The Bays Boys in Oysterville

Aug 3, 2012 | 1 comment

Sometimes, traditions just sort of sneak up on you.  You repeat something a few times and suddenly it’s just what you ‘do.’  And so it is with us and the annual summer visit of the Waters-Bays family.

It all started years ago – probably twenty-five – with Randal Bays and vespers.  Like many musicians, he loves the Oysterville Church and its acoustics and, by extension loves Oysterville… and us!  He brought his bride, Susan Waters, here to meet us.  Then they brought Willie.  And, then, Owen.

Willie learned to crawl on our very carpet.  Owen learned to ride his two-wheeler on the lane beside the house.  We’ve read them stories, shown them how to gather eggs, and marveled at the changes each year brings.  Once we visited them when they lived in Massachusetts and another time when they lived on Whidbey Island, but mostly they come here.  We feel like distant, admiring grandparents and, since we have no grandchildren of our own, that’s fine with us!

So, their visit has become a tradition – a few summer days at the beach for them and a chance for us to touch bases (so to speak) with whatever is the consuming interest of the moment.  One year Willie was totally engaged with cameras and photography.  Another year he was into blacksmithing.  Last year Owen bonded with the chickens.  This year, playing catch – “stay away from the house” Susan warned – seems to be a focus.

This past Monday was Owen’s eighth birthday and the family went to an “M’s game” he told us excitedly.  “And we won!”  The talk at the dinner table was all about baseball and, for the most part, went right over my head.  Afterwards, while the adults talked on about other things, the boys disappeared for a few moments and came back with Owen outfitted in his new catcher’s gear.

We haven’t talked about music yet. I’m pretty sure Willie and Susan will be performing with Randal at Vespers Sunday but I don’t know about Owen.  He has never been much interested in performing, although his dad says he has amazing natural ability.  Last year he “lilted” while the others played.  According to Wikipedia:  lilting is a form of traditional singing common in the Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland and Scotland. It goes under many names, and is sometimes referred to as “mouth music”, diddling, jigging, chin music or cheek music.

Like any good grandmotherly sort, of course, I will be delighted with whatever the Bays Boys do. They really can do no wrong in my eyes – as long as they mind their mom and keep that softball in the lane!

1 Comment

  1. Nancy

    Your home, the location thereof, the host and hostess of my favorite structure (except for the church) on Territory Road: a magnet that draws an eclectic configuration of folks to the door where all (well, almost all) are embraced. Imagine two sanctuaries directly across a road from one another. Love the image!

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