14 April 2011

this beach

I've had the opportunity to stand on many sandy beaches. Some on tiny lakes, some on Great Lakes, some on Oceans. Something about the sand and the water and the breeze just makes me feel so peaceful. I love to curl my toes into the sand, whether the sand be hot and dry or cold and wet. I love to watch the waves roll up the shore, each one different yet the same.

Each ocean beach is always compared in my mind.

At Long Beach the waves were much colder & forceful than...
And Newport Beach & Laguna Beach seemed more like a neighborhood beach than...
Clearwater Beach had calmer waves and better groomed shores than...
Oceanside Beach had sparklier sand than...
Off the coast of the Gambia the water was so much warmer than...
In the Caribbean the water was bluer than...
Panama City had finer, whiter sand than...



...this beach.

This beach holds history for me. Myrtle Beach will always, always, be a reminder of family. Even with my horrible memory-bank, I recall long, long ago when we camped at the beach every Easter vacation. As many of the Lewis crew as possible would load up and drive down (with as few vehicles as possible, if I recall correctly). I remember spending miles and miles in the back-end of a Chevrolet Cavalier...happily! Eventually, the campground was demolished but not before Grandpa & Grandma invested in a condo timeshare. Family trips continued! And as the family grew, so did the number of condo units... now there are 2 units for 2 weeks in the Spring and 1 unit for 1 week in the fall!

So when the opportunity came up for the boys and I to head over there last week, I couldn't pass it up. Brad & I had gone together once when I was pregnant with Wilson. I believe everyone in the Lewis family that was there that week will attest to it being the ABSOLUTE worst weather ever. So there weren't a lot of picture-perfect memories from that trip, but there has been a lot of laughter about it since... and we did all watch as the Iraqi people toppled that statue of Saddam Husein and then hit its head with their sandals once it fell. That's something.

I went again with Wilson when Brad was in Basic Combat Training. I found out while I was there that I was pregnant with Walker. It was fun to share that news with my mom, grandparents, and a couple of my aunts. We even found an "I'm the Big Brother" t-shirt for Wilson to wear when we got back to MI.

I guess it only makes sense that we went back this year while we are once again expecting - this time through adoption!

Here are the boys on a brisk morning on the beach, scouring for shells from the high tide. PJ's, sweatshirts and ocean breezes... What a great way to wake up!And this just makes the whole trip worth it. My words fail to describe the emotions I feel about being blessed to spend time on This Beach with Grandpa & the boys.
Grandpa loves this beach. He enjoyed his time down there every day. It was great to watch him watch the boys... and then he'd spot a shell he needed to add to his collection. It was just so wonderful! It was so incredibly hard to visit him at the nursing home at Christmastime. I told Brad when we got home, that Grandpa just seemed so happy down there at the beach.
And these pictures by the Condo sign have been a tradition for as long as they've been going there. Aunt Lori teared up as we got ready to get the picture snapped. Which of course, made me tear up. Grandma is deeply missed. Grieving is messy and hard and hits at unexpected moments. But even in the midst of the grief there is joy... and I think this picture captures that!

Supposedly timeshares are a bad investment, but I'm sure Grandpa doesn't regret it for a minute. Sure the dividends might not be reflected in his bank account, but there are immeasurable joyful memories stored up in each member of the Lewis clan because of Grandpa & Grandma's decision to buy this timeshare.

I am so grateful that God blessed us with this semi-spur-of-the-moment trip to this beach!

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