Midnight, one more night without sleeping
Watching till the morning comes creeping
Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?
There’s an old piano
And they play it hot behind the green door
Don’t know what they’re doing
But they laugh a lot behind the green door
Wish they’d let me in so I could find out
What’s behind the green door.
“Green Door” by Jim Lowe
I imagine, in 1958 granddaddy and grandmama’s dreams for this place were big. But I bet what actually happened here far exceeded those dreams…One son, two daughters, one daughter in law, two son in laws, seven grandchildren, to date three grand in laws and four great grands-I know they would have loved Em just as their own like we all do and I know they have their arms wrapped tightly around Squirt when she isn’t looking for Dogwood trees with Papa and being snuggled by all her other family in Heaven-countless cousins, family and friends over the years. A total of five generations and all the people those generations loved, made annual family trips to this place. Together we have collectively walked hundreds of miles on this sand while solving the world’s problems. Read enough books, on the beach, on the porch and on the beds, to fill Beauty’s library. Hunted tidal treasures- lettered olives, mermaids purses, angel wings, sea urchins, and sea pens being the most highly coveted. Inhaled deeply as the smell of pine straw mixed with salty breeze washed over our souls. Danced around Mermaid’s Castle. Savored pounds upon pounds of Chocolate Tree. Preformed many a cousin twin show on the porch amongst the curtain of hanging towels. Thinking back I always remember skin to sand contact when we were young never a beach towel in between, so obviously they were our bath towels drying in the salty breeze. Late nights of spoons and oh heck and even later nights of cousin giggles and quick pretend you’re asleep. The screen door slamming shut fifty times a day-it’s a truly musical sound. Peeled and eaten millions of shrimp while we sit elbow to elbow. Served up mostly fried, in Frogmore Stew, as shrimp and grits, shrimp dip,shrimp toast and any other way we could ingest them. Could we eat shrimp everyday? That was always the goal. Most of the time it was accomplished. Daily cereal breakfast on the porch. Many steps climbed up to the top of the lighthouse and even a proposal up there. For here is where we began being lovers of the light. Hammocking in the maritime forest. Taken showers in the outside shower and the shower below the house which I remember as being dark, filled with pine straw and spiders. But it was always hilarious, good time when you were in there with your cousin twins. And you were never in it alone. Also the shrieks and shrills when playful daddies and brothers turned off the shower light from inside the kitchen. Commandeering driftwood boats-Chips ahoy! a thousands chips delicious! Built billions of drizzle castles. The sand is best here in the Lowcountry. Trillions hours frolicking in the surf. To this day we still play mermaids-pick out your tail color, jewels, hair color, trusty marine animal and more. Afternoon marshmallow, peanut butter and saltine snack things. Late night and early morning turtle walks. Also capturing those coastal Carolina sunrises. Lights out always for our lovely loggerheads. Rinsed grain after grain of sand off in the claw foot tub. Trips to Boombear’s for matching sand buckets and treats. One time it even involved some bridge wishes and Gullah magic which caused the air conditioner to blow up so we got to go to Boombear’s that day. Sleeping all piled together while the magnificent ocean lulls us to sleep. Although our physical house is gone the light, lessons, laughter and love that occurred within these walls and on these beaches will endure in our hearts forever.
To the Gay family- thank you for taking our treasure, making it your own yet so respectively keeping our treasure ours. You have become like family to us and we will not forget the honor you gave to something so near to all of our hearts. Thank you for keeping our Green Door safe and keeping the magic alive for us.
To my family-thanks for the memories and laughter and love for without y’all this place would have been just a house and beach. But because of you it became something irreplaceable, something no one besides us will ever understand. A place of light tucked inside of our hearts ready for us to revisit anytime we need and want. The future is always uncertain. I do not know where life will take all of us and what difficulties we will have to endure but I do know we will all be there for each other continuing to make memories, light and love no matter the miles that stand between us.