The Walls Of Ocean Watch West: Family Tradition

The Walls Of 4607 Ocean Watch West

Oh, if these walls could talk.

Laken Pritchard

Twenty-five years is a long time, if you think about it. It's a quarter of a century. That's how long it takes for the frontal lobe of your brain--the "decision making" part--to fully develop. From what I've learned from my dad, twenty-five years is a lengthy time for aging wine and it will probably cost more.

But, it doesn't feel like a long time. In fact, time doesn't seem to be slowing down at all lately, not for anybody. Experience itself could tell you this; one minute you're drawing in kindergarten, you blink and you're already graduating college. It's crazy how life works that way.

For my family, it's been easy to see just how fast time's hands are moving.

It began in June, 1995. My dad, along with his two middle siblings, got together and planned a beach trip to none other than Emerald Isle. They found a cottage, just big enough for everybody: 4607 Ocean Watch West. The once big and pink cottage, now seems much smaller, with the pink on the outside turning more and more white. But our love for it hasn't changed from the first year to the twenty-fifth. If anything, it's only grown.

Back in those days, there weren't iPhones or iPads to record things on. My family had the old, bulky video cameras. After recording, they would transfer the footage onto VCR tapes. If you don't remember those, you really didn't have a childhood. The sound the VCR made when you put it in, or the "eeeee errrrr eeeeeiiii" sound it made when you rewound the tape. Music to my ears. We have stacks of those tapes labeled "Emerald Isle Year ___" all throughout our home. The personal favorite from the first few years? My dad telling Marley to go pee in the ocean. She waddled out to the shoreline in her little, pink bathing suit and popped a squat right at the edge. It gets my dad every time we play it on the big screen.

They continued bringing my sister and Jennifer to Emerald Isle for the next few years. Then, in 1996, my Uncle Randy (my dad's middle brother) and Aunt Sherry, had my cousin Rachel. Followed by the youngins: Jennifer's brother Hunter, then Rachel's brother Andrew, and last--certainly not least--my parents had me.

If you've lost count, that's six of the eight cousins: Jennifer, Marley, Rachel, Hunter, Andrew, and myself.

As years went by, the three babies became rambunctious five and six-year-olds, the older girls just about to go into middle school. This meant that the beach could only entertain us for so long before "shark feeding time". Thankfully, Memaw, Mimi and Grandad (my mom's parents) knew exactly how to keep us going, and give the parents a break: Emerald Isle Little Theater. At the beginning of the week we would read over and assign parts for the play, then practice each night in the downstairs bedroom. When Thursday night came, the parents would go out to a nice dinner and return to watch our performance. One specifically I remember, The Barnyard, he played the Rooster. During one of the scenes, Hunter was supposed to "cock-a-doodle-doo", as most roosters do; however, what came out of his mouth was a completely butchered version of it. "Cockidy-cockidy-doodle-dee-doo". The parents erupted into contagious laughter, causing the play to end a little earlier than expected.

This next memory, you just might be a part of. If you've ever seen a group of kids, all wearing matching tie-dye shirts, walking along the beach and singing:

"Everywhere we go (everywhere we go),

people want to know (people want to know),

who we are (who we are),

so we tell them (so we tell them)

we are the cousins (we are the cousins)

the mighty, mighty cousins! (the mighty, mighty cousins!)"

Yes, folks. That annoying group of kids was us. Rachel, the unofficial leader of our group, would start us off and we'd echo each line. By the time we were old enough to realize just how annoying we really were, it was too late. We'd already scarred half the beach walking to the pier.

July of 2017, the youngins had graduated high school and the older girls had been out of college for a couple of years. Uncle Randy deemed that year, and each of the following, "throwback week" where the drinking age is 18. I still remember the picture that was taken, all of the cousins sitting around Memaw, cheersing our mixed drinks.

"Something just isn't right about the grandkids drinking with Memaw."

"What have we done?"Our parents said, laughing as we played Sequence all night long, getting more and more competitive with each hour that passed. We also loved to play Mexican Dominos, which my dad still calls "Chinese Checkers", card games and whatever else we can think of.

I could go on with more memories about the late night baseball games, when Uncle Randy lost his tooth after eating a nutty buddy, boogie boarding, Uncle Eddie cooking shrimp, the addition of the in-laws, and the water balloon slingshot. All of these memories have passed in the blink of an eye. Twenty-five years is a long time for making memories and we're a blessed family to be able to continue the tradition each year. We have lost and we have gained family, we have let traditions go and embrace new adventures, and we have praised God all along. The cottage at 4607 Ocean Watch West will hold memories and stories that the world may never know, but if the walls could talk, you'd be sitting in the leather recliner hearing twenty-five years worth of memories from the Pritchard-Games family. You'll be surprised just how fast time goes by.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments