Saturday, October 03, 2015
BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: COASTAL LIVING
September 22, 2015 – I woke up at the butt crack of morning again to make sure I didn’t miss the sunrise. Aunt Brenda, Jon and I had plans to go see it and I promised I’d be awake this time. I was surprised Jon wanted to come along, because I didn’t think he was a sunrise kind of guy! Aunt Brenda and I were up first, and because my timing was way off on what time the sunrise would be (I’m telling you, we must literally be on the time zone line in this house) we sat outside and looked at the stars. It’s amazing how clear they are around here. This is the first time I’ve ever stayed at the beach when there weren’t a million hotels crowded around, and I love it. There are nothing but houses and cottages on Cape San Blas, at least as far as I can see. I might be completely spoiled for beach vacations from now on. The sky was clear, so I could see the milky way, and I also saw satellites moving around. It was really awesome. Jon came downstairs closer to the time of the sunrise, and we made our way to the beach. It was cloudy, so we couldn’t see the sunrise the same way I did the first day, but it was still beautiful! We actually walked a different direction than I had the other day. Not very far away was a wooden gate that blocked off a section of beach that didn’t have any houses on it. Turns out, we were right next door to an Air Force base! That explained the “Not Thunder” we heard the day before. It also explained the jets flying over. Woo-Hoo! Fly Boys! The beach beyond – which led to the sticky-out-bit of land I was obsessed with, was a wildlife preserve, and the gate would open at 9:00, so I knew it wasn’t restricted space. Yay! We didn’t stay out long, because Jon is getting over an illness and has a tiny bit of trouble walking long distances. We hadn’t been back for very long before I decided that I was just going to walk down that stretch of beach to the sticky-out-bit that I wanted to see. It didn’t seem that far away, and I knew the lack of people walking on it would mean that the shells wouldn’t have been picked over just yet, so when 9:00 had come and gone, I grabbed my bucket and left. I promise you, I told people where I was going, but apparently no one listened.
I set off and walked for a long-ass time. I walked slowly, to be sure, only because I was looking for shells, but I think that every time I looked up to see how close I was to the jetty, it looked just as far away as it had when I started out. I did find some amazing, and very fragile, shells that I’ve never seen outside of a shell shop (they weren’t whole, but I still got them) and I came across a crane that was almost as tall as I was, and had feet every bit the same size as my own (not that that is saying much, but still, giant for bird feet!) but the jetty still never got any closer! I was very tired, and I didn’t want to keep walking, but by this point, I was on a mission. I knew everyone would laugh if I didn’t at least get to the end of the thing, so I kept on going. Trucks passed me on the way to the end, and it turns out that the people I saw walking around out there were shore fishermen. I kept on walking, and I swear to you, I was only about 200 yards away from my goal, and my lungs locked up on me. It wasn’t the worst asthma attack I’ve ever had, but because I was far away from where I kept my inhaler, it was bad enough. Of course, not being able to breathe is the perfect reason for me to panic, so I never made it to the point. So close to my goal, and I couldn’t make it. Story of my life, I guess. I wound up almost passing out somewhere about halfway back. I couldn’t breathe and I was dehydrated from the heat and long walk, but I wouldn’t let myself go down. When I’d get dizzy, I’d just walk into the surf and the cold water on my feet kept me awake. I had no idea how long I was gone, because my watch was in the bedroom, still drying off from its swim, but it had to have been at least a couple of hours. I kept expecting to see someone I knew coming to look for me to make sure I was OK. No one came, though. I made it back, hot, sweaty, sandy, weighted down by my bucket of shells and exhausted. I didn’t think anyone was home, but it turned out at least a couple of people were there. No one had even realized I’d gone out towards the sticky-out-bit of land! I could have died out there and been eaten by fish and giant birds and no one would have even realized it! Oh well.
I cleaned up and re-hydrated, and spent the afternoon resting. I still have no idea how long I was gone, but it was a long, long time.
We’d all decided to go to dinner together tonight at a place called Dockside (Come to the Dockside…we have scallops.) It was a very casual place, right on the cape in Port St. Joe. The fishing boats pull up right outside, so the seafood was very fresh. It got a little chaotic with our party inside, because there were 13 of us, and the wait staff had just been pared down to off-season size, so I felt a little sorry for our waitress. She did well, though. I actually ordered scallops, which I’d never had before. They were pretty good! We sat and talked for a while, but the kids were getting restless and a little wild, so we left.
When we got back to the house, we sat on the screened in porch and talked for a while, but I got sleepy and headed to bed. I really love it here. I think I’d be a very different person if I lived out here. Different could be better. If nothing else, I’d be in better shape and go outside more. Outside is great, when it isn’t as hot and humid as it is at home.
It’s only Tuesday, but I already know I’ll miss the beach when I have to go home.