“Forced Family Fun” is what my siblings and I have called the last two weeks of July for the past 22 years. The five of us, most of our spouses, our kids and now grandkids are forced onto the beaches of Nantucket for two weeks every July (Insert sad face emoji).
The beach set up was strategically designed by the numerous (God help us) engineers in our family to block the wind, hang a clothesline for wet towels and, most importantly, give shade to those that need it. Two SUVs park perpendicular to the waves with one between them parallel to the the water's edge, forming a "U" shape. There are always 2 5-gallon jugs set out on the tailgate of one of the trucks, blue for water and red for lemonade, along with two clear plastic bags tied to either side, one for trash, one for recyclables.
Several beach chairs strategically positioned to capture the sun's rays are quickly claimed by beach bags. Coolers and fold-up beach tables are set up for cocktails and games. Blankets spread out in full view of the breaking waves await kids returning from the ice cold, turbulent surf.
Set up is now a well oiled machine. Set up, oil up and sit!
After a lunch of hotdogs, sausages and hamburgers on the grill, along with leftovers from the night before, my brother-in-law, from here on out known as “Cabana boy,” opens up the back of his jeep and sets up his pop-up bar. Blender included! Virgin and not-so-virgin Pina Colada’s and Strawberry Daiquiris are a few of his specialties. Of course, he also offers cold beer and boxed wine. Personally, I refill old 16 oz water bottles with my choice of wine for the day...nothing against boxed wine.
Now, let the games begin. The boys are still in and out of the water, the girls are making a music video to the latest and greatest summer song. The adults are rearranging the chairs into a large circle to play a game of Catch Phrase.
Great game! Every other player is on the same team...you have to get your teammates to guess the word or phrase on the electronic disc-thingy and pass the ticking disc before the buzzer goes off.
Older sister says, “It’s three words, first word...not hot...not cold...”
“Tepid?! Cool?! Warm?!” Her teammates yell out, all at the same time.
“Warm!” She slides from her chair, her knees sinking into the sand. “Last word...bread...cooked bread...crunchy...”
As her teammates yell, “Sandwich!?...Bun!?...Toast!?”
“Yes, toast,” she yells.
“Warm toast,” yells one of her teammates.
She turns on her knees and slaps her rear end. “Warm.” SLAP “Toast,” she says. “Warm.” SLAP “Toast.” Warm.” SLAP “Toast.”
The timer is ticking faster...
“Warm toast!?...Butt!?...Ass!?...Warm toast ass!?” Her teammates are on their feet waving their arms.
“WARM ASS TOAST?” Somebody yells out.
“WARM AS TOAST... warm as toast. We got it!”
She passes the disc right before the buzzer goes off in my hands. Point goes to their team.
“Warm ass toast”: another one of my family’s signature phrases.
Kyle Ann Robertson
Retired, mother of four, grandmother of two, dog lover, yoga attempter, avid writer and wine drinker!