The Gutter Gorilla Difference
When it comes to gutter cleaning in Seabrook Island, SC, our philosophy is simple: provide our clients with quality, dependable gutter services at a fair price. Unlike some gutter cleaning companies, we believe in honesty, hard work, and helpful advice. At the end of the day, your satisfaction is our primary goal. Before we pull out of your driveway, we will take the extra time to educate you about the work we performed. That way, you can sleep with confidence, knowing that your gutters are working correctly. We genuinely take pride in our work and strive to treat your home like it was our own, so you can focus on your obligations while we handle the dirty work. Regardless of the gutter service you choose, you can rest easy knowing your home is in the hands of trained, insured professionals. Whether you need a simple gutter repair or a complete gutter installation, we have the skills to get the job done with a level of service and quality unmatched by our competition. No shortcuts. No compromises. Only efficient, trustworthy gutter services in Seabrook Island.
Gutter Cleaning in Seabrook Island, SC
We treat every gutter project as a top priority. Attention to detail is the heart and soul of our business. We go far beyond providing simple gutter services, giving you incredible insight into your seamless gutters project. Your gutter installation will be handled by licensed and insured professionals. It all starts here, please begin below.
The primary role of your gutter system is to channel water off of your roof and direct it away from your home’s foundation. Gutter blockages can result in water running over the sides of your gutters. That water will eventually settle around your foundation. With time, pooling water will affect the reliability of your home’s structure, causing cracks, mold growth, and even collapse.
Your home’s gutter system is held up by fascia boards, which are typically made of wood. When your clogged gutters overflow with water, your fascia boards will begin to rot. On top of that, your fascia boards must hold the increased weight of your clogged gutters. The combination of rot and weight can cause your gutter system to fail, resulting in expensive repairs.
If you want to maintain the beauty of your landscaping, having clog-free gutters is essential. When your gutters can’t do their job, overflowing water will pour down the sides of your home. Eventually, this water will damage the trees, shrubs, and flower beds close to the base of your home.
When your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, rainwater, and other forms of precipitation have nowhere to go. This causes water to fill your gutters to the brim. Because each gallon of water weighs around eight pounds, this extra weight will cause your gutters to crack, bend, or even tear away from your roof. Your gutters are rendered completely useless at that point, and you’re looking at very expensive repairs.
If you don’t have the time and patience to commit to proper gutter cleaning, The Gutter Gorilla team is here to help. We have been cleaning gutters in Seabrook Island for years. With a fully trained team of gutter professionals on staff, we have the experience and resources to clean your gutters effectively and efficiently.
Common Signs of Clogged Gutters
One of the most common questions we get at The Gutter Gorilla centers around when homeowners need gutter cleaning in Seabrook Island, SC. The answer is nuanced, but generally speaking, your gutters need to be cleaned twice a year or whenever they become clogged. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy for the average homeowner to climb up on a ladder, get on their roof, and look to see if their gutters are full of debris.
Luckily, there are some common signs that you can look out for to save yourself from costly repairs:
Gutter Installation in Seabrook Island, SC
Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments that you will make as an adult. As a homeowner, you know that protecting that investment is a priority. While most homeowners do a good job of staying up to date with home maintenance, sometimes life happens, and things begin to slip through the cracks. For many homeowners, gutters and downspouts are often one of those overlooked items.
Whether you need gutters installed on your new home or your old gutter system is dilapidated and needs replacing, we’ve got your back.
At The Gutter Gorilla, we specialize in custom gutter installation in Seabrook Island, SC. Because we have our own machinery, we are essentially cutting out middlemen manufacturers so that our customers benefit from lower prices and higher quality gutter systems. We strive to be friendly, affordable, and effective. We will always make your schedule a priority over our own.
When you trust The Gutter Gorilla with your new gutter installation, know that you are working with the best in the business.
Here are just a few reasons why we are the premier gutter installation company in Seabrook Island:
- We only use premium materials and install seamless, 6” aluminum k-style gutters to hold more water.
