Sunday, November 16, 2014

Favorite Childhood Event

Some of my absolute favorite memories of my childhood revolve around the yearly Acuff beach trips my extended family would take.  In the early years, there was camping involved.  My memories do not extend that far.  I do have a little bit of photo evidence that I was there:

Grandma and Peepaw (maybe that's me in the crib, hard to say) 1980ish

This is definitely me. ~1980

When my memory kicks in it's when my dad's parents would rent a beach house, usually in Myrtle Beach, SC.  My family, grandparents, my dad's two brothers and their families would all meet there.  These trips took place as early at 1975 (or earlier?) and lasted through the '80's and beyond.  The memories I have of these trips are mostly from 1983 - 1988, ages five to ten years old for me. 

Thing I loved about our trips:

  • My Peepaw (dad's dad) loved the beach.  He was born to be a beach bum.  He loved floating in the ocean with his toes sticking out of the water.  Grandma did not love the beach, but she did love Peepaw and her family, so...

Me and My Peepaw, 1983

  • I remember watching (maybe helping, but probably not) my cousins and siblings build sand castles almost daily.  Not just little ones.  Big, big sand castles that took all day and several Acuff creative minds to build.

Some cousins, who shall remain nameless and our awesome sand castle!  I say "our" as if I helped at all.  This is unlikely.  No, your vision isn't blurry.  This picture is.

  • My cousins.  I'm one of eleven Acuff first cousins.  I really, really love my cousins and their spouses and families.  They are hilarious (must be an Acuff trait) and entertaining, especially when grouped together.  There are seven boys and four girls.  The years these trips were taken, my sister Nikki and I were the only girl grandchildren there.  The other two girls arrived on the scene later.  Nikki and I spent a decent amount of time with our mom and two awesome aunties.  I felt like I got to pretend to be a grown-up since I got to hang out with the "big girls" at times, as opposed to the "little boys" (all my boy cousins).

  • The beach.  Look how much fun I was having!

It is quite possible my siblings will disown me after posting this photo...  But it will be worth it.  How cute are we??
Maybe 1983?

Our beach schedule was something like this: 

10am-2pm BEACH
2pm - inside for lunch and naps, for napping-aged children (somehow I was ALWAYS in this group!?)
5pm - beach, or dinner prep for whoever was making dinner (I don't recall being helpful in this arena. Ever.  At the beach or otherwise...)
After dinner - walk on the beach or go carts or putt putt or something called the Pavillion (is that still a thing at Myrtle Beach?)

At least once during our trip, we would all go shrimping.  My "shrimping" memories consist entirely of trudging through stinky, sticky mud and losing flip flops.  I don't think I enjoyed shrimping all that much.  At that time I didn't even like shrimp, so the whole experience was lost on me.

As a parent now, I wonder a) how exhausting this trip was for the adults and b) how did they keep us all from drowning in the ocean??  I'm pretty sure it was my Peepaw, dad and my two fun-loving uncles that were responsible for watching the kids in the water.  What could go wrong??!  I can only imagine how late we all went to bed every night.  All of us kiddos were strewn about the living room and bedrooms, sleeping on couches or on the floor in sleeping bags.  Kids in the 80's didn't need beds.  I feel like that isn't the case kids require beds...

These "good old days" are about the only days of yore I wouldn't mind going back to revisit.  Fun, fun times with fantastic family.

Is there any childhood event(s), recurring or otherwise that make your top five favorite memory list?


Anne Acuff said...

My Dad took us for a Sunday drive every Sunday , then we stopped for icecream cones. To this day I crave icecream on Sunday's!!! He also took us into the local woods to find a Christmas tree each December. Seems that things that are repeated over a period of time leave a lasting impression

Anne Acuff said...

It's my favorite part of motherhood...creating great memories.