Thursday, July 23, 2009

Generational Memories

Is there a place in your life that has been a constant for generation after generation?
In our family, it is Hawks Nest Beach in Old Lyme, CT. The beach has stretches from my daughter, through me, to my mother, past her mother to my great grandparents. Prior to 1938, our family had a cottage at this beach, but the ’38 hurricane took the cottage and flung it into the swamp. In fact, my great-uncle contracted yellow fever after trying to collect the items that survived the blow. My grandmother told of the dresser drawers that while they were pulled out of the dresser and flung into the swamp, the drawers were still packed full of clothes just like you had opened them on a normal day. Unfortunately, my great-uncle died from his illness and in an act of cowardice, his father actually committed suicide. He was frustrated that his son was dying and that he did not have insurance on the cottage, but I say it was cowardice because he actually committed suicide before his son died (the same day, but prior to his death) and left two other children and his wife to suffer through all loss themselves.

Anyway on a more positive note, my mother remembers hiding under the cottage stairs to watch her older cousin and her boyfriend as they sat at the beach. When she and her brother were caught, the cousin would give them a nickel to go get ice cream and leave them alone. My mother continued the tradition and rented cottages for us to stay at. My husband and I rented for a few years with our kids and while we don’t anymore, other family members do. So last weekend, we went back to the cottage for a good old fashioned family get together.

DD even got to go jet skiing. She is a girl of no fear and kept asking her cousin to go faster.

There is a part of me that hopes that this piece of family history will continue to climb down many more generations.

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