Beach House Saga

Beach House

Beach House

It was always a joy to take our whole family to the beach in Florida. We usually stayed at one particular house that we adored; but found out last January that it had already been rented out for the whole year. We happened to notice that a house just down the beach was available for this summer. After making sure it had the amenities we needed, we booked it for a week in July. We flew down to Florida and went quickly to the house. Guess what- the house was not at all what we expected. In fact, we started calling it “The house from hell”.

When we arrived at the house at check-in time, we noticed that the housekeepers hadn’t come yet so the house was messy. Not only that, but the furniture was worn and some of it was stained. And in this three-story house, the elevator had been disabled. Luckily, everyone including a couple of us “old folks” were able to climb three flights of stairs. The house was listed as “near the beach with a “beach view”. Surprise! There was a house between us and the beach that was – of all things- under construction. Ever live near a construction site? Yuck!


However, it was a short walk down the road to the beach where we could set up beach chairs and watch the glorious sunsets while the younger kids romped in the surf and looked for shells.

Some of the younger folks were teen-agers. Ever try to fill up several teen-agers? Every day meant a trip to the nearest grocery store to stock up on food and drinks for supper. We cooked and we laughed. We watched shows on Netflix – especially ones about U.S. servicemen fighting in the World Wars and zany comedies like Monty Python. The overstuffed sofas may have been a bit stained but were perfect for snuggling together.

The Seddon-Gibson Family

Our Family

I came to realize that the house itself didn’t really matter – it was the people inside who were happy simply to enjoy each other’s company. We learned not to sweat the small stuff.

I hope your summer has been sunny and warm and spent with the ones you love!

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  1. It’s nice to hear that kind of stuff happens to other people too! Great that it all worked out in the end.

  2. Rhea/Hoot,
    You truly are an amazing couple. You both have a very beautiful family.
    I hope you also had a great time in Florida.

    My best to your whole clan

  3. Rhea, you made my day. What a wonderful positive attitude about your big surprise. What was important was being with the ones you love . So happy you could in spite of it all have a great vacation . Love you❤️❤️❤️

  4. Good story,
    I have always admired you and Hoot for what you have accomplished in your profession and in your family!

  5. Rhea, we have been there & done that. Normally we stay in Perdido Beach but grandkids are older and wanted more excitement. So off to 30A. The house we rented was wonderful! No complaints at all. And even came with a 6 seater golf cart. When we arrived we then understood why … long walk up to 30A But there was parking on our house side of 30A. Then just crossed the Hwy….all the drivers were great & stopping to let us cross. Then we go to the private gate to the private beach. We had rented beach chairs so they were set up. We go thru the gate ..then saw what was ahead! 56 steps down, and that meant 56 steps back up. Gulp! I did it each day. Made it! The night before we were leaving to drive back … sitting around the dinner table just talking my daughter came out of the blue and praised me for going up & down & laughing with no complaints. Well, my grand daughter’s boy friend piped up & said “ what! You are 78! Well, I thought you were around 65! At that point I was ready to head back to the beach! Made my day!

  6. Hoot you haven’t changed one bit since STS 27

    Jack Roberts

  7. I love this story. It-‘s all about family and making good times out of strange times. You’re sure to remember that house!

  8. Dr. Rhea, Glad you realized it was the family and not the house that really matters in life! But of course it also shows that one has to really check out the ratings when renting a summer boarding location. ENJOY!!

  9. Hi Rhea! I can’t believe how much your family has grown! You and Hooter look wonderful. Thanks for sharing your family’s adventure and the memories you made in FL.


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