Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Long and Winding Road

We're in the Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore this afternoon. I love Fort Pickens. Driving through the gate on the west end of Pensacola Beach is like traveling to another world. A desert world of white sand dunes, low shrubs, and a calming, insistent rumble: the nearby tide.

 And the memories! Many of them include my parents. When they visited--so many years ago--we would come here just to drive the desolate road. This place reminded us of the highway between Barranquilla and Santa Marta. I left Northern Colombia after the first grade, but I still remember that impossibly long drive along the skinny, salty Caribbean Transverse.

Unlike Northern Colombia, it's cold here as the sun sets on this near cloudless day. Somehow we've managed to end up at a busy beach. At least seven people surround us, all with cameras.
I'm aware that no matter where I sit along the shore I'll be in someone's photo. I'd like to say I don't give a damn, but by now you and I both know that's not true. Pelicans bob on the frigid water. Those crazy birds, photo bombing with glee.
I've been missing my girls lately. When they lived at home, we had plans every Saturday night; we did what they did. But as empty nesters, this trip to the beach is our big outing for the day. And not too shabby, I'd say.
But  Chris and I want to come up with connections for times like this. After our kitchen remodel, we'll invite friends over for dinner. And I want to get a group of women together to take a class on charcuterie-making. Chris' personal training business, Performance Studio, is taking off, and that's creating a community, which is all fine and good.
But what I really want is to get in my car and drive inland until I reach a daughter.
Photo credits: Chris Zokan

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