When you spend most of your life on the beach – you pick up a few coastal habits. I picked up more than my fair share. I eat oysters on Christmas, leave seashells on tombstones, keep extra clothes and towels in my trunk, and wear flip-flops year-round.

No one notices these beachy quirks, save for my flip-flop addiction.

I blame my mama for that one. She had a pair of black rainbow-soled Rainbows when I first moved in with her in the early 1990s. If it was above 65 degrees, they were on her feet. And I was obsessed with them.

It was years later that I got my first pair. I wore them everywhere. School, church, rain or shine, and even on Christmas trips back home to Canton. Daddy fussed to no end, convinced I’d get frostbite. I didn’t, and so his fussing fell on deaf ears. Though I bet Daddy was thrilled, I was heartbroken when I lost one in the ocean.

I’ve had half a dozen pairs since then. And I still wear them with wild abandon. I swear, they go with just about everything. Plus, they last forever. Mama still had her black ones when Bug was born, and I have a hemp pair that is almost 20 years old.

Even Brandon has taken to wearing them non-stop after living in Wilmington. He’s every bit as bad about it as I am, and we’ve passed the habit down to the girls who’ve worn them since they were toddlers.

That makes three generations with the same go-to pair of flip-flops. Mama was never much of a trendsetter, but she started something when she stopped by a surf shop and picked up that set of black Rainbows in the 90s.

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