Family Legacy

When my mom was a child, her family took an annual road trip to North Padre Island, Texas. After school ended for the year, they’d load up their station wagon and head south for 10 days of beach bliss. My Grandpa loved the sea, especially deep sea fishing and swimming while searching for sea life. His love of the beach was passed down to each of his children who maintained this family tradition. While I was growing up we went to the exact same beach, and stayed in the same condos where my mother stayed. It became a family tradition with our entire extended family.

We all loved the beach and developed routines for each beach trip. However, when my sister, cousins, and I grew older we wanted to discover new destinations besides our familiar beach. We’d still take trips to our beloved North Padre Island, but we skipped the family trip to see new things. The last time our family went to North Padre Island was 2008. Both of my grandparents were with us, and we all vividly remember Hurricane Dolly  visiting that year. I’d heard of hurricanes before, but never experienced one until Dolly. Though it was only a category 1 hurricane, Dolly brought incredible winds and more rain than I’d ever seen. Dolly literally chased us all the way up the coastline until Austin. Visibility was null. We could not even see the dots on the highway, and prayed we were within our lanes.  Miraculously, everyone in our family made it home safely that year.

It wasn’t that long ago, but our photo collection is quite sparse for that trip.  We didn’t have smartphones then, and relied on our Cannon Powershot, which we didn’t use much, apparently.

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Grandpa and Aunt Terri enjoyed the beach views from the balcony.

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We fed the seagulls bits of bread from the sea wall.

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We took photos in the sunset.

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The hotel gave us glow sticks as the hurricane came toward us.

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This was the beginning of Dolly’s appearance.

 

Grandma and Grandpa humored us when the family elected to visit Crested Butte, Colorado in 2010.

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It was a lovely trip, and we were all glad we headed north for a change.  Colorado is gorgeous in the summertime, and the hikes were stellar.

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My grandparents welcomed the quads to our family in 2012, and we captured this precious four generation photo.  Grandpa became seriously ill in 2013 and passed.

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The kids have fond memories of visiting Grandma. In fact, Rylin periodically talks about when we blew bubbles on the porch together last summer.  Grandma passed away this spring, and though she lived a full 86 years, it was difficult to say goodbye. After her passing, we all knew that it was time we return to our beloved North Padre Island to honor our family tradition. Also, it would be the first time the quads, and several of the youngest cousins would ever visit the beach.  Our family vacations to the beach are part of our family legacy, which I hope will live on for many more decades to come.

We all die.  The goal isn’t to live forever, it’s to create something that will.

This year, 19 members of our extended family made the trip back to the beach and it would’ve melted Grandma and Grandpa’s hearts knowing that our family tradition is being passed to the next generation.  Stay tuned for details about the trip!

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hugs,

 

Amber


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In 51 Years…

“Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.” -James C. Dobson

Sunday was a momentous occasion for our family as my grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage.  In a society where approximately half of all marriages fail, 60 years is truly remarkable.  I am grateful for the example of a strong, long-lasting marriage they provide for all of us.

Due to lock down, we were unable to celebrate holidays with our extended family this year and I know that broke my grandmother’s heart.  Several months back, she inquired about when the babies would be able to venture out because she wanted nothing more than the ENTIRE family together for their anniversary.  I was pleased to report by late spring we would be good to go, which meant we could make the trek to the party.  On Sunday it finally happened: the babies joined us for an extended family party in honor of my grandparents.

All seven grandchildren were present for the big event.

All seven grandchildren were present for the big event.

Ten of the eleven great grandchildren are in this photograph.  Can you spot BOTH sets of multiples?  Of course the quads are one set, but there are also twin boys in the mix!

Ten of the eleven great grandchildren are in this photograph. My cousin’s youngest son was ill so could not be around the babies (I really appreciated her making sure the quads weren’t exposed). Can you spot BOTH sets of multiples? Of course the quads are one set, but there are also twins in the mix.

This is nearly the entire family.  We are missing just two family members.  I know it made Grandma one happy lady to see everyone for the first time in years.

This is nearly the entire family. We are missing just two family members. I know it made Grandma one happy lady to see everyone all together for the first time in years.

The guests of honor, Grandpa and Grandpa aka GG Paw and GG.

The guests of honor, Grandpa and Grandpa aka GG Paw and GG.

 

Despite it being a summer afternoon in Texas, the weather was stunning.  We enjoyed a southern style picnic complete with roast, macaroni and cheese, green beans, black eyed peas, cornbread, honey buttered rolls and sliced melon.   I packed dinner for the babies, but quickly discovered they preferred the same fare as the rest of the family.  To top it off, black eyed peas were their favorite dish!  We divided the babies up among the adult tables so they each got a bit of individual time and I wasn’t overwhelmed with babies during the meal.

Nisey and Grandpa kept track of Rylin.

Nisey and Grandpa kept track of Rylin.

Haper enjoyed the company of his big cousins.

Harper enjoyed the company of his big cousins.

Mason was posted up at Aunt CiCi's table.

Mason was posted up at Aunt CiCi’s table.

Sydney sat between George and I where she packed away shredded chicken and roast beef!

Sydney sat between George and I where she packed away shredded chicken and roast beef!

After dinner and relaxing outdoors, we moved the shindig inside for a wedding cake and punch reception.  The babies had fun playing with the “big kids” on the floor.  In 51 years, I hope George and I have the quads and their families surrounding us like this!

I always think it's neat how the babies gravitate to children.  They seem to know that even though they are much bigger than themselves they are not yet adults.  Here Michael (one of the twins) is playing with Harper.

I always think it’s neat how the babies gravitate to children. They seem to know that even though they are much bigger than themselves they are not yet adults. Here Michael (one of the twins) is playing with Harper.

Everyone participated in a champagne toast (or sparkling juice) with cake.

Everyone participated in a champagne toast (or sparkling juice) with cake.

Hugs!

Amber

P.S. Grandma, I know you will try to print the pictures from this blog.  However, I am planning to blow up the family portrait to send to you in the mail.  Hang in there =)