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When I was very little we used to make a biennial pilgrimage to my grandmother's house. It involved a 3,000 mile plane ride, which was a big deal in itself in the day; a three hour car trip to the house; and then...two glorious months at the beach. My grandparents lived in an old cottage that they were "winterizing" on Long Island Sound. I remember helping my grandfather count the Morning Glories every morning and grilling lobsters on his Bar-B-Q and lying dish towels on the grass for my grandmother so they would bleach as they dried. My mom used to take us for long walks up and down the beach to hunt for shells and sea glass...but I think it was really to give my grandparents a minute or two of peace. I slept in my uncle's old room. This was sort of a big deal since he'd died many years before and they were "trusting" me to take care of his things.
Follow up:But one of the "coolest" things we were allowed to do was explore the basement on rainy days. It really wasn't as lame as it sounds. You see, there was a whole little world down there with a rug and a couch and chairs. My great grandmother's sewing machine and lamps and a big bookcase full of old children's books. There was my grandfather's workbench with all kinds of tools and even an old, old radio. It was our own little world...and one of the few places we managed to self-referee our typical sibling arguments. That is it was...until my sisters found the lavender towel.
My grandmother had an old white cabinet in the basement that she always kept well stocked with clean towels for "guests" to use when they came in to change from the beach. Sandy feet were definitely NOT allowed in the house. This had never been a problem until the day the lavender towel appeared. You would think it was made of gold instead of being an old, faded, threadbare towel the way my sisters carried on. Our little haven soon became a battleground as they would race to see who got the lavender towel first. Across many summers the vying continued until grandmother moved from the house and the lavender towel arrived at our home with many other things from the cottage. The poor little towel now looked more like a dishcloth but still, the girls argued. The last time I saw it, it was no bigger than a wash rag and still my sisters were aruging about which should be allowed to take the towel to their home. Finally, I asked them what was so special about the towel. They gave me a look that only sisters can dish out and explained that it was special! It was from grandma's house at the beach and it was the color of sea glass. It reminded them of the special summers spent there.
I tell you this not because of the amazing plot twists; but to remind you that in this day of fantastic, expensive, overly planned vacations, to exotic locations sometimes it's the simple trips to lazy places filled with love that are the ones your children will most remember.