A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Monday, December 24, 2012


 It's Christmas Eve, the big day is near. And as I sit on this island, I have but one major fear.
 People are hustling and bustling and running around. With the sound of the traffic being the day's major sound.  
 So just sit for a minute and block it all out. You will enjoy the moment, of this I have no doubt.
 Imagine for a minute that you might be me, sitting here on a dock, looking out at the sea.
 The peace and the quiet are magical, it's true.
 So, have a day of peace, and Merry Christmas to you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Love a Parade!

Leader of the Parade
      It was the weekend for the " Parade of Lights" in Carrabelle. Carrabelle's a little town up the coast about 20 miles from the island. Every year they host a parade on the.water that brings thousands of people to the little town.
   There's usually fifteen to twenty boats, all decked out with lights and Christmas decorations. Folks on the boats and those on shore sing carols and wish each other a Merry Christmas. There's live music, and free hot dogs for everybody. Even the dogs that have come to join in the fun are treated to a wiener and some water. 
  All the boats line up, with a police escort, and cruise up one side of the harbor, and down the other. This year there were only about ten. But they were ten good ones.
Santa's Boat
    Besides the parade, Carrabelle boasts the smallest police station in the country. It's a phone booth.   No kidding. Next time I get over there, I'll take a picture of it.   
   After the last boat has paraded down the dock side of the harbor, the fireworks start going off. It's a beautiful sight.

   Unfortunately, not all my pictures turned out very well. It was a little tricky for me, not having a lot of experience with night photography. The flash isn't much help at a long distance, so I was constantly adjusting the settings in accordance to the lights on the boats.
                                                                                                       "The End"  

 So I missed getting a good shot of a few of the boats. A good example is the picture of the last boat in the parade. It was a canoe with two reindeer on it, but not many lights. A perfect end to the parade. Sorry I missed it!

Fireworks over the harbor 

    They have a contest for the best boat before the parade starts and the winner gets to lead the way. They also get an invitation to come back to the parade next year. I know I'll be there.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chistmas celebrated on "Island Time"

   Believe it or not, the Christmas season just got started on the island a couple weeks ago. Some might say "it's about time", but it's just part of being on "island time". Nothing is rushed and nothing happens before it should. So with that, it's right on time.

Keeping it simple

   If you want to start celebrating Christmas before Halloween, you can go north a little, up to Tallahassee. But, around here, the Christmas season doesn't get going until after Thanksgiving. And it starts with the "lighting of the lights"  on the island. They don't light one big tree, but all the palm trees that line the street when you come onto St. George.


   It used to be, while the kids where standing in line to see Santa, the so called "adults" would freshen up our eggnog and sing Christmas carols while being  pulled  around the island on a flatbed wagon. It was great fun. But we haven't done that in a couple years due to the fact we haven't had a wagon!   The decorations on the island are modest. Big red bows are popular. Combine the red bows with anything nautical you find around the house and you've decorated for Christmas. Even the lighthouse is decorated with just a wreathe in each window. 

Wreaths on the windows
   The people in The Plantation do the most decorating of anyone on the island. But even there, not many houses are lit up. One reason for that is there's not many people there.   The place to see lights, is across the bridge in Apalachicola. When you drive into town, the first thing you see is the Gibson Motel, blanketed with little white lights. And a few of the shops in town have wreathes and colored lights that give it that feeling of Christmas.

   Another place to get into the Christmas spirit is at the "Parade of Lights" in Carrabelle. Carrabelle's a little town up the coast, to the east, not far from here. It's a parade of boats all decked out for the holidays, floating down the river with music playing, and people yelling "Merry Christmas" from the decks. That's happening next week. (Be sure to check out the next post on the blog. There's going to be a lot of colorful pictures of the parade.)   There's going to be the traditional parade in Eastpoint, the "Christmas Celebration" in Sopchoppy, Christmas caroling at the church, and a few neighborhood parties to celebrate the season.

Christmas Flamingos

    The people here celebrate Christmas in a simple way. No malls, no Wal-Mart, and no black Friday. But lots of good cheer, peace and goodwill. It's nice to know there's still a place where Christmas is mainly in the heart, not in the pocketbook. Christmas the way it was meant to be.


Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2012

......where the heart is

The East End (taken from the lighthouse)
   When this blog was just a thought, the idea was to let people experience a life that was different from their own. To show you what it's like to live on the " forgotten coast". There have been kayak trips, the perils of storms and hurricanes, butterflies and birds, and harvesting oysters for a living. But you haven't heard much about the neighborhood I live in on St. George Island.

Sunlit houses on the Bay
    When you drive across the bridge, onto the island, you'll arrive just about in the middle. The restored lighthouse will be the first thing you see. ( I'll save the story of the lighthouse for later). You can turn left, toward the east end, where most of the rental units are, or you can turn right, to go to the residential end. They're completely different worlds, on the same island.
    The reason I decided to come to St. George Island fifteen years ago was because of the "dog friendly" policy. Dogs are welcome everywhere. Even in the restaurants.
   Since most of the rental houses are on the east end of the island, that's where I stayed. It was a different house every year, but they were   always close to the beach. With only a week to enjoy the island, every day was spent on the beach, playing with the dogs. After a few years of coming down and lounging on the beach, it was time to check out the rest of the island. What I discovered was completely different from what I had gotten used to. It was like being in a different place.

A house in "The Plantation"
   St. George island has the Gulf of Mexico on the south side and the Apalachicola Bay on the north, and it consists of different sections. The east end, where the rental houses are, also has the state park at the far end. The middle of the island is where you'll find the grocery, restaurants, beach shops,  different vendors selling seafood and produce, and the lighthouse, which is the focal point of the island. The west end is where most of the locals live. At the far west end is a gated community called "The Plantation", where you'll find houses belonging to the rich and famous. Hank Williams Jr. has had a place there for years along with Ashley Judd.
    The bay area on the west end is where I found my heart, and the island became more than a vacation place for me. The sand streets, mature trees, the beauty of the bay, and the people. There's an air of contentment that comes from knowing you don't have to pack up and leave any time soon.   No worries, no rush. Just take the days in stride, and enjoy life. This is the part of the island where I wanted to be.

Sand street on the west end
   When you have photographs, it's easy to describe what a place looks like, or tell of it's geographical location. But it's hard to explain how it feels.

Calm on the canal
   This is only one area on a very diverse island. A little piece of paradise that has something to offer everyone. But you have to experience it yourself to know what part of the island suits you and makes you feel like you never want to leave. But, when you do leave, more than likely, you'll come back again. One visit just isn't enough.

Where my heart is