Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ah The Good Life


Sometimes, I guess I get too complacent about living on Sanibel Island. I remember the first time I crossed the causeway in 1984, I was stunned by the beauty of the island. I spent the whole day walking the beach and shelling. I remember seeing some condos being built and wishing that we could afford to buy one.

Then about 10 years later, we had the opportunity to spend a week at Pointe Santo. We did that for 5 years in a row and I always counted the days until our return. The last year we stayed at Pointe Santo was the year I retired. We had a motor home and decided to see if we could find a campground in the area where we could park it for several weeks. We checked at Periwinkle Park never dreaming we would be able to get in there. But sure enough, they had a site available for November and December. We arrived November 1st, set up camp and were hit by Hurricane Mitch ( then Tropical Storm Mitch) 2 days later. That was our first experience with flooding and fireants. Neither was a whole lot of fun but we stayed. In fact, we actually spent the month of January also since whoever had reserved that lot cancelled out. That meant that our campsite was ours every year at that time if we wanted it. IF--we wanted it. OF COURSE, we wanted it!!


In 2000, I came into a small inheritance from my aunt and my first thought was to buy a permanent trailer in Periwinkle Park--which we did. Last year, we became Florida residents although we still have a home in Ohio. So, Sanibel is actually home now. Wow. Sometimes it still blows my mind when I am crossing the causeway and realize that this beautiful island is my home.


Today, Mr. Snowbird and I decided that we needed to get off of our you know whats and get some exercise. We love to walk on the beach, so that is where we headed. As we were leaving the Park, we spotted a River Otter ahead of us, loping-hopping-rolling-whatever Otters do on land since they have no legs. Amazing. Then as we were crossing the boardwalk to the beach, a little Black Racer snake snaked itself across the boardwalk in front of us. Eww. I'm not really a snake person.


As we headed down the beach, we saw that the beach was full of flocks of birds. I don't think I've ever seen quite so many before. Of course, being a wildlife lover, we skirted each flock so that we didn't scare them. (Note here: try not to walk through a flock of birds making them fly. They are resting and need their rest. It makes me crazy when I see people do this. OK, off my soapbox.) Anyway, we spotted at least 2 terns with compound fractures of their legs and one bird with a hook in his leg. Unfortunately all were flighted so we couldn't catch them. It broke my heart to see them in the pain they must have been in.


After we got back home, I jumped in the car and went to Access #7 on West Gulf Drive. To park along there you have to be a resident and have a parking pass--which we have. I love shelling down there because often there are more shells than at the public beaches and also because there are a whole lot fewer people. I managed to pick quite a few shells up and in general enjoyed my time alone with the sand, the waves, the birds, and the shells.

I look back on that first day so many years ago when we discovered Sanibel. I never dreamed that one day, this would be my home. And, if I ever get too compacent about it, please give me a good swift kick in my you know what.

Ah The Good Life

12 comments:

Gayle said...

I'll be the first to give the swift kick! :) The sand, surf, a book AND a bottle of wine. I've still got 16 years before the last baby is gone (if they are ever really gone). Will any of that be left for me to enjoy?

Neptunesmuse said...

Just out of curiousity, what drew you to Sanibel in 1984? Word of mouth? Friends in the area? Wrong turn on the interstate?

Snowbird said...

Linda,we were actually camping at a campground on John Morris Rd. and the lady camping next to us had all of these HUGE shells. She said she had gotten them on Sanibel. So, we went and the rest, as they say, is history. I never, ever found the big shells that she did though.

Neptunesmuse said...

Aw, you were lead into temptation and decided to stay there:-)
Very lucky indeed.

The Farmer Files said...

The pictures were inspiring. I really loved the story of how you found Sanibel. I have wondered, and now I know. Mahalo for sharing. :)

gail said...

What a nice story. I guess it's like any relationship, important to remember how you first fell in love and what you treasure about it. And even at her worst (flooding and fireants) there is a lot to love about Sanibel! :D

ChrisC and JonJ said...

My first visit was in 1965.I was a snotty teenager and didn't appreciate it like my mother did(she'd been there in the 1920's-when there really were alot of shells).Came back in 1977 and fell in love with it,finally,and been coming back every year since.

MariBy said...

A wonderful story, beautifully written and illustrated. Thank you Snowbird. :D

Tootie said...

Yes, Life Is Good! :-) I had to laugh reading what you said about walking around the flocks of birds. We do that same thing.

Max-e said...

Sounds like a great place. Our piece of coast is at Port St Francis - great place to go and just restore ourselves.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Ahhh, some great pictures! I love the one of the lighthouse. Tell Dad, "No white socks after Labor Day!" hee hee hee

(I love you Dad!)

Mare said...

What a lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing it.

That last photo just sums it up perfectly...white socks and all. ;)