Monday, January 16, 2012

Cousin Camp and Salma's Giveaway

Every other summer (more or less), my sisters and I gather up our mother, husbands, and kids and head for the beach at Hilton Head South Carolina for a week or so.  Each family gets a condo, we take turns cooking, and the kids all run in a pack.  I love those weeks at the beach.

We bring special foods to cook that my sister who now lives in Virginia doesn't get up there.  Once we arrive, my mom rents a whole row of umbrellas at the beach and we all rent bikes.  Everything is so close to hand:  pool, beach, and each other.  We only ever get in the car to go to Pirate's Island for our big putt-putt tournament:  girls against boys.

My husband is a great breakfast cook and I'm always an early riser, so the nieces and nephews always know they can rely on an early meal at our place with their uncle as chef.  Once I get my coffee, I bike down to the beach to lie under an umbrella, listen to the waves, and read, read, read.  I make the occasional foray from the shade to build a sand castle or swim with the little kids.  I don't like to be in the sun, though, so any long walks for me are limited to early morning or late evening.  Lovely lazy days.

If I don't feel like the beach, there's the pool, or someone's shady porch to sit on.  We play board games and cards, make puzzles, and cook together.  I usually have some hand-sewing or a knitting project, with which I have many little helping (ahem) hands.  Mothers who need a break from the constant demands of little ones have lots of help from older cousins, aunts and uncles.  (I'm happy to offer my napping services for the under-5 crowd.)  We have a few fiddle and guitar players who enjoy getting together, too.  Once the boys became interested in video games, they started bringing their Wii and now I routinely lose every game of "Mario Brothers Dance Dance Revolution."  But I keep trying...

Over the years, the little children have grown up and new babies have come along.  The once early-rising little ones turn into night-owl teens and twenty-somethings.  Some milestones have happened, like this past summer, 7-year-old Vava learned to ride her two-wheel bike with no training wheels.  I captured the whole thing on video and emailed it to any family who weren't there.  We generally celebrate summer birthdays, including Gem's.  (She is one who has changed into a night-owl 15-year-old.)  In the next couple of years, we will welcome new great-nieces and nephews.

In all, I am so thankful to be part of a larger family who love and support one another.

When Salma came along with her giveaway of scrapbooking software, I couldn't resist.  The simple Turn Up the Heat template brought me back to those easy-going, happy beach days of Cousin Camp.  If you're reading this, I hope you enjoy Salma's blog, Chasing Rainbow, and take a look at her giveaway.


  1. Those family traditions are such a gift. When I was growing up, we went every year to "the old homeplace" where my mom and her 7 siblings grew up. Lots of aunts and uncles and cousins! Now one of those cousins has the old place and he hosts a family reunion every few years. It's wonderful to see the children claiming this place as part of their heritage, too. And it's great that all us cousins stay in touch.

    1. So true, Galen. Each year, each person, young and old, is a gift.


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