A big family reunion was held at my mom's this Saturday. When we got there I thought I was going to cry seeing family I haven't seen in years. About 8 or 9 extended family members used to have beach houses (bungalows) in the same community in Long Island and were always together - at the beach all day, having big barbecues, and sitting under the lantern lights having drinks while us kids would play in the dark - catching lightning bugs, hide-and-seek, flashlight tag, etc. My family summered there every year since 1959. Families would "open up" their bungalows in April or early May. They'd go out there every weekend til school was out and then all the moms would be there from June straight through to September. And the dads worked so they came out on the weekends.
Days were spent on the beach, at the natural clay mountain, at the state park, and at the tons of parties always held somewhere. Then one by one in September each family would "close up" for the fall and winter - turning off the water, boarding up the windows, etc. It was always a sad time for me. I never wanted the summers to end. And then over the years as the first generation of our family aged, bungalows were sold, their children moved away, and the best summers in the world now seemed a distant memory.
Seeing so much of my extended family on Saturday was wonderful. We sat and ate and drank and gabbed for hours while the new generation of kids ran around having a great time. It was a fantastic day.
We stayed over and mom, sis, B, and the kids went to the beach all day Sunday. I stayed back, spending more time with my aunt and uncle who flew in from Montana, and another 2nd or 3rd cousin and her husband who came over that day. I was told the tide was low at the beach and they could walk all the way out to a wooden raft that was anchored out a bit. The kids found horseshoe crabs, small pink crabs, mussels, clam shells, and small pretty spiral shells. They swam in the warm water and ate french fries and ice cream from the concession stand. So fun.