Every day, for the seven days that we were on Nantucket Island, we made our way to the beach. Even on days when the sky looked like this...
Whenever I go to the beach, I longingly observe those people that are surrounded with an abundance of friends and family. While I'm always thrilled to be with OUR immediate family, I've always loved the sight of the really big crowds - with 20 or more people - gathered around and playing catch, or paddleball, or digging holes in the sand, or constructing castles, or just sitting around in a semi-circle talking and laughing while the kids run back and forth to the waves. For the first time that I can ever remember, that exact scene was our reality.
Here I am with two of my four sisters, Beth and Eileen.
We were laughing because I had two sets of sunglasses on my head, and moments earlier, had been asking if anyone had seen my glasses?
Cousins Michael and Tommy, walking and talking ... probably about fish.
A photograph of all the cousins who had gathered on one of the days...
And a silly photograph of all the cousins who had gathered on one of the days. Emily wins the record for the most joyful jump!
A huge fox hole that cousin Tommy dug for his little cousins ... I was moderately to slightly worried that if it collapsed on them, they'd suffocate and questioned the need for shoring.
Cousin Tommy attempting to ease my mind by demonstrating how quickly he could swoop a child out of the pit if the walls were to suddenly collapse.
The most awesome Uncle Clark, taking my nephews in to the water. They were so nervous after the big waves the day prior, he promised them that he would hold their hands and never let go.
When Wyatt heard that Clark was a doctor, and his job is to take care of people, he jumped in to Clark's arms and together they waded out past the wave break.
The umpteenth game of paddle ball. This game never gets old.
Elizabeth, demonstrating the difference between skate egg cases and seaweed. None of her cousins believed her that what she'd found on the beach were actually egg cases, until we Googled it. We would be absolutely lost without iPhones and internet access.
A photograph of 12 of the 20 cousins who had gathered on one of the days...
Here they are in birth order...
Here they are in birth order as the tide came in...
Shown: Angela (#2); Emily (#7); Tommy (#11); Diana (#12); Michael (#13); William (#14); Elizabeth (#15); Carolyn (#16); Wally (#17); William (#18); Wyatt (#19) and Henry (#20).
Here's a silly photograph of the 12 of 20 cousins in chronological birth order... On this day, Diana most definitely takes the cake for the most joyful jump!
Big families are awesome. And family members that break away from life to help you celebrate a wedding anniversary are even more awesome.