My grandpa built our little beach house on Pond Island in 1985. He picked the square of land that had a view of both the sunrise and the sunset. My parents say the architecture was super modern at the time, although it looks outdated now in the best way. (We say retro.)
My mom and dad were the first to use the house, as newlyweds 27 years ago. They drove down for their honeymoon in a convertible with the top down. My dad got a sunburn. The only furniture in the house consisted of two fold-out beach chairs in the living room.
Pond Island quickly became a gathering spot; a scared place for our family and friends. I've grown up seeing endless grainy photos set here -- my mom in her black maillot and blunt bangs; my dad and uncles sitting around, always laughing. The edge of the deck at sunset has always been the place for group photos. My family doesn't have many rituals in the traditional sense, but this is one that stuck.