Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAMILY (01/21/16)
TITLE: The Family's Vacation
By Diane M. Bowman
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So the Grandpa and Grandma and Uncles and Aunts and Cousins, with hearts full of anticipation great enough to make the trip short and yet very long, made their way to a house that stands on the shore of Chincoteague Island.
There they piled into the house and spread their luggage around by means of an elevator that went up and down. For since the house stood three stories tall, with the kitchen on the top, the food for the Family must all go up. That elevator went up and down, up and down, until all was where it should be. Then it still went up and down, up and down, until the Uncles reminded some Boys that they ought to consider playing with toys.
As the weekend passed, the Family ate and slept and breathed and laughed and prayed together. But as most families have, they had a little sigh in every laugh and a little emptiness at the table, for they wished two more chairs had been full. Chairs left vacant by the ones whose absence broke the family circle. Still the sheer joy of the love of the Family overrode their sadness.
The Cousins opened their Christmas gifts with gusto. Toolboxes and wildlife cameras and helicopters and games and puzzles were delighted in, and truth be told, sometimes scuffled over.
They walked on Assateague's beaches, gathered shells, spotted wild ponies, and built sand castles. Bikes were ridden and surf fishing was accomplished. I say that fishing was accomplished, because, after all, we all know the point of the fishing isn't to catch fish, (though that would be an added bonus) but to stand, with feet in sand, and listen to waves crashing on the shore. To watch that line bob up and down in the water as the sea gulls cry and salty air clears your sinuses and wipes the cobwebs out of your soul.
Even though it was January and not terribly warm, a little excitement can warm the body and time with Family can warm the soul. Once warm, you, of course, begin to think of ice cream. That weekend, the Family became a familiar sight at Island Creamery, an ice cream shop that makes a wonderful array of flavors, like Pony Tracks and Rocket Fuel and Snickers Cheesecake, all served up in freshly made waffle cones. Waffle cones so fresh that the smell of them permeates the air.
The smallest members of the Family were without argument, the cutest.
"'Riah!" cried Janae as she stepped from her bedroom one morning.
"'Nae!" responded Mariah. And the two toddled off to begin their day.
Two Cousins, only a few months apart in age and just old enough to discover each other, they spent the weekend learning the art of building relationships. Sometimes the "'Riah!" was said with dismay as Janae's carefully ordered toys took a sudden trip across the room, but it only took a minute until the tone of the "'Riah" changed to a question as Janae went in search of her little friend.
As you may know, January in Virginia is a rather fickle month. One day, you need only a light jacket and the sun warms you through and through, the next, bitter winds blow and snow flies. It was no different the weekend of the Family's vacation. Saturday saw bare feet in the surf but Sunday was another story all together. Sunday brought just enough snow to build snowmen, and as children do, (Children of all ages, that is.) the Family left snowmen wherever they went. Did you know that if you build a snowman on the beach, it invariably will contain equal parts of snow and sand? Also, shells make pretty buttons and eyes. Sea lettuce can be formed into a mouth for the most wonderful, sandy snowman you have ever met.
Alas, as with all good things, they must end. Monday brought with it the end of the stay and the Family packed up their things and drove away. But they took with them all their memories.
Lots of sand.
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