This picture was captured by my Uncle Kenny several years ago at Pawley's Island, SC. My mom's family is from Georgetown, just 12 short miles south of Pawley's. And because they grew up at Pawley's, so did we.
Every year my family spends a week at Pawley's. It's a big family reunion for an entire week. Four houses, but probably should be five or six. This year there were 40 of us at one count (I think but honestly, I can't quite remember). I look forward to this week more than any other week of my year (even my birthday, which is saying something). A week smashed together with my family pie is sometimes enough to make me cry. Being completely surrounded by so much love, so much humor, so much fun is sometimes too much for one person to take. Each day we spend together in the sun or shade at our tent city on the beach. And each night we share meals of food and catch up. If we're not participating with a family float in the annual 4th of July Parade, we're watching and cheering it on (though this year, we had a float that I regretfully did not participate in. They came home with a trophy for "Most Humorous" Float. I am still jealous. And trust me, green does not look good on me). It really is the most glorious week.
Something about Pawley's just puts a peace in my heart. It really is vacation at it's best. Spotty cell service. Attempting to sleep in till lunch but knowing you won't because mom and dad don't whisper. The smell of boiled peanuts wafting through the house. Evenings on the widow's walk watching the sun set. Finally having time to start and finish more than one book. Finally having time to sit for a spell and breathe. Days spent with my toes in the sand, and sometimes on a very hot day, in the water. Reminding everyone that I don't love the sand, I don't love being in the ocean water but I do love being with them.
It's weeks like this that my heart swells so much with gratitude that I am certain it will burst. It's week like this that I am reminded of how blessed I am. It's weeks like this I wish all of my friends could be as lucky as I am when it comes to their family pies. It's weeks like this I eat more than I do in a month but I know every extra calorie is worth it because it's not just food for my bell, it's food for my soul.
Pawley's Island fills my cup and because of my family pie, that cup runneth over.