- Our installation methods are tried and tested.
- Our gutter installation experts are knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to work hard for you.
- We offer a warranty on all our products and services.
- We are licensed and insured.
- Your satisfaction is our #1 concern. We back that up with actions, not words.
When Should You Consider Gutter Installation?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether you need new gutter installation or gutter repairs. The most reliable answer will come after our team has had a chance to inspect your gutters in Seabrook Island. Before you call our office to schedule an inspection, consider the following symptoms of a failing gutter system:
- Gutters are starting to pull apart and separate.
- Gutter guards are starting to sag and pull away from the roof.
- The gutter hangers have begun to break or bend.
- Downspouts are starting to crease or are no longer straight.
- Gutters show signs of rust or have visible holes.
Quick, Reliable Gutter Repairs in Seabrook Island, SC
Cleaning and repairing gutters can be a tiresome task. We understand that the last thing you want to do with your free time is to try and figure out how to repair your damaged gutters. However, gutters that are left unrepaired can cause extensive damage to your home and lawn. If you see that your gutters are damaged, you must get them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Gutter repairs range in complexity and can be as simple as patching a hole in one of your downspouts to re-securing gutters on your home’s fascia board. We recommend that you call our office to schedule a gutter inspection, so our team can get a full understanding of the repairs that need completing.
Here are a few signs that you should be aware of that usually require gutter repairs in Seabrook Island, SC:
Pooling WaterPuddles of water accumulating near your home’s foundation
LeaksThe next time it rains, grab your umbrella and check your gutters for signs of drips or leaks.
Displaced HardwareIf you notice gutter-hanging hardware laying on the ground under the edge of your roof, it’s time to call in The Gutter Gorilla. This is a sign that your gutters aren’t fastened securely. One strong gust of wind or heavy rainstorm could cause serious damage to your gutter system.
MoldCheck your basement and your attic for signs of mold growth. If you see any mold or mildew, your gutters might not be doing their job of directing water away from your home.
Peeling PaintHave you noticed that paint is starting to peel down the side of your house? Is there rust beginning to form on your gutters? If so, you could be dealing with a leak. Usually, the result of rust or a puncture, this type of problem needs to be patched by a professional
Uneven GuttersIf your gutters are uneven or starting to sag in the middle, it’s not a good sign. In situations like these, pooling water will not be able to drain towards your corner downspouts. Eventually, the entire gutter will pull away from your home. It is highly recommended that you hire our team of professionals to repair this problem before it gets even worse.
The Trusted Choice for All Your Gutter Needs in Seabrook Island
At The Gutter Gorilla, our commitment is to provide you with an easy, care-free, educational experience. When you give us the opportunity to earn your business, you can trust that we will provide you with the highest quality gutter repair services at the best prices in the Lowcountry. From the moment we first visit your home for an inspection to the time we do our final walk though, your satisfaction is our top priority.
Ready to get started? Start your free estimate right from our website, or give our office a call today to learn more about our exceptional gutter services in Seabrook Island. We will handle the heavy lifting while you spend your free time enjoying life!Contact Us
Latest News in Seabrook Island
SC artist’s collaborative COVID-19 Together While Apart Project on exhibit tour
Physical separation became an opportunity, not an obstacle, for Seabrook Island artist Deane Bowers.In the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine, while she was brimming with emotions, Bowers began searching for ways to explore and express them creatively.While her own artwork flourished from the bombardment of unexpected inspiration, within her blossomed a desire to collaborate with other artists in some capacity, despite not being able to do so in per...
Physical separation became an opportunity, not an obstacle, for Seabrook Island artist Deane Bowers.
In the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine, while she was brimming with emotions, Bowers began searching for ways to explore and express them creatively.
While her own artwork flourished from the bombardment of unexpected inspiration, within her blossomed a desire to collaborate with other artists in some capacity, despite not being able to do so in person.
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She was craving community and began developing an idea.
Bowers, who uses reclaimed and recycled materials for much of her multidimensional artwork, began searching her house for what art supplies she could repurpose for a group project.
