Every summer we load up the minivan with coolers and chairs and children and trek from the mountains to the coast. I’m in search of lazy days with salt-sprayed books, while my kids long for the shell-strewn shore and sand castles. Once we told them they’d have to choose between Disney World and Edisto because we couldn’t do both in the same year.
They chose Edisto.
Perhaps it’s because they really love crab legs from Whaley’s. Or because they all learned to ride bikes along Jungle Road. More likely it’s because for seven days out of the year we play games, eat whatever we want, and don’t enforce bedtime.
These four kids of mine are Edisto traditionalists. We have to do the same things every year.
· Ride bikes and end with ice cream at the video store.
· Stop by King’s Market for sunflowers and key lime pie.
· Gather pails full of shells to take home.
· Find and release hermit crabs in the pools at the Sound.
· Set up Monopoly mid-week when everyone needs a sun break.
· Schedule each child individual sunrise or sunset time.
There’s nothing complicated or even well-planned about our week, but that’s the beauty of living “Edislow”. Back home we run errands and are always on our way to the next ballgame or rehearsal or event. Here, we settle into the sand and hunker down under a beach umbrella with no agenda. Our most thought out plan is what we’ll have for dinner, and even that’s allowed to change on a whim.
These are the memories I hope burrow into their souls, the way those fiddler crabs dig back under the sand. Like my childhood summers on Edisto did for me, I want my children to always have a place where they remember the slow joy of simply being together.
Lindsey P. Brackett writes southern fiction infused with her rural Georgia upbringing and Lowcountry roots. Her debut novel, Still Waters, inspired by family summers at Edisto Beach, released in 2017. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters received 4-stars from Romantic Times and was named an INSPY finalist and the 2018 Selah Book of the Year. Connect with Lindsey and get her free newsletter at lindseypbrackett.com or on Instagram and Facebook: @lindseypbrackett.