Sandcastles and Seashells

Sandcastles and seashells
Bring memories sweet
Of summers and beaches
Where families meet.

Young babies wear sunhats
And dig in the sand,
While Mommies bare midriffs
And try for a tan.

The children build castles,
With turrets and moats,
And everyone goes for a ride
On the floats.

Young teenagers stroll by
To see and be seen,
And every boy searches
For his beauty queen.

We jump in the waves and
We play volleyball,
But a rainstorm will send us
Off to the mall.

In the evening we play games,
Especially Hearts,
Or Trivial Pursuit, to show
Who is smart.

Some greet the sunrise and
Go for a walk,
While others sleep late, have
Coffee, and talk.

After supper each evening,
We all like to rove,
When the sand and the sea are all
Silver and mauve.

We wade in the waves as they
Break on the shore,
And know that our memories
Will last evermore.

By Saralyn McAfee Smith

From the time Robbie and Laura were just a year old,
we took them to the beach each year, despite living
smack in the middle of the country, in Kansas.
My extended family (my parents and my four brothers and
their families) would rent a large house right on the
beach in Ocean Isle, North Carolina, each summer. From the first,
Robbie adored the ocean and the beach, and would usually
spend most waking hours either in the water or on the beach.
He looked forward to it all year long, and would talk endlessly
of it once we were back home again.
In the top photo, Robbie is not quite 2 years old,
and he is sitting on his beloved Grandpa's shoulders; my
Dad was 72 years old at that time.

Robbie's first glimpse of the ocean,
Ocean Isle City, NJ, June 1984, age 10 months

Robbie and Mommy react to the cold water!

Daddy holding both Robbie and Laura at Ocean Isle City.

Our favorite duplexes at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

A closer view of the two duplexes that we rented. Each side had
6 bedrooms, so there was plenty of room for our large extended family.

One of the covered decks at the edge of the sand; this was a
favorite place to sit early in the morning or in the evening.

Robbie digging in the sand at Ocean Isle Beach in 1985 when he
was not yet two years old. His sister Laura, 2 years old,
is to his left. Helping Robbie is his Uncle Jerry.

Robbie playing in the sand at Ocean Isle Beach, also in 1985.

Robbie and his cousin Beth build a sandcastle at Ocean Isle Beach.

Robbie and Beth are buried up to their necks! Laura decided
just to supervise!

Robbie with Mommy and Laura in their matching swimsuits, 1987.
Robbie is not quite 4 in this photo.

Robbie with some of his many cousins on the deck of the duplexes.
Robbie is sitting in his cousin Tim's lap; Laura is on Jeff's lap,
at the far right, but she is looking down. Robbie and Laura were
the youngest of my parents' 12 grandchildren, and were actually closer
in age to some of the great grandchildren.

Eating out at the Japanese steak house in Myrtle Beach in 1987,
always a favorite activity! Robbie's beloved Grandma is at the far right.

Inside the beach house, Robbie is playing with his older cousin,
Andy. Andy was one of his favorite cousins, as he would play with Robbie
and take him out into the ocean on one of the floats.

Robbie playing Nintendo, one of the favorite activities on a rainy day or
in the evenings.

Robbie at the small water slide in Ocean Isle. When the kids
got older, they preferred to drive down into Myrtle Beach, where
there were much larger water parks and other activities. One of
the older cousins could almost always be persuaded to drive them down!

Robbie, on the far right, playing cars in the beach house with
Devin, the son of Robbie's older cousin, Suzie; Devin is one of
the generation after Robbie's, as Robbie was the youngest grandchild.

The summer we had a wedding at the beach, when my nephew Andy
married April. The wedding itself was at a church inland, but
the reception was held at the beach houses.

Robbie, Laura, and Mommy all dressed up and ready to go to Andy and
April's wedding.

Robbie working on his cross-stitch at the beach, 1995, age 11.

To see some of Robbie's cross-stitch designs, click HERE.



The music playing is "Seaside," an original compostion by J. Eshleman, II: ESH