Cherished friendships

It’s been two years since we have been able to make a trip to the beach. The beach is my happy place, where I walk along on the sand and commune with God. There’s nothing like it to refresh my soul. The rhythm of the waves splashing against the shore, somehow provide balance. There’s just something about the sand beneath my feet and between my toes.
We haven’t been able to go due to broken wrists, other illness and the lack of available campsites. It seems there are more people camping these days compared to prior years, as we never had any problems getting a site. Perhaps like me, people are finally realizing the benefit of actually getting away from it all.
We were able to go for a few days recently. I was afraid the water would be too cold and the weather might not be what we wanted. None of that was true. The weather was perfect. It only rained on the last day as we were leaving, and the water was not too cold. We weren’t sure about the campsite either because it was somewhere we had never been before. We got the last available space and now that we have been to this state park, we know which campsites would be best when we go back. Ours was not one of those we would pick as the bath house was just a few steps behind us.
While I still had my phone just in case, we were unplugged from everything else, like the computer. So after a few moments of anxiety from not being able to check the computer, I let it go and went on about the day. Rest was what the doctor ordered and I was able to do just that.
We were able to walk on the beach several times but could not stay on the beach for more than an hour and a half. This time of year there seems to be dog flies and as you know, they bite. They loved David. We believe it is because of the rabies shots he has been getting because they swarmed him like they would dogs. As long as you stayed in the water, it was not a problem, but as soon as you got out, they were around again. It made the time on the beach not very enjoyable. You couldn’t stay in the water forever! But it was still fun to ride bikes down to the beach and to walk.
We, of course, took our furbaby. It’s one of the reasons we began camping, because she has separation anxiety. And if she ever gets outside and the truck door is open, she is jumping in if she thinks you are going somewhere. There is no getting her out without physically picking her up.
She loves the beach and chasing the birds and crabs. She also loves to go what I call sand sliding. She purposely runs and then slides across the sand, even putting her nose in the white sand.
The downside to that is she gets covered in sand and when we get back to the camper, she distributes that sand everywhere including the bed, which then has to be shaken out. I told David, this was Roxie’s vacation because we didn’t get to enjoy the beach as much as she did.
A neat thing about this trip is that a guy with whom I went to grammar school is a pastor in Panama City Beach, about eight miles from where we were staying. We connected on Facebook and when he saw where we were, he sent me a message. I asked about having dinner so we could meet each other’s spouse. He was delighted and we had a really good time eating, catching up our lives in the last 43 years, sharing stories, and talking about our faith. Before we got out of the truck, David asked me if I would recognize him and yes, I did right away.
We did not have time to hear him preach this time but maybe sometime we will be able to stay a little longer on a Sunday to hear him. His wife was delightful as well and David and I enjoyed the conversation. The food was also incredible.
In the greater scheme of things, it really is a small world and you just never know who you might run into somewhere.
When my kids were growing up, whenever we went somewhere it was inevitable that I was going to see someone I knew. It was such a regular occurrence even miles and miles away, that my son thought I knew everyone on earth!
Of course that wasn’t true, I just happen to have met a lot of people through my journalistic endeavors. Seems that doesn’t happen to me quite as often these days though. But then again, we don’t vacation in the same places we did when the kids where smaller.
I have to say that I have met a lot of people over the years. They have come and gone and it is the ones who you are still in contact with that are precious to you. I am fortunate to have several of those as well. Someone recently remarked that they can’t even remember the people they went to grammar school with anymore. Well, I get to see several of the ladies at least once a year; some more. I actually remember more from grammar school than I do high school or college. Figure that one out! It’s important we have some of those connections.
Wishing you and yours a very blessed week. Cherish your friendships while you can.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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