the family beach trip to ocean isle, nc
every year we say “this will probably be the last year”
the last year of putt-putt (miniature golf) with the dilapidated safari animals and smurf-blue water.
the last year of standing outside restaurants waiting hours for really bad fried seafood, which no one orders anyway since the majority of our group does not eat seafood (but we do regretfully eat the hush-puppies with honey butter by the dozens which inevitably gives us an overfull feeling as we drive out of the parking lot.)
the last year of my grandfather making at least one grocery trip a day to ensure that the kitchen is stocked with as much junk food and sodas as we can possibly consume.
the last year of at least one person playing solitaire at any given time
the last year of silently reading and rocking back and forth on the porch through thousands of words together
the last year of swimming in the ocean that on most days, feels like a lukewarm bath tub with waves that are almost too small to be called waves but are still too much work for my 83 year old grandparents, my grandparents who keep these 30 year old traditions alive, the traditions that we travel thousands of miles for and that we simultaneously complain about and secretly relish.