Beachcombing 2010

The Atlantic Ocean draws the Fairegarden clan to its sandy shores each year about this time. The endless horizon, bubbling tides, birds diving for fishy breakfast, lunch and dinners and the constant salt air breezes nourishes us.

Isle Of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina is the destination of the caravan that drives from the magic triangle to the end of dry land, to waters teaming with life.

Each morning I am the first one up, making coffee then trekking through the sand to the lapping waves. The ocean is both relaxing and energizing, a perfect example of yin and yang. Sometimes the cameras go along, but they are cumbersome and the aspired to shot of the sun breaking above the pier was missed every single day anyway. Tomorrow, she mutters, until the tomorrows run out.

On the last tomorrow, the sight was seen, sans camera of course, the giant orb rising in stripes of oranges and hot pinks, a watercolorist’ brush tinting the sand and ocean. A man was waist deep in water with a long lensed camera shooting the sight. I know he must have been pleased with the results, for the effect of the atmosphere on the scene was delicious.

The line of homes along the dunes gives landmarks to find the way back to our rental house that sits a couple of blocks back. The sequence of tan, pink, then lime green point the way to the access path.

Each day presented new treasures on the morning walks, things living and those once alive.

An intact sand dollar, no longer moving about with the hair peds was put into the leg pocket of the cargo pants, precious cargo indeed. Two pieces of coral, yellow and a dark dull red were carried home as well. For years shells, stones, gifts from the sea went home with us until an epiphany of wisdom struck. All were returned from whence they came on the next year’s beach trip after the enlightenment. The sand dollar was given to an offspring of offspring, his father had found a couple more and added to his collection as well. The coral will be placed in a bowl, vase or basket, perhaps to be returned back to the shore in the future.

Speaking of the grands, the rate of growth on these yearly excursions is easy to note when perusing past posts. If interested, they can be found by clicking here-2008 and here-2009. The two eldest, M.A. and G.A., sons of Chickenpoet are now mature enough in size and mentality to go into the depths of the sea, one fishing and one floating, barely visible with toes and nose sticking out of the blue.

Speaking of maturity, The Financier shows he is still full of vim and vigor by staying upright on the skim board.

The youngest clan member, LTB, son of Semi has a more relaxed method of skim boarding, nearly effortless, like a walk in the park.

The whole clan loves the beach, loves the ocean, loves being out of doors, loves nature. Chickenpoet looks like a mermaid as she scoops the minnow net, serenity emanating from her contenance while she sits in the shallow breakers.

It gets more difficult to find a scheduled week for thirteen diverse lives to come together each year. This was a good year, much to our delight, for all were present and accounted for. From left: Gardoctor, Brokenbeat, Mrs. Brokenbeat, Chickenpoet, Mr. Chickenpoet, Fairegardener, Aunt Lynn (sister of The Financier), M.A., G.A., The Financier, Semi, LTB and Mr. Semi. Even taking a dozen shots, there will be some with eyes closed or other less than desirable facial antics. (Thanks to J. Fred for fine photographic work.)

Seeing the pelicans sailing along the water in formation has always been a thrilling and much anticipated sight while on vacation. This year the sight was bittersweet after seeing the images on television of oil covered feathers. In fact, everything about the beach was held more dear to the heart, fearing for its future. I will say no more here, keeping things light and happy, but there are sharp pangs of sadness that swell within. (Photo by Mr. Chickenpoet)

A day trip led to an adventure as the destination local farmer’s market proved illusive and we ended up many miles south on John’s Island. Rosebank Farm Market offered fresh fruits, vegetables, home made peach pie and the just missed hydrangea festival. We partook of the tour a few years ago with good friend Laurie, seeing more blooming hydrangeas than could be imagined and learning about growing them from the owner of this market, Sidi Limehouse.

At week’s end it is time to go back to our respective lives, dragging toes in the sand, dreams of next year already swirling in the miasma of our minds.

Links to other beach vacation stories:

2008-The Beach Vacation

2009-The Fun Begins

2009-Sea Creatures

2011-Water, Wind, Earth and Fire

2012-Negative Ions

2012-The Shark Tale

2012-Agave Americana

2013-Garden Dreaming


FYI: Voting in the uber-exciting Viola Beauty Pageant has been extended and will end Friday, June 25, 2010. The winner will be announced on that day. If you have not picked your favorite already, there is still time! Click here to see the contestants.

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22 Responses to Beachcombing 2010

  1. Frances — what a happy gathering of your family! ๐Ÿ™‚ What a beautiful seashore, too. I’m sure you’re feeling all relaxed.

    Hi Cameron, thanks. It was the best vacation ever. May each year be exactly that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Randy says:

    What a handsome family you have. You are indeed truly blessed. I’m come from a very large family of 6 girls and 3 boys and everyone is so busy we have really drifted apart over the years. Most of us manage to get together at Christmas, but even then is more of a sense of duty for my parents sake. Sad when you think about it, but such is life. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time.

    Hi Randy, thanks so much and so nice to see you. Wow to the size of your family. I am in awe of parents who handle those kinds of numbers, we were overwhelmed much of the time with our four.

  3. joey says:

    Thanks for sharing your vacation and beautiful family with us, Frances. Love Mr. Chickenpoet’s photo of you planted amongst the hydrangeas. Your life looks just about perfect!

    Thanks Joey. It was Mrs. Brokenbeat who took the hydrangea shot, without credit, sorry Mash! Mr. Chickenpoet captured the pelicans beautifully. Times like our beach vacation are very nearly perfection. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. gardeningasylum says:

    What a precious gift to be able to gather together in such a beautiful place year after year! Love your photos of the pristine beach, also precious and now under threat in so many areas.

