By the time Friday rolls around every year, sometimes a few of the kids (usually OURS) are All Done Beach and spend more of their day inside on the couch than in the waves or on the sand.
NOT SO THIS YEAR. Friday marked our third day of no air-conditioning in the house for the week, so nobody was hanging out in there unless they absolutely had to.
We set up our long line of beach umbrellas, and we set about staying as cool in the shade as we possibly could. At 98 degrees.
There wasn't as much of a breeze that last day as there had been earlier in the week, so the ocean was a bit calmer -- but my family still spent most of the day in the water.
And Uncle Gerry is always up for a game of catch.
At one point during the day we looked out and somebody said, "Hey, it looks like the big boys are holding hands."
My favorite part of each day was when the little tidal pools started to fill up. Every day, it reinvented the beach.
It was funny to me how the kids of all ages -- Amelia on up -- would sit and play in the pools. The older kids would just sit and chat, idly swirling their fingers and toes in the water.
I think I love these pictures so much because it's so rare for this many of them to be so still for so long, with no cross words, even among the siblings. I adored it.
Eventually my leg fell asleep and I had to get up or die. So at that point I did make my presence known and asked for a picture with faces. Nick didn't disappoint.
If you noticed Amelia and Abby missing from those pictures, it's because Amelia was monopolizing Abby for a game of chase-and-hug.
After supper Friday night the kids went right back out to the beach for a game of Capture the Flag. I've never understood the rules of that game, and this evening only muddied the waters.
Here, for example, one chief places her hand on the chest of one Indian as two other chiefs approach in verbal protest.
Below, one of the approaching chiefs has ended up on the ground. Meanwhile, in the background, the forgotten Indian is now a chief, giving directions to someone twice his age. Meanwhile, a chief in the far background is giving polar opposite directions to another Indian.
Now they've been at this for 15 minutes and absolutely nothing has happened. The game has not yet begun. Still, hands are being raised and fingers are being pointed.
Finally, two teams are divided by the center line.
But before we can even get started, we have two chiefs on the right who seem to have totally different plans. Looks like this is the point at which Nathaniel gave up. #cantblamehim
No, they actually played for about an hour, and although it looked like chaos to me, apparently they had fun.
Then it was inside to pack and sleep in the 90-degree house. Nathaniel opted out. I took this picture of him the next morning. He'd slept outside on the back porch, through a severe thunderstorm complete with lightning -- but he slept through the entire thing.
He was drenched but well-rested. Boy Scout strong, that one.
We got up at 6 a.m. and were off the island by 8:15, then met my grandmother's former caregiver Anne in my dad's hometown for brunch at 10. Sweet Anne sat with Grandmother for the last eight years of her life, and she became part of our family. She loves our kids like her own grandkids, and she counts on seeing us when we make the beach trip.
We so enjoyed seeing her; it was a great end to our trip. Side note: It's so weird to me that Nathaniel is bigger than Anne is. Not just taller, but an actual bigger PERSON. Weird.
Okay, so now we've wrapped up with the beach ... it's back to real life!