. Cornbread’s a given. Then everyone just hangs out. Plays a few board games, watches a movie. Go to bed early and wake up and do it all over again. Don’t fix your hair because it’ll just get messed up again. No make-up because you just are going to have to take it off. It really is too bad we all have lives we have to come home to.

We got there on Sunday, just in time to eat Allan’s pig that he had cooked. It was delicious. No vegetarians in this family. If there are, they weren’t at this meal. Then different groups performed songs or skits they had come up with. The Roy Huntley’s were a big hit with their medley of the family’s names.

Uncle Ralph and Aunt Betsy singing Tell Me Why. I love that song.

And after that, we just kept on jammin’ and dancin’.

Lillian decided one afternoon that an onion peel would make a good hat. This little one followed me around all week and can I just say that I LOVED IT!! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she has those big brown eyes and is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Mama and Aunt Betsy had the same bathing suit! Hahaha so funny!

Loooooong walk to get to the beach. (But totally worth it. The only bad part is that it gets SO HOT during the middle of the day that you can’t even walk on it!)

The last day we were there, we went to the beach for the last time that afternoon. It thundered a few times, so we go out of the water. Approximately 27 seconds after we all got out of the water, it started POURING.

So Mariah and I finished our puzzle during it.

But at the end of it, we were treated to the most beautiful rainbow!

Not a bad way to end a great week, if I do say so myself.

“The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, just like the sea turtles.” -Sandy Archibald.

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2 Comments on “OIB 2010”

  1. Steve B says:

    Sloan,

    Wow what a great synopsis of the beach gathering that has become such a key tradition in our family. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Cousin Steve

  2. […] usual 4th of July shenanigans were disrupted this year because of real life and work. But this year was still fun, […]


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