When she tried to open her basement door, she was met with a stack of shipping boxes from online purchases. That’s when sparks flew.
“It was like the universe literally threw a box in my way and I was like, OK, there’s your answer,” Bowers said.
She started cutting up boxes into 6-by-6-inch squares, with the hopes to find willing participants she could mail them to who would then use them as their canvases.
The goal was to compile the resulting artwork together into somewhat of a cardboard patchwork quilt.
She called the idea the Together While Apart Art Project, and the finished piece is currently being considered for permanent exhibit by the Medical University of South Carolina and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.
“I knew from my own journey as an artist that by processing these events going on in our world, my creativity would help me channel them and I’d start healing myself and finding hope,” Bowers said. “I felt like that would be the case with other people.”
Bowers reached out on all the platforms she had access to, including on her social media pages and during a podcast interview with a Los Angeles-based artist she knew. She wanted to find participants both in and outside of the Lowcountry.
“I really wanted to find a community of people who wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Bowers said.
From late July until early October, she garnered interest from more than 30 artists across the country that were then whittled down to 19 from eight different states, as some dropped out while other obligations arose.
Bowers sent everyone two to three pieces of a box and told them to think outside the box.
“I wanted them to process whatever they were feeling, positive or negative, and told them to put that into art,” Bowers said.
Meanwhile, she began getting to know the artists who had reached out for the project.
She learned that though in Cleveland, Amy Lauria had a shared love of coastal art, made from her collection of stones, driftwood and beach glass from the shores of Lake Erie.
She discovered Statesville, N.C., participant Cynthia Webb was primarily a jeweler, not a painter, but was still willing to give the project a whirl.
She checked on California participants Nikki Contini and Rebecca Potts during the wildfires.
Everyone began chatting on social media, expressing their hardships during the pandemic and also offering support and encouraging words.
Then Bowers paired up snail mail buddies, sending everyone in the group a pre-stamped envelope biweekly that they could fill with whatever they wanted to send to their selected partner.
In the midst of widespread loss of life, Bowers saw before her eyes a story unfold of new friendships being born despite it all.
“We really became this socially distanced community, connected over this project,” Bowers said. “We all were sheltering in home and in the same pandemic boat, but took comfort in knowing we weren’t in it alone.”
In January, the last finished squares arrived on Seabrook Island.
“When I laid all the squares out on my studio table, I saw that everyone had channeled their heartache, their loneliness, their sadness, their anxiety, all into something positive,” Bowers said. “The synergy was wild.”
Frankie Slaughter’s abstract acrylic and Celie Gehrig’s colorful flowers were bright and childlike splashes of wonder amid the chaos.
Rachel McLaughlin’s piece “No Mud, No Lotus” (Thich Nhat Hanh) perhaps encapsulated the juxtaposition of positive and negative emotions brought on by COVID-19 the most succinctly.
“It’s a reminder that happiness always goes hand-in-hand with struggle and suffering,” she penned. “One cannot exist without the other.”
Charleston participant Cathy Kleiman painted angels in hopes that everyone would have a COVID-19 protector watching over them. But those angels also represented guardians watching over Black Lives Matter demonstrators as they marched for justice.
“I wanted to express that every Black, Brown, White person — whatever race, creed, color or sexual orientation — needed guardian angels watching over them during this time for unity, peace, love, justice, mercy and understanding,” Kleiman said.
After Bowers compiled the separate squares into one finished piece, she began offering it as a traveling exhibit to different galleries, museums and hospitals around the country.
The first to showcase it will be the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Institute for Arts in Medicine.
“Part of our mission is to enhance the healing environment, and we truly feel this piece will do just that,” said program coordinator Lauren Edwards.
The Together While Apart Art Project will be in Alabama until December and then will travel to the Hickory Museum of Art in North Carolina for six months before arriving at the Medical College of Virginia.
It could end up in Charleston, a notion supported by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis expressed the importance of reflections such as this on eras of hardship.
