Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rambling and Rolling ~ Postcards from the Road

My dear blogging friends, please don't faint when you see the massiveness of this post. I apologize for its wordiness upfront. I wish I could say you will find rich nuggets of wisdom herein, or some juicy news, but, alas ... that is not the case. And this photo of shells has nothing to do with anything, except ... aren't they wonderful?

Let me start by saying I miss not visiting with you as often as I would have liked while on this extended holiday. It has been a combination of things. One, I’ve been away from the computer. If beaches weren’t beckoning me, The Man was. I have a duty, ya know. Second, we have run into some of the worst Internet connections ever on this trip. Generally, the places we stay are zipping along in the modern world, but a few here and there are not up to par. (I'm glad I have a smart phone, but pain in rear doesn't begin to describe trying to visit blogs from a phone. It's OK for the first 30 minutes. After that, not.) In their defense, most of these parks have been in the midst of installing new systems, working out the kinks, etc., but a lot of good that did us whenever we attempted to get online.

So … those are my stories and I’m sticking to them.

Having said that, I’ve missed you all and hope that, whenever I get back to the barn, we can pick up where we left off, no hard feelings. Speaking of the barn, we should be home mid-week next week, if all goes as planned, the good Lord is willing, and the creeks don’t rise. Woo-Hoo! The girl has been homesick, but I think I mentioned that in a previous post.

I’m sitting this very minute inside a lovely Panera Bread in beautiful Destin, Florida (yes, we are back), tapping away on the computer keys, after having savored my lunch. Panera Bread, we’ve discovered, is a great Wi-Fi Hotspot. They have plenty of electrical outlets throughout the place and they don’t care how long you stay, except during the hours of 11 AM-2 PM. On top of that, I love their menu. Don’t you? Never got anything bad there.

Is anyone still reading this? If you’re still with me, I’m plowing on and sharing while the sharing can be done.

Here goes.

Last time we talked, I was reminiscing about Fort Myers and Captiva Island. Ah … wish I was back there now, but I can’t go home and be there at the same time. Therein lies the rub.

This week found us on the road, with a couple of stops along the way, and I must tell you about our first stop.

Monday found us taking the road less traveled (my favorite way to travel). As we rolled along, we were amazed at the beauty.

We later learned that this stretch of Hwy 98, just east of Destin, is called “The Forgotten Coast,” and I can understand why. While its beaches boast the same beauty of Destin, the tourists have not yet discovered it. It reminded me of Destin when I first visited in 1979.

Take a look at that! We didn't stop this time, but I snapped photos out the window as a reminder to return to The Forgotten Coast one of these years, to enjoy the empty spaces and unspoiled splendor.

Later in the day, we came upon an RV campground in the sleepy seaside village of Carrabelle (also part of The Forgotten Coast), situated right on the water. Private beach. Private fishing pier. All for $33.00 a day. What’s not to love? It was only one o’clock in the afternoon, but we weren’t in a hurry, so we pulled in and were lucky to get a space for the night.

After setting up camp, I grabbed a chair and followed a gravel path to the white sandy beach. There was the water, shimmering like a shiny, blue tray. A piece of paradise.

My activity at the beach generally consists of lounging or sitting. That’s it. I don’t enjoy the water, other than maybe around my ankles or knees, but the sound of the water, now that’s healing to my ears. The warmth of the sun, a salve to my soul.

Some people read at the beach. The rhythm of the water offers a perfect backdrop for stories, I agree, and, on occasion, I do the same. But not often, for this reason: When I’m at the beach, I don’t want to follow a plot, or frame a single coherent thought. I just want to soak up the sun and the sounds, inhale the salty air, hear the wind in my ears.

For the next little while, that is what I did. But all too soon, the tide crept in, covering the beaches with water, emptying its bounty on the shore, and chasing me away.

The next morning, I rose early and strolled down to paradise, the sand sliding easily between my toes. With coffee in hand, I walked to the water’s edge. The sea lay still, not a murmur to be heard. The tide had retreated, leaving wide ribbons of beaches for me to sit on. It’s hard to describe how it feels to sit on the shore, surrounded by calm waters. I knew it was only a matter of time before the sea began its daily ritual. The tide would return, pounding, crashing, emptying. Tangled clusters of seaweed high on the shore were proof of that.

I’ve spent my life loving the beach, and I’ve discovered there are lessons to be learned there; I never leave quite the same.

