Thursday, August 11, 2011
There's no place like OBX
In a life where we had to make new friends, decorate a new room, learn new customs and get used to new foods every three years, that time-shared condo on the beach was physical home to me and my siblings. My youngest brother, who spent nine of his first 14 years overseas, called the Outer Banks "America." Going home meant days at the beach, Nickelodeon on the television, mini-golf at the dinosaur place, and runs to the Dairy Queen at milepost 8. And after high school graduation, while many of my classmates flocked to hipper locales like Ocean City and Myrtle Beach, my girlfriends and I rented a cottage in Nags Head.
Every summer, I dream about moving there for good.
This tradition wasn't really my parents' brain child. They did discover OBX, but until I was in high school, we vacationed in the mountains just as often as at the beach. Us kids weren't big fans of the mountain vacations, though, and we complained until finally, August at the beach became an annual tradition. I think my parents are probably grateful for this now, because all five of their children share the OBX love, and I think it's safe to say that we will all always make our best effort to get there each year.
This year is the first time since 2005 that I have been unable to make it there and, I have to say, I am feeling a little melancholy.
It doesn't help that autumn has been stubbornly inching its way into Moscow since August 1 - while we still have some warm and sunny days, there is definitely a subtle chill underlying the 70-ish temperatures, and today Natasha had to go out dressed like this.
It especially stings when I remember that, last year around this time, we were doing this:
Next year ...