“What especially stands out for me is the idea that community could be created in 6-by-6-inch squares,” DuPlessis said. “It took an artist with a vision who said ‘why not?’ And she went for it. Now, her idea and the creative work of a number of artists who don’t know each other has been stitched together — literally and figuratively.”
Bowers said she wouldn’t mind the project traveling a little longer and heading out to the West Coast before settling down.
She hopes that along with a message of hope it also conveys a powerful revelation she hadn’t expected to discover during the pandemic: You can find and create your own community even if you can’t see them face to face.
“Together, even if apart, we’re better,” she said.
Researchers discover largest-known flock of declining shorebird roosting in coastal SC
Biologists and researchers have discovered that half of a declining shorebird species on the Atlantic is being supported by a nighttime roost off the coast of South Carolina.About 20,000 whimbrel were confirmed roosting at night at the Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary, off Seabrook Island 20 miles south of Charleston, during their annual journey north.The S.C. Department of Natural Resources said it is rare that someone discovers a new-to-science bird migration spectacle, but it is even more rare that an encounter would be so clo...
Biologists and researchers have discovered that half of a declining shorebird species on the Atlantic is being supported by a nighttime roost off the coast of South Carolina.
About 20,000 whimbrel were confirmed roosting at night at the Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary, off Seabrook Island 20 miles south of Charleston, during their annual journey north.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources said it is rare that someone discovers a new-to-science bird migration spectacle, but it is even more rare that an encounter would be so close to a metropolitan area such as Charleston.
Whimbrels are large shorebirds known for their long, curved bills. They migrate yearly across the Western Hemisphere while facing threats of habitat loss and overhunting.
These birds spend winters on South American coasts and then fly thousands of miles north to nest and raise their young across the subarctic regions of Canada and Alaska.
They usually make one stop along the way to rest and feed in places like South Carolina to fuel their breeding season, DNR said.
In the past 25 years, the whimbrel species has declined by two-thirds across the Atlantic Flyway, so the discovery of such a largest roost — the largest known for this species — is important for protecting this rare shorebird.
DNR Biologist Felicia Sanders and a team of researchers confirmed that about 20,000 whimbrel were roosting at night on the island during their spring migration. In 2020, the team documented similar numbers.
Findings were published in Wader Study, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. And a team from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology documented the discovery.
“A lot of people were skeptical, but after tallying results from coordinated surveys by fellow ornithologists and video documentation we are certain of the magnitude of the flock,” Sanders said.
She said finding so many whimbrels on Deveaux Bank gives her hope that the tide can be turned for the species and other declining shorebirds.
Sustaining shorebird species involves protecting seabird sanctuaries such as Deveaux Bank. Seabirds seek large, isolated offshore refuges where there are minimal disturbances from people and predators. Few remain on the Atlantic Coast.
Deveaux Bank is closed year-round above the high-water line, apart from areas designated for limited recreation use. Some of the island’s beaches are also closed for seasonal nesting of coastal birds from March 15 to Oct. 15.
Sanders said it takes a village to protect places as important as Deveaux.
“The discovery at Deveaux Bank really shows the need for conservation efforts to deal with the pressures of growth along our coast and a changing climate,” said Laura Cantral, executive director of the Coastal Conservation League. “South Carolina is lucky to have the experts at DNR so that conservation decisions stem from good science.”
Dr. J. Drew Lanham, a professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, said when people think of the shifting nature of the barrier islands, they realize that nothing is ever permanent.
“And so it’s important for us to realize, to understand this discovery on Deveaux and to protect beyond Deveaux, to have these other landing spots,” Lanham said.
A roost so large stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to coastal habitat conservation, DNR said.
Supreme Court strikes down development permits for Kiawah\'s Capt. Sam\'s Spit
DREW TRIPP | WCIV Staff
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) — South Carolina\'s Supreme Court again has ruled on the side of environmentalists in an enduring fight over the future of Kiawah Island\'s imperiled Capt. Sam\'s Spit, on which developers have long sought to build oceanfront houses.In an opinion published Tuesday, the Supreme Court reversed an earlier ruling by the state\'s Administrative Law Court which ...