As I made my way back to camp, it seemed the message I came away with this time was simply this: Like the ocean, God is constant, never changing, unending. And like the tide, our lives are always in motion, ever changing, taking in and emptying out. We never know what the years will bring, what we’ll take in, or what we’ll have to give out. 

But the key is endurance. Be patient, my friend. The tide will turn. It is an inevitable truth. That seaweed littering the shore today, may well hold hidden treasures tomorrow.

We are now back in unmistakable, unforgettable Destin.

The waters are breathtaking, as always. The sand, unmatched. We’ve enjoyed the four days we’ve been here.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will pack up and roll out, making our way toward home.

I know this post has been much too long and drawn out. Forgiveness is needed. Until next time, sweet friends, press on!


  1. Oh no, Dayle, not too long and drawn out. #1 I could have written that myself (especially this line: "wish I was back there now, but I can’t go home and be there at the same time. Therein lies the rub.") and #2 I'm living vicariously through your beach experiences ... to tide me over until we return to the beach in 2 1/2 weeks. I'm so glad I found your blog.

  2. It's been a long time since I've been to a beach that isn't sweltering (North Carolina in July!). Your visit during the mild months made me want to try it again. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  3. Your post was not too long. I love the pictures and the feeling you described as you sat on the beach. I've got to find a way to get to the beach soon. Y'all be safe.

  4. Looks heavenly! I love the beach and you are right about reading on the beach, It is just to fabulous all by itself who needs to add a single thing?

    Amy Jo

  5. Oh, a lovely post, Dayle. Enjoyed it immensely. And I LOVED the photos, too. That has been such a blessed trip so far. You are one lucky girl! Safe journey home. Thanks so much for sharing, dear Dayle. Susan

  6. p.s. The seashells are, indeed, wonderful!
    And Dayle? That photo of you and your sweetheart far away on the beach? You should frame that one. When you are feeling blue, just haul it out and look at it and you'll feel great again. Susan

  7. I enjoyed reading your post...
    and especially to photos you shared.
    And...there is no place like home. 8~)
    Take care,

  8. Great post {as usual}. Having just returned from the beach myself I "get it", all of it. Breathe.

  9. Beach Lovers unite!
    I get it, I understand and I love the beach.
    Have a safe trip back home.

  10. You are in, or you were if you're home now in some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It looks like you had a fabulous vacation. We vacation between PCB and Destin. Did you go off onto 30-A, Seaside, Seagrove (hasn't changed from the way it was when I vacationed there as a child with my family), Rosemary and Caroline. These towns are beautiful. We have two trips planned for this spring and summer. I enjoyed your beautiful photos.

    The French Hutch

  11. You make me long for the beach, as if I weren't longing already! I'm glad you'll be home soon. Missed seeing you around.

  12. So nice seeing your photos and hearing how things are going :) I don't share your love of the beach but I have enjoyed it through your eyes and words.

  13. Hi Dayle,
    Beautiful shells and beaches.....
    Post is not too long... your photos made me feel I was there with you and the time went too quickly....I wanted more!!
    Glad you're having/had a wonderful holiday.
    Welcome back
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  14. What do you mean, we won't find nuggets of wisdom? I loved what you said about the ocean and the tides. I also loved the shout out to the forgotten coast. It sounds like my cup of tea and makes me want to put it in my travel wish box. You are already responsible for several others in there.

    If you had lollygagged your time away reading blogs instead of soaking up time with The Man, I would have wanted to throttle you, btw, so I'm glad you didn't.

    Godspeed, Cloud Nine!

  15. I could feel, smell and taste the ocean through your post! Aww..heavenly. I love those stretches of beach that are undiscovered. I know you're happy to be back home though.

  16. What a beautiful place.
    The photo of the shells drew me. I'm glad you included it because the colours stayed with me through the entire post.
    Like you, I love to be near the water, just sitting and listening. I don't think I'd ever be happy living far from the coast.

  17. HUH? WHAT??? You quit too soon for me! Give me the RV life! I missed our Li'l Dutchgirl something fierce at the outset of this post. Now I'm seriously pining for all 24-feet of her preciousness! Country roads, take me home to the beach! I love the water... the sun... sittin'... the sound... GIVE ME THAT SEA LIFE!

    Ahhh. And have fun with all those seashells you collected. {Confession: I even SMELL mine...}

    Safe journey home!

  18. Your pictures are so pretty, and the relaxtiion sounds wonderful!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle