Looks like Florida is going to be hit with a major hurricane in the next day or so. The current Category 3 storm is expected to move up to a Cat 4 before brushing up the east coast of Florida. And that’s where it gets a little too close to home for me.
We had vacationed in a little known place called Jekyll Island, Georgia since 1977. My parents, brother and I, along with 3 other families and their children. We all crammed into small little rentals, sharing food, floor space and waited (im)patiently for the bathroom. As the years passed and we spent each summer on the island, the accommodations got better and “the kids” as we were all known, would look forward to reconnecting and spending time together on the beach and going in and out of our parents own respective houses. Many summers of hanging out from morning til night on the beach, or watching The Pirate Movie over and over and over, it became “our place”.
As my fathers retirement grew closer, he knew that’s where he wanted to be and bought a house there. It is a beautiful huge house, fitting for my parents. Room for our family, room for friends, room for making memories. Mom and Dad would be able to go back and forth between Ohio and Georgia as they wished, spending the bitter cold winter months of Ohio on the sandy beaches we all loved so much. They added rooms to the house, updated the kitchen to one right out of a coastal magazine and enjoyed themselves so much. It was a dream realized, almost 3 decades in the making.
So when I hear that this hurricane could be running right up the east coast, directly into the path of our island, it makes me a little anxious. I’m thankful that the renovations done had to be up to hurricane code. I’m thankful that my Mom is not there. I’m thankful for flood insurance and homeowners insurance. If something, God forbid, happens to the house, it can be rebuilt. It’s a house. It can’t take our near 40 years worth of laughter and tan lines. Of sneaking out, or being busted by island cops as we set off fireworks on the beach. Of finding my parents making out like high schoolers on the boardwalk and deciding if we were going to throw up or bust out laughing. Of singing still to do this day, songs from The Pirate Movie.
Be kind, Matthew. We have lots of memories to still be made there. “I want a happy ending!!”