Life’s a Beach with Carol

Jeff Parcell 2018-10-5

I think everyone has a place where they feel their very best – relaxed, happy, content with life. My place is the beach.

I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, and spent a lot of time at the beach growing up. When I was young, my parents and I would travel to Bradenton a couple times a month to visit my paternal grandparents. My Gram and I would get up early on Sunday morning and head out to either the causeway leading to Bradenton Beach, or to Bradenton Beach, or to Anna Maria Island. We’d walk along the water and look for interesting shells, watch the birds, and breathe in the salt air. On the way home, we almost always stopped at the Shake Pit for cheeseburgers and loganberry drink.

Every summer, my grandparents would get either a rental house or several motel rooms on the beach for the week of Fourth of July, and my cousins and I would spend the week. Our parents would join us as their work schedules permitted. It was wonderful to swim and play and walk and sunbathe without a care in the world.

As I got older, I spent time on St. Petersburg Beach with friends. Our house was only about 20 minutes from the beach, so it was easy to go out on weekends and during the summers for some sun and fun.

Seventeen years ago, my husband and I moved to Western North Carolina to take advantage of new opportunities and to be closer to his parents. I love the mountains and the change of seasons and the wildlife that passes through our property. But the beach will always be my “happy place”.

I was in St. Petersburg a couple of weeks ago to take care of some business. As soon as a meeting on Friday was finished, I headed out to the beach. I didn’t have a reservation anywhere, but September is usually a slow time. I stopped in at the “resort motel” where I’d stayed five years ago and sure enough, they had a room. I quickly unpacked and headed out to walk along the beach. I could feel myself relax as I watched the waves rolling in. And as hot as it is in Florida, there’s always a breeze at the beach.

I spent four days at the beach and enjoyed every minute. There is nothing like a long walk along the white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico to really clear out your head and help you relax. I came home rested, suntanned, and happy.