In March, Beth and I went to Rhode Island to celebrate my Nana’s 85th birthday. It was a great event.
My parents divorced when I was two and a half. My biological father’s side of the family lived in Rhode Island, and my Nana and Grandpa made sure that my brother and I made it out to be with them all each summer. They all were generous with time and funding great trips. When we were too young to fly on our own, my Nana and Grandpa would fly to North Dakota and pick us up. That’s love.
Once we were old enough (age 8 or so for me) to fly on our own, Marc (my younger brother) and I flew from Minneapolis to Boston as a direct flight. This was back in the day when people could mill around airports and wait for others at the gate. As we got older, we started flying from North Dakota and changing planes until we landed in Providence, Rhode Island, near where my grandparents live. These flights and travels definitely prepared me for a travelling mindset that has followed me throughout my life.
My father has five siblings, and I am the oldest of fourteen cousins (yes – I am #1). My cousins remember waiting with great anticipation for our visit because the two-three weeks were filled with fun – trips to the beach, Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, Rocky Point Amusement Park (which is now demolished…it’s probably a mall), and so much more. I can’t say that I have a favorite “event” because each one has its unique attributes.
I have great memories with my Auntie Mary who would get us (my brother and me) up before dawn to drive about half an hour to Beavertail Lighthouse. It is one of her favorite spots, and most my cousins would say that this a favorite memory that they have with her. We would watch the sunrise and then get breakfast. There is a place called “Stacy’s” – I honestly don’t remember if we ate there or not. Sometimes, we would pack some food and stay on the rocks into the afternoon after catching some sleep in the car. Many of the rocks have been flattened by the ocean, and they provide a great spot to put a lawn chair and read a book. We would have to move as the tide changed, but it was worth it.
There is truly nowhere else like this place in the rest of the world. It is a great place to think, breath, and relax. A good book is a good companion, but it is not necessary as the place itself is companion enough. I never tired of watching the tide come in or go out, the waves crash against the rocks, or breathing in the salt-filled air.
And I long for Beavertail…