When I was three, my grandparents purchased a beach house on an island off the panhandle of Florida. The island is only about a mile wide and about thirty miles long. This island is called St. George Island. Ever since they made that one small (well maybe rather large) purchase, we have never looked back and regretted that decision. I used to call it, “Grandma Jo’s Florida House!”
Every year, we set aside a week for the whole family to go down to the beach house. We named our beach house “Beach Time” because it is literally right across from the Gulf of Mexico. My grandparents, my mom, stepdad, and stepsister, uncle, aunt, two cousins and I all go down for a week in March. It is a great time for us all to have some great family bonding time as well as get in some beach time!
We have been going down to Florida for almost fourteen years now. It is something we all look forward to every year. We normally start the countdown of days January first. Unlike most families, we can all get along under one roof for a week. We play games, eat some great food and spend most of our time at the beach. It is a great opportunity for us to get away from our busy lives and enjoy being together. We make memories that I know will last a lifetime.
Up until two years ago, we used to have another member of our family with us. Her name was Aunt Sue. She was my grandpa’s sister. She was always the life of the party. In 2009 she passed away and going down to Beach Time has not been the same. We always play UNO whenever we are down there. Each of us has a nickname that we use while playing. For instance, mine is “Monkey.” Aunt Sue’s was “The Church Lady!” (From Saturday Night Live) Every time she would win, she would get up and do “The Church Lady Dance.” (If you don’t know what it is, go to youtube.com and look it up!) Even though she is no longer with us, we still do “The Church Lady Dance” in memory of her.
Everything down at the Florida house holds a special memory of Sue and our family. Without having this house where we all go, we would not have these memories. I am so thankful that we all can be down there together at least once a year (occasionally twice.) My family means so much to me and the fact that I can be with them while enjoying time on the beach is even better!