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) — South Carolina\'s Supreme Court again has ruled on the side of environmentalists in an enduring fight over the future of Kiawah Island\'s imperiled Capt. Sam\'s Spit, on which developers have long sought to build oceanfront houses.
In an opinion published Tuesday, the Supreme Court reversed an earlier ruling by the state\'s Administrative Law Court which tentatively cleared the way for construction of a 2,380-foot metal wall along the Kiawah River on the inland side of the narrow, 170-acre Capt. Sam\'s Spit peninsula.
It\'s the third time the Supreme Court has struck down prior rulings by the Administrative Law Court (ALC) that would\'ve allowed Kiawah Development Partners, the group that owns the upland areas of the narrow peninsula, to build a massive erosion prevention wall near the banks of the river.
Kiawah Development Partners have been after government clearance for decades to build the erosion barrier along the river. It\'s part of a larger plan to construct a road and eventually 50 new beachfront homes on the peninsula. The developers their financial interests
But building on Capt. Sam\'s Spit isn\'t so easy. Much of the peninsula is protected against development as a "critical area" under the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control\'s Ocean & Coastal Resource Management plan. In light of this, proposals to build the wall in 2014 and 2018 didn\'t pass muster with DHEC, decisions later affirmed by the Supreme Court despite the ALC\'s rulings.
In the most recent attempt, developers took a new approach in their attempt to get the nearly 800-yard wall approved, putting forth a plan that would see the wall constructed entirely outside of the peninsula\'s current critical and protected areas.
Under that scenario, the threshold of scrutiny from DHEC regulators was reduced, and eliminated a requirement for the agency to consider the "long range, cumulative effects" of the development. The plan worked.
DHEC approved the new proposal, and also agreed with Kiawah Development Partners\' assessment that development on Capt. Sam\'s Spit would be in line with the general character of the surrounding area since other portions of Kiawah Island and neighboring Seabrook Island had been developed — even though DHEC in past objections to development plans had described Capt. Sam\'s Spit as one of only three pristine beaches remaining along the South Carolina coastline.
The ALC then upheld DHEC\'s rulings, further arguing it was in the public interest to build the lengthy wall. The ALC argued public benefit was met because the wall could protect a particularly vulnerable stretch of Capt. Sam\'s Spit known as "the neck," located steps away from popular Kiawah Beachwalker County Park.
The Supreme Court hit back on this ALC decision, saying the decision was a "fallacy" because protecting the small area along the neck adjacent to Beachwalker Park didn\'t justify building the entire wall. Further, the Supreme Court noted the ALC in this decision ignored an existing permit approved years earlier that would allow for a smaller 270-foot retaining wall near Beachwalker Park to specifically address the erosion in the neck area.
"In essence, (Kiawah Development Partners) seeks to hold the protection of the park hostage until it is permitted to construct the entire wall," Justice Kaye G. Hearn wrote on behalf of the court in its majority opinion striking down the approval.
Additionally the Supreme Court ruled the ALC erred in upholding DHEC\'s reduced scrutiny of the project because it flippantly ignored the long-term potential impacts to the critical area that would be hastened by allowing construction of the wall and the road.
The most recent development proposal forecasts at least 28.5 feet of space needed to install the wall and a road on the spit . The river at the "neck" is currently separated from the protected critical area by less than 10 yards (approx. 29 feet), according to a 2016 measurement cited in the Supreme Court opinion. That distance was 60 feet in 2010, demonstrating the significant rate of erosion.
Thus, the Supreme Court reasoned building the road and the wall would leave less than a foot of buffer between the infrastructure and the protected critical areas. With the known erosion problem, that creates "a virtual certainty" the river bank will eventually erode completely away adjacent to the wall, thus eliminating the public\'s use of it and further threatening and likely eliminating parts of the protected critical area.
