This weekend, I went along with my family to the Gulf. We dragged out our pop up camper, hitched it up to our 1993 paint-peeling suburban that my father rebuilt (at risk to life and limb), and drove several hours to the shore, before setting up at a camping ground on top of some particularly vicious fire-ants.
The drive down was a high point: the windows rolled down (no functioning air conditioning), we played the alphabet game, and sang whatever we felt like–one person would start and the others would chime in, harmonizing, and singing around: Amazing Grace, Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, Be Thou My Vision, and Who Threw the Overall’s in Mrs Murphy’s Chowder. I tried to sing Over in Killarny, but received dark looks from the cool 16-year-old, along with muttering comments about drunken-sounding off-key singing. But mostly, it was hymns, and the like. What Wondrous Love is This and my sister with her low vibrant voice, Lord I Want to Be A Christian In My Heart… And the whole while, the green trees, lit up by the afternoon sun, flashing by the highway, and my siblings napping on my shoulders, and sharing sips from our cup of soda, and saltine crackers, and my Dad cracking jokes and my mother laughing, and the fake half-fights among siblings that are really fun…
The beach was OK. Saturday it was sunny, and there was a ton of people. I huddled with my Dad on shore, equipped with hats and multiple applications of sunscreen. My mom and my siblings jumped in the waves. I joined them for a bit too.
Then Sunday. My siblings woke up burned lobster red. But it was cloudy, which meant my Dad was actually excited about going to the beach
To be continued in part 2