GOING COASTAL

Yes, five estrogen-charged chics can share a beach condo Sister Beach Trip at Murrells Inlet Oct 2014for four days without going postal. My sisters and I went “coastal” on our annual pilgrimage to somewhere beautiful, anywhere with an ocean and a view. Our third-floor accommodations at Litchfield By The Sea Resort had a balcony overlooking an undulating blue-green sea with waves that spilled out onto a sandy beach. In the evening, a full moon spread its reflection across the water’s surface like a lady holding out a sequined gown for all to admire. Does it get any better than that? I think not.
Our annual trek to the coast has been going on since 1987, the year our dear father died. He died in September, and we drove down in October to a beach on the North Carolina coast. We found that sharing our feelings about the ordeal we had experienced of seeing our dad lose his fight to live was therapeutic. It helped us heal from our loss. Our time together was so meaningful, we decided to make the trip an annual event.
Over the years, we have talked, laughed, joked, danced, played cards or board games, ate ourselves silly, and drank more bottles of wine than I can count. If memory serves me correctly, we only missed two years of leaving our husbands and kids behind to be together for our girls-only trip. One year was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo leveled the condo and beach where we had planned to stay.
Fortunately, two sisters like to cook and fix a gourmet meal for all to partake around a long dining table. The remaining three of us are on clean-up detail. On one of our nights, we dine out on local seafood. This year we were close enough to drive to the waterfront dining choices of Murrells Inlet where we walked along the MarshWalk until we ventured into the Dead Dog Saloon. From our table on the outside deck, we had a view of the inlet, worthy of a painting with sawgrass punched through the marshy bank and boats docked for the day, bobbing gently along their mooring. Further out we could see beach cottages facing out toward the sea. The music from a band drifted our way as well as the aroma of broiled and fried seafood. If you haven’t tasted hush puppies fried to a golden brown and served with honey butter, you haven’t experienced true low-country cuisine.
I have found that in these times together, we can take a nostalgic journey into our past. There are always bits and pieces of conversation that begin with “Remember when……?” Not surprising we sometimes recall things differently. Our trips are also a good time to get caught up on all the news about family: husbands, kids, grand-kids, in-laws, out-laws, you name it. Over the years, we have developed diverse interests, but we still find enough in common to delight in each others’ company. What truly binds us together is our love for one another and for our mom who is now too feeble to make the trip with us.
I realize that family is a constant factor in my life where as others slip in and out. Of course, we don’t always agree, but what is important is that we are always there for one another through good times and bad times. I guess one could say our beach trip is our time to bond. We are already making plans for next year. So watch out, Carolina Coast, the Mills girls will be back next fall!

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at www.susanmillswilson.com.
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