Same Place Different View

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2009

It has been three years since we last visited Rodanthe. We love to stay at this one particular rental house, Sandcastle By Dawn. The house is on the first row, ocean side, and we make payments all year long so we can stay here and have a family vacation. The first time we stayed was in 2009. The rip currents were severe, the beach rocky, and we had to climb over a dune to reach the beach. The houses on either side of us had pool. The next year, the pool next door to our right was filled with sand. In 2011, the house to our right has severe water damage, the lower level of the house was full of sand, and was now condemned. On the bright side, our house, as we’ve come to call it, was fine. The dune was gone, and our walk to the beach was much less taxing.

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2010

After hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 we couldn’t stay in our house, because there had been so much damage to the property and the surrounding area. The roads were washed away and several houses nearby were damaged. Although we had already reserved the house for that summer, our reservation was put on hold for the following year. The septic system had been damaged and our house was still not available in 2013. Finally, this summer, our house and the roads were ready. We waited breathlessly to hear whether hurricane Arthur had damaged it.

Luckily, the damage caused by Arthur was mild in comparison to Sandy, and we were able to keep our plans to come to the beach. Phew!  But when we arrived we were in for a shock. Three houses to the left were gone. The house to the right had been reclaimed and was occupied, but the pool still was gone. Our house was now just feet from the ocean. I was speechless. Will our house be here next summer? How will we feel if our house is taken by a storm during the year? How close will the ocean be next summer? We spent the first hour unloading the car, looking around, and just staring silently at how close the water was from our back door, now literally just steps away during high tide.

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2014

Come to find out that all three houses to our left had been moved by the county to other beachfront locations further south. Thank goodness they had not been damaged by Sandy or Arthur. Our realtor told us that our house was very solid and would be safe for the next few years, that the pilings were reinforced and there was little chance of losing it. What a relief.

The point of my story is that it is all about perspective. We care very much about what happens to this house, even though it is not really our house, because have shared so many happy memories here and hope to continue gathering memories in the future. We feel at home here. When we thought that the houses next door had been irreparably damaged by hurricane Sandy, we were sick with worry about the future of our house. Once we found out those houses had been moved and our house was structurally sound and in no danger of being lost to the ocean, we so were relieved, our perspective changed. Our view may have changed, but our place, our house was still the same.

We’ve already reserved our house for next year.

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Sunrise Over Rodanthe

Beach week officially began this morning. The view is spectacular!

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Posts will be sparse this week, I’m going to enjoy the ocean and the time with my family.

My Most Prized Possession

I have been married and divorced a few times, but I have held onto many of the ex-family members. So, now I have relatives, step-children, siblings and adopted siblings ( the same thing, in my mind), children, parents, step-parents, in-laws, ex-in-laws, a husband, and an ex-husband to count among my family. They are my most prized possession(s).

A Loss (Post 1 of 3)

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Recently my uncle passes away. We were not necessarily very close and I had not seen him in years because the family has spread out all over the United States, literally from coast to coast. And even though I have not seen my cousins, aunts, and uncles in many years, we stay in touch and keep each other up-to-date through Facebook.

I was not able to attend the funeral because of the short notice and the location and I was disappointed. I realized how old we are all getting as a family, and it occurred to me that this was the first set of my cousins to have lost both of their parents–my aunt, had passed away almost 12 years earlier. This realization hit me pretty hard. What if it had been my mother or father, or both? I started to really think about the fact that my parents are aging, whether I recognize it or not. I may still see them in the same way that I always have, and they may still see me like a child, but the reality is that we are all getting older and I need to start preparing for the eventuality that my parents will be gone someday. I didn’t like this feeling one bit.

The saying goes that when someone dies a new life begins, and I can say that this has brought new life to me. It spurred me to continue with a family genealogy project I started many years ago.  I have been working on this project again, little by little, over the last several months and have expanded it to over 500 people. I have connected my family tree to other trees within the network and have found more information on-line than ever before. So, while the family suffered a loss, working on the family genealogy has given me a sense of purpose, a new appreciation for life, and a new appreciation for my family.