Tag Archives: beach cottage

Survey says…

The recent passing of TV game show host Richard Dawson has me feeling a little Family-Feudish.

By the way, I know someone who knows someone who was once on Family Feud. Are you impressed?

You wouldn’t be impressed if I were playing.

You know it goes: Contestants are asked to “Name something that …” as they aim to match their answers with answers of others on their team, as well as with survey responses cast by the audience. If instructed to name something you would find your refrigerator, for example, you might say “milk,” knowing that might be a popular—and hence, high scoring—answer.

If I were to be truthful I’d say “a canister of 35-millimeter film,” or today, “a brick.” But then I’d likely win no points for a match.

Suppose I asked you to Name Something You Would Take on a Beach Vacation. Would you say, an umbrella, a good book, a Frisbee perhaps?

If I were playing Family Feud, perhaps I’d name those things too. But what if I were answering based solely on what I need to occupy a particular cottage, one that is perfectly situated on a beautiful beach, but is ill-equipped to handle my needs?

How many points would I earn I earn if I told you truthfully what will soon go into the trunk of my car?

  1. A specialty whisk, two knives and a cheese grater
  2. A pesto torte, along with the clay brick that makes it mmm-mm good
  3. A bottle of homemade ginger walnut salad dressing
  4. A jar of lemon curd (you never know when you’ll need one)
  5. Fresh mint, for making chilled cucumber soup
  6. Apples to Apples, Taboo and Boggle, three must-play beach cottage games
  7. A bathroom rug
  8. A sound machine, for playing my carefully constructed beach playlists
  9. A noise machine, in case the Atlantic isn’t white noise enough
  10. A large E-Z UP canopy, to shade our dune deck during Happy Hour (when we’re sipping cucumber soup, of course)

Say the game were reversed, you were packing for vacation, but you got points for unique answers.



Filed under Food, Hearth and Home, Movies, Television and Radio, Music, Sports and Recreation, Travel

Loopy lyrics

In 1991, my husband, our toddler and I rented a beach cottage in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. It’s the same cottage we still get almost every summer.

Over the years, the owners have upgraded the cottage with assorted amenities but, in 1991, it was pretty rustic. No dishwasher, no microwave, no air conditioning. Worst of all, no TV. There was, however, a cassette tape player.

When we arrived with our two-and-a-half-year-old, we thought the absence of a television would be a plus. That is, until we realized we had one cassette tape. For the whole week.

It was Wee Sing Silly Songs. The three of us must have played that tape—and sung along, with hand motions—20 times or more that week. Got to know all the silly songs by heart.

Who can forget the classic “John Brown’s Baby?” Or as our son sang it, “John’s brown baby.” He had a cold upon his chest, and they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

Oh, what did Delaware, boys? What did Delaware? She wore her New Jersey, boys. She wore her New Jersey.

Good times.

I know that, in years to come, when we are in The Home, drooling in the corner and unable to remember our own names, we’ll still remember the lyrics of the great children’s songs. I’ll have to be sure my son has a copy of “Silly Songs,” in whatever format it will be then, to play for me when I’m old.

My brothers and I grew up on Irish drinking songs and versions of children’s songs that weren’t yet scrubbed of their political incorrectness. Didn’t we all? 

I went to the animal fair, the birds and beasts were there
(we thought it was bees)
The big baboon, by the light of the moon, was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey he got drunk. He fell on the elephant’s trunk.
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees,
And what became of the monk? 

Then there were the songs we learned on the playground, such as “Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat.” We thought we were so cool because the lyrics allowed us to curse without cursing. 

Or this:

Tra la la boom di-ay, there was no school today.
Our teacher passed away; she died of tooth decay.
We threw her in the bay; she scared the fish away.
And when we pulled her out, she smelled like sauerkraut!

What songs comprised the soundtrack of your childhood?


Filed under Family and Friends, Music, Travel