Lastly, the High Court ruled that the developers\' motives for building the wall were inescapably related to economic benefits. By law, economic interests cannot supersede the public interest in protection of critical areas, thus the Supreme Court ruled the ALC had erred in upholding the permits for the wall.
“The South Carolina Supreme Court drove home, for the third time, today that it’s still a bad idea," said Laura Cantral, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League, which brought the fight against the developers to the Supreme Court. "The fragile piece of sand is no place for a 2,380-foot steel wall, along with a roadway, stormwater management system, and utility lines, which would have been devastating to such an ecologically sensitive and fragile landscape. Captain Sams is a valuable public resource. We are celebrating this victory, and we will continue our fight to protect Captain Sams Spit.”
How and where to play pickleball around Charleston, SC
Did you know pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the US? It’s kind of a big dill. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, pickleball shares similarities with tennis, table tennis + badminton (as well as other paddle ball sports)....
Did you know pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the US? It’s kind of a big dill. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, pickleball shares similarities with tennis, table tennis + badminton (as well as other paddle ball sports).
What’s up with the name? The game was invented in 1965 by three fathers near Seattle, WA. Despite its recent appearance on the scene, there’s some uncertainty about how it got its name. One of the three inventors, Joel Pritchard, had a dog named Pickles who chased the ball and ran away with it when they played – hence the name. Another story posits that it was named after a crew term: “pickle boat,” in which oarsmen are chosen from leftovers of other boats – which fit because the game combined many elements of other sports.
Ready to grab a paddle and see what makes pickleball such a big dill? Here’s where to begin.
*closed due to COVID-19 pandemic until further notice — call (843) 345-9146 for updates
*no games during the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice — call (843) 402-4571 or email directly for updates
Stratford High school | 951 Crowfield Blvd., Goose Creek | Offered through curriculum — call (843) 769-7798 for updatesSeabrook Island Racquet Club | 1701 Longbend Dr., Seabrook Island | Call (843) 768-7543 for updates
Please note that times, days, and availability are subject to change. Call or email the facility to confirm pickleball schedules.
How to Have a Fun, Multigenerational Family Vacation
New York Times
Feeling released after a terrible year, this summer many families are hitting the road or taking to the skies with three or more generations, together.How can family vacations live up to the name, providing time to feel close but also time off the clock? Parents who had children at home for remote school for much of the last year may ache for a chance to catch their breath. Grandparents yearn to be with their families at last, without feeling as if they’re operating a day care center.Here’s how experts in family dyn...
Feeling released after a terrible year, this summer many families are hitting the road or taking to the skies with three or more generations, together.
How can family vacations live up to the name, providing time to feel close but also time off the clock? Parents who had children at home for remote school for much of the last year may ache for a chance to catch their breath. Grandparents yearn to be with their families at last, without feeling as if they’re operating a day care center.
Here’s how experts in family dynamics, and some grandparents and parents, suggest to best pull that off.
Talk through expectations in advance.
Elise Tarbi, 35, a nurse practitioner in Boston, took planning seriously. Before she, her husband and their 3-year-old shared a cabin in Maine with her parents for a week, she asked each adult to name a vacation goal.
“All I really wanted was some quiet time with coffee and a book, because that’s gone when you have a child,” she said. She achieved her goal, and so did her husband (who wanted a hike), her father (kayaking) and her mother (a nature preserve visit). Sometimes that meant doing things separately.
Find ways to share chores, particularly child care.
Every other summer, Emily Morgan, 61, the host of the podcast The Grand Life (on which this reporter has been a guest), and her husband, Mike, leave their Indiana home to spend five nights with their four grown children, spouses and grandchildren. They’ve visited Savannah, Ga.; Gatlinburg, Tenn., and coastal Maine.
“We told them, ‘One evening, we will watch the kids and you go out,’” Ms. Morgan said. “Which is a positive way of saying, ‘We’re not watching the kids every night.’”
