Edisto Memories


I hope you’re not too tired of hearing about Edisto because I’ve got more stories to share!

This past weekend, Ryan and I spent the weekend with my parents and one of my sisters (and her family) at Edisto Beach. (Actually, right now, the entire coast of SC is preparing to evacuate because of Hurricane Florence.) Every time I’m at Edisto, I see things that dredge up a sea of memories for me. I mean, we’ve vacationed there every year for close to the last twenty years. I can measure my life by the summers we’ve been there—the first year I had my drivers license and was able to drive on the island BY MYSELF, the year that I graduated from high school (and took a semester off before heading off to college so that I could spend an extra vacation at Edisto), the first year that I took Ryan to Edisto…

… I could go on for hour.

However, a few memories really stand out, and I feel compelled to share them. Here goes:

On the backside of Edisto is a small strip mall, and for several years, we noticed a pottery shop. It was one of those places where you painted a piece and leave it for a few days so that they can fire it in the kiln. When we used to stay on Edisto for only a week, we didn’t really have time to do it, but once we started to go for two weeks, we decided to give it a try. If you’re looking for a really fun, personalized souvenir, look for one of these pottery shops at your next vacation destination. Most years, we painted plates, and those plates now hang in Mama’s kitchen back home. My older sister Bess, a talented artist, used to come paint with us sometimes, and her pottery was almost always selected by the store owner to be photographed and documented in the “ideas book” for future customers. We love Bess, but we didn’t like to paint pottery with her. Sorry, Bess.

Another memory that really stands out to me were the early-morning bike rides I used to take with my two closest friends, Catie and Joseph. (When they first started coming to Edisto, they and their family would stay with us for a couple of days, but now they rent their own house and take their own family vacations to Edisto.) We would wake up before anyone else and head out to explore the island, often riding two or three miles before returning to the house only to find everyone else still asleep. So then we’d set off again and ride in a different direction. Some mornings, when we could scrounge up enough coin change, we would ride down to the Wyndham Beach Pavilion and buy honey buns from the vending machine for our breakfast. We would sit on those wooden picnic tables and look out over the ocean, blissfully happy with our little spot in the world.

I already mentioned the Year of Dave in last Tuesday’s post, but that definitely stands out as one of the best in my mind. That same year, my sister Luci also bought this game set from WalMart and brought it to the beach (I think it was in the clearance section). It had two wide paddles, one side of each covered in dozens of little suction cups, and a plastic ball came with it. If one person threw the ball, the other could use the suction cups on his paddle to catch it. We called it Sticky Ball, and we played it so much that year. Sneed (my brother) and Dave would play it as if they were Olympic athletes, competing in the Gold Medal round, and would dive into the sand in order to catch the ball with the paddles. It was a fun, inexpensive toy. Luci certainly got her money’s worth.

We have so many memories from Edisto. So many bike rides, sunrises, family meals eaten on the back porch. I’ll share one last one with you, and I’m hoping that the statute of limitations has run out on this.

When I was eighteen, I went to the beach with Catie (whose family we introduced to Edisto) for a few days. She and her family preferred to go in May, so they invited me over. I guess we were feeling rebellious that week because we did two very uncharacteristic things. First, we snuck beers from the cooler downstairs and snuck out of the house. It was probably two or three o’clock in the morning, and we decided to go for a bike ride…with open containers. We rode all through the gated Wyndham community on Edisto, sipping our beers (drinking and driving). When we heard a car coming, I chucked my beer into the nearest bush and my friend just drained hers in about fifteen seconds flat. After that, I think we hid behind an unoccupied rental house till the car passed, in case it was a cop. (There you go, Mama. I bet you never suspected that).

The second wild-ish thing that we did was sneak out of the house late at night and venture down to the hot tub in the Wyndham community. We didn’t have a key to get in the gate, so… we sorta hopped the fence. We didn’t caught, but we were so afraid that we were going to the whole time. It was the best hour I’ve spent in a hot tub!

Well, there’s my little trip down memory lane. Nothing too crazy, but these memories are very dear to me, and I can’t wait for us to rent our own house on Edisto one summer very soon.


(Me at Edisto this past weekend)


(There was huge storm over the ocean as the sun came up, and I got this awesome photo)


(Working on my novel on the screened porch of our favorite beach house is probably the very best place I’ve written. If lived at the beach, I would do lots of great writing.)


Bye y’all,



  1. Once again, Emma, you made me homesick for all the years when we went to Edisto with such a crowd. So many memories were made there. We’re driving off the island as I write this. Not by choice but because the Governor of SC issued a mandatory evacuation. Disappointing , but we surely did enjoy the time we had there. Your daddy’s driving so I’m about to work on my annual list of what not to bring next time. Other than swimsuits, I wore hardly any of the clothes I packed. You’d think I’d have learned by now.


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