It’s been a little while, but I’m back. I’m not going to write about all the things happening in this world right now, rather I think we could all use a break from that.
This past week was Spring Break, and normally we would have packed up the car and hit the road to the beach or the mountains. But since we are taking a family cruise this summer, we decided to stay home instead. Little did we know that the boys would have an extended Spring Break, but we’ll make the best of it.
When I was growing up, most of my Spring Breaks were spent at our family beach house in Galveston. I loved that house, I still drive out to see it sometimes when I’m in town for a work conference. It is still standing after the major hurricanes of the past few decades, and it always warms my heart to think of all the wonderful memories we made in that house. Back then, or maybe they still do now I’m not sure, people used to give their beach houses nicknames (like with boats), my grandparent’s named their house “Almost heaven.” I don’t know if there were was a story or meaning behind it, but looking back now, there was no better name for that special place.
It was not a fancy or giant monstrosity, rather it was a very simple house on stilts that had two screened-in porches, one on each side of the house. I will always remember the feel of the fake grass carpet under my feet, I think it was brown, they had installed in both porch rooms. I have been a morning person since birth, and one of my favorite things to do was wake up early and go watch the sunrise with my grandmother. She would make me a cup of coffee, which was mostly milk with a splash of coffee, and we would just sit and talk all morning and watch the sun come up. I don’t remember what our conversations consisted of, but I remember always wanting more.
Since we were a military family, we were always very conservative when it came to spending, especially on meals. My dad and grandfather preferred to catch their own food and we’d spend our days fishing and crabbing as a family. There are great pictures of my brother and I as little kids, sitting next to a pile of boiled crabs, that we caught, and holding one in each hand smiling proudly.
Looking back now, with my father and grandparents having passed, I believe I know why they named that house “Almost Heaven.” We didn’t need the tourist attractions to make our trips together memorable, we just needed each other. I am blessed to have a painting of our beloved beach house, that my great-grandmother painted back in the late 80’s when it was constructed, and just seeing it brings a tear to my eye. It’s a beautiful reminder of a much simpler time that holds treasured memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.