Growing up, my siblings and I would spend the winter months at our aunts beach house.
My mother, being a school teacher, would take us to her sisters beach household a few hours away for a month each winter break.
We regularly looked forward to this trip with our mom because she grew up on the ocean. Where my buddy and I lived, there was no beach. She and my aunt taught us to care about the ocean. We would surf, swim and lay out in the sunlight learning books all day. My favorite part of going to the beach household in the winter was the wood burning fireplace that was used to heat the house! The household my buddy and I lived in did not have a fireplace. I regularly found the glow of the fire to be soothing and calming, especially in combination with the waves crashing on the nearby coast. Sometimes, it would get so frigid in the dining rooms that my buddy and I would bundle up next to the fireplace and stay there all evening. One evening it was so frigid that me, my sister and my mom all slept in the kitchen near the wood burning fireplace. My aunt had another fireplace in her dining room, so she was fine, but, there was no other heating in the rest of the house. I regularly enjoyed spending the winter breaks with my aunt at her beach household and I think that is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Without those experiences, I might have never come to care about the ocean as much as I do.