At first, the older Morgans handled meals, but as their family expanded — to 20 people on their latest vacation — they began to wilt. Now, each adult couple takes full responsibility for one dinner during their stay, including menu, shopping, cooking and cleanup.
Discuss who pays for what.
On family trips, “there is very little money flowing uphill” to the older generation, Madonna Harrington Meyer, a Syracuse University sociologist and author of “Grandmothers at Work,” has found in her research.
Grandparents often default to picking up the tab, especially when children are visiting, but grandparents may be near or in retirement. Hosting costs can increase with each in-law and grandchild.
The senior Morgans used to shoulder vacation rentals, until their growing family meant bigger houses at higher prices. Now, they ask each family to pay one-fifth.
However, for the past few years, Donna and David Bolls, who live in Charlotte, N.C., have accepted a daughter’s invitation to join her family in a cottage on Seabrook Island, S.C. She declined their offer to pay part of the week’s rent.
“We try to grab the check if we go out to eat,” Ms. Bolls, 65, said. “Sometimes we split the groceries. We don’t want them footing the whole bill, even if they can afford it.” Caring for their grandchildren, 5-year-old twins, helps balance the ledger.
Beware of old patterns.
“People tend to fall back into their usual roles without thinking,” said Sally Tannen, an early childhood educator who for years has led the parenting and grandparenting workshops at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
Adult children can regress, expecting their parents to take care of them and their children. “But you’re an adult now,” Ms. Tannen noted. Similarly, grandparents may anticipate being in charge, a recipe for conflict in close quarters. “We’ve always been the caregivers, and it’s hard to let go of,” she said. “We like to hold on to control.”
Like other experts, she cautioned that the middle generation sets the rules for their children, and that grandparents should defer and avoid criticizing those decisions.
When her toddler grandson wanted some of her maple ice cream — having recently moved to Vermont, Ms. Tannen and her husband are hosting children and grandchildren all summer — she asked his mother. “I was told to only give him two teaspoons,” she said. “I respected that.”
At the same time, grandparents may have lost some stamina or mobility.
Mary Scott-Boria, 70, and her husband live in Chicago, but own a small camper they park in a rural recreation facility 90 minutes away.
Lately, when they invite their children for a few days, “my daughters tend to take charge,” Ms. Scott-Boria said. “They manage the cooking and the cleaning and the activities. I don’t have to be the responsible one.” It’s meant change for the once undisputed matriarch, but “I’ve learned to be OK with it.”
Allow for down time.
When Rosie Cantu vacationed with three of her grandchildren on Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas Gulf Coast a few years back, everyone knew the rule: Afternoons, the children amused themselves with board games and puzzles while Lita (from “abuelita,” Spanish for grandmother) relaxed.
“That was my alone time and it re-energized me for the rest of the day,” said Ms. Cantu, 76, a semiretired teacher from San Antonio.
“It’s OK not to fill every minute,” said Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a psychologist at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
She and her husband, planning an excursion with their two grandchildren, expect to hear “I’m bored!” and won’t be fazed. “I will say, ‘it’s up to you to figure out how to fill this time.’”
Flexibility helps all parties enjoy themselves.
Ms. Tarbi and her husband packed their toddler son’s ‘OK to Wake’ clock, which turns green when he is allowed to get out of bed just after 7 a.m. They had been working for months to curtail his early rising.
But on their first day in Maine, her father — excited to be with his grandson — heard him chirping and forgot the clock. Shortly after 6 a.m., a no-longer-asleep Ms. Tarbi could hear them playing. She later reminded her father, who apologized, and “I had to get over it,” Ms. Tarbi said. “Some routines are not as important on vacation.”
What counts, experts and family members agree, is having time together, especially this year. It’s lovely to have unscheduled days when nobody has to rush to work or school, when there’s time for an impromptu ice cream cone or conversation or Scrabble game.
“Family vacations really matter,” Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said. “Building in-person relationships is invaluable.” To show grandchildren that other adults besides their parents love and care for them, to remind parents that someone else has their back, to build memories and traditions — that may be worth some compromises.