My little one and I went to the beach on the river today (yes, we social distanced). I began to think about the “good old days.” Honestly, I was sad. Life is always an ebb and flow of mountains and valleys, but sometimes the valleys seem to be more in number and mountains harder to climb. I am not what is referred to as a “fish”. I grew up landlocked, cried at swimming lessons, and always preferred mountains over the beach. But for some reason many of my most precious memories revolve around some sort of water.
My Mamaw used to take me fishing when I was very young, probably four or five years old. She baited the hook with real worms. I wore a bonnet that she sewed to keep the sun at bay. This is probably one of my earliest memories about water and I miss her always. I remember going to Destin, Florida, as a child and not once worrying about sharks,jellyfish, sunburns, social distancing, or flesh eating amoebas. Good times they were. My little brothers would toddle around under a tent with my parents and I spent hours riding the waves. Summers were spent on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. We had a camper and there was nothing as exciting as seeing my dad pull up to the driveway with the camper out of storage. These memories include fun times with my two younger brothers and miles and miles of riding bikes around the campground.
As I got more mature (alright, alright…older), weekends were spent at Rapids on the Reservior and three Coke product drink tabs got me into Waterland for free. That wave pool was the best. Then, in college I remember the first time I told my husband (then boyfriend) I loved him. We were on Sand Island (one of my first introductions to Coast life). He had already used those three words a couple of months before, but I needed a little time… he was quite surprised and we were so young and carefree. The same summer, he popped the question in Cancun… on the beach, of course. We had two children and took them to the beach on the river where we live and tubing, of course. They learned to swim in that cold water. One time, my daughter’s tooth got cracked when she and our older son collided as they fell off the tube.
Sometimes I pine for those days in the past, and that is okay because it means they were good days. Not that these days aren’t full of good things, as well. This year, my two teenagers worked at our family’s campground down the road taking up money and filling ice cream orders at the window… the same campground where my husband would throw them in the water off his shoulders after a long day at work. My little one and I watched the annual fireworks at the campground, too. I have loved being home with him during these strange times…I have a feeling that I will pine for the current days in the future, as well. There is a pandemic. There are protests. I am not as young as I used to be. But I have my family and memories of today on the water.