Always the same.

Do you have things in life that are always the same, year after year.  Like certain holiday decorations that your family will always have out during your visit. Or a certain chair that has been around forever. A special soup that your mom made every time you got the flu.

Our family has been traveling to Ocean Park Maine and Old Orchard Beach for decades. My great grandfather started the tradition many years ago and as the family has grown and generations added, the tradition has continued. Each year around Labor Day, over a hundred family members get together to do the same things: sing-along night, church on the beach, lobster night, skit night, daily walks down the beach to this hole-in-the-wall shop for bagels, trips to the inlet at high tide and low tide to find some beach treasures or wade in super deep water, freezing cold waves, trips to the old fashioned ice cream and candy parlor.  Yes, so many things- always the same.

During our trip to Maine, I shared with my boys about many of my adventures going to Maine – I’ve been going up there for over 30 years now – ever since I was a baby and while a few things have changed, it’s mostly the same.  The houses stay the same, the buildings – it’s all the same. Especially the house we lovingly refer to as the “upside down ice cream cone house”:

icehouse

I’m sure you can see where it’s name came from, with the unusual cone shaped roof.

When we were little, we always used the upside down ice cream cone house as a reference point.  Coming back from the inlet after searching for shells, you’d just scour the house line until you came upon it:

icehouse2

After the long one-mile walk down to Ocean Park for hot chocolate and grilled muffins, there it would be, in the distance so you could see how much further you had to go.

We always knew where our rental was in relation – “oh, we’re two streets down from the upside down ice cream cone house.”

And when I see it now 30 years later, it’s a great reminder that while the world continues to change, it’s nice when some things stay the same.

icehouse3

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