We leave for vacation tomorrow. We are barely packed, and the house is a disaster, but somehow I'll get it done, and we'll make it there. We haven't missed vacation yet, so I doubt this will be the year it all goes wrong. Did I just jinx myself?
As you can imagine, we have to schlep a whole lot of stuff to move our family of seven into a different house for two weeks. Rentals at the Jersey Shore provide pillows and blankets, but no other linens. So, over the years, I've amassed a trunkful of sheets and towels to fill that void. Each year I sort through it, in a type of archaeological dig through our history.
"Look, those are the twin sheets from One and Two's first beds. Oh, and the camo ones from Two and Three's room. Remember we had to throw the other one out because it was so stained from that horrendous bloody nose? It looked like a crime scene in there."
Queen sheets from the bed the Captain and I slept in for the first ten years of our marriage. Towels gifted at my bridal shower, frayed enough now that it might be time to retire them. Blue coverlets from the first set of bunk beds.
The trunk of machine-washable memories gets loaded in the van, and then I box up the "shore fun." Battleship, Uno, Candy Land, Mancala, Trouble, Monopoly. The boys used to have epic Monopoly games with Pappou that would go on for days. Last year the craze was Rummikub. Personally, I'm hoping someone will teach me how to play Backgammon again, because that was my favorite beach game when I was young.
This may be the last year we do a giant family beach vacation. We promised One we would go to Yellowstone next year, and after that, who knows? The boys are getting older. Jobs, cars, girlfriends and graduations loom on the horizon. Attention will be divided, interests will diverge.
But for now, for the next two weeks, we'll all be together. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, friends, eating, laughing, and playing together. Making box loads of memories, to be unpacked again and again.