Sunday, October 3, 2010

Continuing The Legacy: House On The Sea

This past October my husband and I made our annual trek to our most favorite destination in all of Florida - Anna Maria Island, Florida. Every year in October, we stay at the same accommodations for one week to celebrate our anniversary which is also in October - October 18th to be exact.

We stay at a home on the beach. A home in which the original owners also reside. "The Eagle's Nest" at the Adams Apartments is our diamond in the rough - - for which I will not include a hyperlink as I do not want too many to find out about this hideaway on the sea - our private paradise.

A house on the sea is something familiar to me as  I grew up with a beach house almost my entire life. At a very young age, my parents bought a second home in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Upon the gas crisis they sold that home but the beach bug bit them later and we enjoyed a summer and weekend home away from home located in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. My parents would fling open the sashes of our home in Beach Haven, New Jersey each spring and me and my three sisters enjoyed the Atlantic Ocean for our backyard.

We spent each weekend at the "shorehouse" and all four girls sans parents in the summer. We stayed until school began and then each weekend until the first Jersey frost of the year. My dad would "winterize" the "Hawke's Nest" as it was aptly named (my maiden name is Hawke) on the last Sunday of the coldest day in the fall. I will never forget having to be told that a bucket was the last resort for a restroom after my dad twisted the water main valve the final time the first time he winterized our shore house. It was kind of a running joke (no pun intended) but after the first year we had to reort to using the bucket we would ask an hour ahead when the final twist would occur just in order to avoid ever having to use that bucket again. In typical Girl Scout fashion we became prepared and the bucket was only a far faraway memory after that first year of winterizing orientation.

I remember the smell of our beach house. The slightly musty, attic-scented beams in the ceiling I will never forget. Each spring we would return before the sun set and wait in the living room with our coats still on. I remember running up to my bedroom and looking for the contents I had left on my bed - exactly where I had last left them- and being surprised they were where I had last left them!! I remember being comforted by the slip-covered couches and how they felt starchy and salty at the same time. That mixture of dry-cleaned and salt-scented fabric stuck with me all these years. After having been laundered and left in fresh air for three months these couches had a scent that could have been bottled and sold as some special scent known only by seasoned beach house dwellers like me.

I recently experienced that same welcome scent this season. However, just prior to opening the door to our "Eagle's Nest" after ascending the deck stairs, the first thing we saw was the glittering, sun-kissed sparkling sea. My husband and I both said at the same time," That's what I'm talkin' about!" for no matter how often we imagine this wonderful home by the sea, the first sight we see after climbing the deck stairs is a breath-taking blue panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico. We are never prepared for how special and how beautiful this little house is each year. Though we are merely renters for a price, we feel this is our second home - our special beach house.

And the reality is that this home is a dream come true that began as a child - a continuation of 'The Hawke's Nest" that inspired my love for my own home by the sea - the musty smell and the antiquated furniture that come with it....We'll rent it all and pretend it is ours. For to rent it is far better than never having entered at all.

As we cross the threshold aptly a sign on the living room wall reads, "Welcome to Paradise" and we know we are home. That sign and the musty slip-covered couch welcomes us another year and for this we are grateful as everything seems to be right where we left it the same time the year before.Our home on the sea. Another year to celebrate. Another October as husband and wife. The "Eagle's Nest" - - our beach home away from home. And we shall never need  a bucket - - other than to build a sand castle on the beach... Seasons change but some things never change and for those things we are grateful!
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