It’s Where I Want to Be

Do you have a place that is your very favorite place in the world? The place where you would go above all others if given a free plane ticket? A place where, if you close your eyes, you can almost smell it and imagine that you’re there? I do. Want to see it?

Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is where I’ve spent nearly every summer of my life. My great-great grandfather (my mother’s grandfather) bought a wide swath of land on Pawleys in the 1800’s and built a house. It still stands today, despite Hurricane Hugo… it looks like this, and sits almost directly on the beach:

This is Sandy Cot. This is where my grandmother always stayed when she came to the beach while growing up… it was always filled with kids and parents, cousins and aunts and uncles and second cousins and third cousins twice removed, etc., etc. Great-Granddaddy divided up the rest of the piece of property and gave a portion to each of his children, each of whom built a house when they grew up. So there are now four houses on the land, stretching from the beach back to the creek that runs between the mainland and the island, and the houses are all filled with relatives. The first photo up there at the top is the house that my great-grandmother and great-grandfather built for themselves, and they lived there year-round when my great-grandfather retired. It’s where we stay every summer, and it’s called Daddy Buck’s, after him.

There are so many things I love about being there, but one of the most important is that fact that there’s family everywhere you turn. My grandmother once told me how wonderful it was to grow up with all of her cousins around, and these days that just doesn’t happen. It’s so much easier to move and to get around and I don’t even live in the same city as my parents, let alone my extended family. But Pawleys is somewhere that we always come to, where Georgia knows that she can play with her older cousins (who are actually her fourth cousins, I think), where we can go out on the pier and look for dolphins, and stand at the end of the summerhouse and drink lemonade and spit watermelon seeds. It’s the best place in the world… I think everyone should have a place like this. I count myself lucky to have one.

{all photos by me, summer 2009}


3 Comments on “It’s Where I Want to Be”

  1. Kerri Anne says:

    I love this.

    I do! indeed have this place. Priest Lake, Idaho, which is two hours north of my hometown, and is so unbelievably gorgeous, and where I spent every summer up until I moved away to college. I miss it like a crazy, especially this time of year.

  2. What a lovely, nostalgic post… I have a place like that – two places, actually: one for summer and one for winter. Both are places I’ve visited my whole life. Both are places that recall good meals, family togetherness, relaxation. Both are places that hold so many amazing memories they are vivid fixtures in my heart.

  3. That is just lovely. We (my dad’s side of the family) have a similar family situation in Santa Fe. I adore it there, surrounded by family.

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