Friday, October 25, 2013

St. George Island, FL........Then

My first trip to St. George Island was by ferry in the 1960s.  There was no bridge and the only access was across the Apalachicola Bay from Eastpoint.  As day trips go, this required some planning on my Mom's part.

We packed straw bags, a picnic lunch, Sea & Ski, and crossed the choppy Apalachicola Bay arriving at a  simple landing.  From the ferry, no transportation.  It would be by foot.  We grabbed our belongings and made way for the beach.  There was one store on the island then.  The structure was made of weathered wood siding, concrete floors, with a single screen door.  Located conveniently between the landing and the beach, I now know why.  There were no restaurants then.

We walked toward the beach.  My flip flops filling with sand and my little legs approaching weak.  I didn't care as relief was in sight.  Water so clear, a breeze so soft, and an overwhelming feeling of bright!    Yes, bright white sand which made me squint but still smile with joy.  

One more stop before the water.  To claim our picnic table.  Sparse and far apart from one another, they there for the taking for visitors to enjoy.  We unload all of our belongings and head for the beach.  There was no traffic.  Only what the ferry could shuttle.  There were no worries of theft.  It was summer and we were a million miles from home without a care in the world.  We played and swam and took in all the simple pleasures of that day; including an appetite that should have been fed hours earlier.  

The picnic tables appeared miles away.  They were carefully placed close to the one road, in the sand and provided much needed shade.  Oh the feeling of reaching the covered table still dripping of salt water and adjusting my eyes to the sweet cool shade.  What was just a warm glistening little body would quickly change to goose bumps on cold concrete public benches.  But warm beach towels and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches took care of that.

After a brief nap, we collect our belongings to run to catch the only transportation back to the mainland.  Many, many more visits, and decades later, this place shaped who I am today.  I still return and fill my soul with all of the warmth it gives to me.  

Where will you take your family this year?

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