    Hi Cyndy, thanks, you are so right about everything. It doesn’t happen every year that we all can get there, this was one of those very special times, we are thankful to say. The beach held our hearts in a different way this year, knowing it to be a fragile ecosystem.

  5. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Frances, What a splendid family holiday, the kind of thing which, including several generations, I always feel is so reminiscent of Edwardian times and seems, sadly, to be in decline these days.

    Like you, I love the sea and everything about it, not least the smell of ozone which permeates the air. But, Frances, those wonderful, colonial style, colour washed beach houses are, surely, to dream of. Imagine, every day your sunrises and sunsets from those balconies and verandahs.

    Hi Edith, thanks so much. It takes quite an effort to get us all together for the beach trip as well as the mandatory Thanksgiving at our house. We must enjoy it while it is still possible to do so. The smell of the ocean lifts our mood as well. We priced a few of those houses for rental, sadly way way out of range for us. The walk of a couple of blocks helps make the experience affordable, but still quite dear. The Financier is a generous man.

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your family is so beautiful Frances. Being able to come together in such a happy relaxed manner is a blessed gift. I about cracked up when I saw this picture of you in the hydrangeas. My DB took a picture of me in the same way in our garden. Ha.. I will have to post it too. Glad to see that you had such a good time.

    Thanks so much, Lisa, it is truly a gift and we all have enough sense to know that and treasure our time together. How wonderful to have hydrangeas like that in your own garden, do post it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Barbara H. says:

    Thanks for the lovely beach trip, Frances. I enjoyed every minute of it!

    Thanks for going along, Barbara. I tried to show the experience as close as possible to the way it was.

  8. Tatyana says:

    Perfect vacation! I wish you Frances many happy moments this summer! Thank you for these fresh, salty, sandy, cheerful pictures!

    Thanks Tatyana, how sweet of you! May you have the same types of moments yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Sandra Jonas says:

    Frances, Thanks for sharing this wonderful family reunion.
    You look fantastic among the hydrangeas.

    Thanks Sandra. I could have stayed for many hours strolling in the shady hydrangea garden. There were many varieties, most of them blue. I wanted to study each one. Being together with the whole family is the best, being together at the beach is gravy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Frances, how wonderful to be by the sea. I need a beach holiday, full stop!

    I always like the fact that not only are you all family but importantly you are all good friends!

    Thanks Rob. The sea does hold a healing magic for us. We used to take the kids to the beach every weekend when we lived in southern California, late afternoon after the surfers and sunworshippers had gone. Plenty of parking, deserted beaches and the only place the four kids never ever fought. It is still like that. The waves hold us in a trance, all troubles slip away. Everyone needs a holiday like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. jodi says:

    So wonderful that you could all get there at the same time, Frances! My heart is happy for you, at the same time as I, too, am sorrowful about what is happening not that far away.
    The photo of all the hydrangeas was like a photo of the sea come ashore. Just wonderful!

    Many thanks, Jodi. Being with the family at a place as wonderful as this beach is sweeter than honey, but in the distance is heartbreak for so many. It makes us appreciate our time there that much more. Those blue hydrangeas were like swimming in a sea of flowers, an apt metaphor! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Jenny B says:

    What lovely memories you are making. The peacefulness of the time at seashore is exemplified by mermaid Chickenpoet…by far my favorite photo–and they are ALL wonderful.

    Thanks Jenny. The look on her face fills me with happiness, there is nothing like seeing ones offspring in such a mode. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. How wonderful to have the whole family together to enjoy the ocean and beach and good times.

    Thanks Linda. We are so fortunate in many ways. The beach trip is looked forward to by all the family, already we dream of next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Gail says:

    Hey you! Glad you had a wonderful time~I love seeing the family and everyone looks happy, healthy and relaxed! Beautiful photos and it’s good to see the clean beach. My heart hurts with what has happened to the Gulf.

    The Isle of Palms is where we honeymooned a while ago! Such a nice place and close to Charleston~Talk with you soon….we are wending our way home. xxgail

    Hey back at ya! We did have a great vacation. The beach was lovely, I went out daily with a garbage bag to help keep it so, but there was very little to pick up. After seeing the oil covered pelicans and other creatures on the news, seeing the healthy and clean birds and critters caused a pang of sadness and helplessness. IOP is a terrific place. We shall return! Safe travels to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Les says:

    Some of my fondest memories are of being at the beach with family. I am glad you had a great time.

    Thanks Les. Those must be fond memories indeed, the beach makes everything sweeter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Valerie says:

    What a wonderful thing to spend some time with family all together at the beach. Sounds like heaven

    Thanks Valerie. If not heaven, as close as it gets on earth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Rose says:

    Beautiful images, Frances–I feel refreshed just looking at these scenes of the ocean. You are so lucky to be able to have your family together for these trips–I know it’s not easy getting everyone’s schedule to work out. What a handsome family!

    Thanks for all the kind words, Rose. We are so very lucky, and know it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. brokenbeat says:

    i don’t even know where to begin in thanking you and dad for bringing us all together like this. it truly is an amazing gift. and better yet, i believe it has instilled in all four of us the inmitigable beauty of family-time, how precious those memories are and how they last. the best i can do is tell you how much mash and i love you! thank you, mom and dad!

    The pleasure is ours, dear Brokenbeat. Having everyone together and enjoying themselves is the high point of our lives, priceless treasure. I do think the love of family exists in you all. May it be ever so.

  19. sequoiagardens says:

    How good to see the whole clan. Materfamilias sure don’t look much older than her offspring; a definite sign that age is in the mind, and we all know the Fairegardener has the energy and inquisitiveness of a child… As always a regular record has been fine-tuned into a work of art!

    Thanks Jack, you are the master of the compliment, among many other things! ๐Ÿ™‚

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