Wednesday, October 20, 2004


We went to Edisto Island on Sunday. It has been almost 10 years since we were there last…and got married. Scotty swears we went when Samuel was a baby, but I really don’t remember that happening, maybe we talked about going because we did visit Charleston in January just before Samuel’s 1st birthday. But it was just an overnight trip and I cannot for the life of me remember going to Edisto, afterall it’s a pretty long drive from Charleston-almost an hour-plus I have a lot of pictures from that trip and none were taken on Edisto. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of being known by everyone as the person with the bad memory. If I don’t remember something happening, and someone else does, then it is assumed that I simply don’t remember. I have no ground to stand on. Funny thing is, there are some things I do remember, like the first time I ever came to Edisto Island. It was in the spring of 1992, some friends from school and I rented a house, the Lela B. It was one of the best times I can remember. I never wanted to go home. I fell in love with the ocean; and for the past 12 years I have wanted nothing more than to live by one. And here we are in Charleston, finally.

So when we decided to drive out to Edisto on Sunday, I knew I wanted to see the Lela B. We drove up and down the road a few times looking for a good spot with parking and beach access. We passed the Lela B a few times (as well as another house I had stayed in before and the house we stayed at when we got married). We found a good spot and got settled in the sand with some toys for the kids and a blanket for us to sit on. I walked out to the water and looked around, I could see the Lela B from where we were. I decided that before we left I would walk down and get a closer look. When I did, I was a little surprised to see that she had lost the stairs that led down to the beach, the roof didn’t look too good either. Now, I must confess that this house was no fancy place back in 92 either; even then there was a broken window covered with a trash bag, the bathtub had a soft spot in it, and the deck was pretty rough and rickety. But it was love at first sight for me. I remember the yellow furniture and the big sun clock on the wall (okay, I’m pretty sure it was a clock, maybe it was just a big sun). I remember waking up to the sound of seagulls outside and feeding them from the deck in our pajamas. I remember watching the sun come up. Now, she was falling apart. I was able to get up on the deck to peak quickly into a window (I didn’t want to arouse too much suspicion), there was the same yellow vinyl furniture. That was all I saw. I was a little scared being up on the high deck that was surely going to fall apart at any minute. So I got out of there pretty quick.

On the walk back to our spot on the beach, I thought a lot about the week I had spent in that house and how it had shaped a big part of who I am today. That was when I realized that I have spent most of my adult life trying to relive a part of my childhood that I actually do remember, Blue Lake in Indiana. I don’t need to go into all the details of what that means, but I will say that I have always loved the feeling of being on an endless vacation. Scotty talks about how people constantly try to recreate their childhood memories of Christmas and how no one is ever completely happy with that recreation and that is why Christmas is so bittersweet. I now understand what he is talking about, the only difference is I haven’t just tried to recreate my past once a year. I have been longing to permanently relive that feeling, whatever it is, of staying those long summers at the lake. Playing cards late into the night, bonfires, swimming, boats, pontoons, friends, family, no thoughts of having to go to school or work, nothing to interrupt the long, lazy days of summer. I guess those are my happiest childhood memories, some of the only ones really. It is frustrating to not remember very much. Maybe the fact that I remember so little is why I cling to those few memories and why I will always try to recapture them.


Anonymous said...

I read your rememberances of Blue Lake and was touched.
I have fond memories of those days myself and would love to recreate those lazy, hazy days of summer again. I was pleased to know you remember some of the really good times. Love You, Mom

Anonymous said...

Laura, I feel somewhat like an intruder on your personal reflection. I found your blog through a thread on the MDC boards and wanted to say hi. I have to tell you we had our feet in the ocean just a little south of you at the same time! Rob and I and the kids and my mom and his dad were at Hunting Island and Harbor Island from the 16th through the 23rd. It was so beautiful - I love the ocean this time of year - everthing was peaceful, quiet, and we were able to get really close to dolphins. I envy your living in Charleston, your family will enjoy lots of beach time. I know we were not real close, but I have to tell you that I miss you and hope you are doing well. Your kids look happy and beautiful! Warm wishes, Jessica Chittum