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The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

Friendship ~ Love

Friendship is a quiet walk in the park with the one you trust

Love is when you feel like you are the only two around.

Friendship is when they gaze into your eyes and you know they care.

Love is when they gaze into your eyes and it warms your heart.

Friendship is being close even when you are far apart.

Love is when you can still feel their hand on your heart when they are not near.

Friendship is hoping that they experience the very best.

Love is when you bring them the very best.

Friendship occupies your mind.

Love occupies your soul.

Friendship is knowing that you will always try to be there when in need.

Love is when you will give up everything to be at their side.

Friendship is a warm smile in the winter.

Love is a warming touch that sends a pulse through your heart.

Love is a beautiful smile to which nothing compares:

A tender laugh, which opens your heart,

A single touch that melts away your fears,

A smell that reminds you of the tenderness of heaven,

A voice that reminds you of the innocence of youth.

Friendship can survive without love.

Love cannot live without friendship.

~ Author Unknown .

Copyright (©) 2010 - 2020

Sand In My Shoes ~

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You’ll Always Come Back When There’s Sand In Your Shoes

~ Old Florida Folklore

In the years following graduation from high school, I spent a few years in time, though a lifetime in memories, in a small town along the Gulf Coast, on the panhandle of Florida. It was a time in my life filled with new adventures and a developing love for the ocean that has continued to grow over time. This area of the Gulf Coast, in the late 70′s and early 80′s, was quiet, peaceful and virtually unregulated. It gave me a wonderful outlet for adventure and my first taste of real freedom, what more could a teenage girl want?

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This part of the country is affectionately known as The Emerald Coast, The Forgotten Coast and also the Redneck Riviera. As extreme as the names are, the perceptions and ways of life here were also as extreme. The residents here are a breed unto themselves, rich in a history of a romanticized piracy and a fierce independent spirit, they taught me lessons about living off of the ocean and off of the land. During my time here I learned to appreciate and admire the diversity of the Gulf and the people who call it home.

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To borrow a line from an old country song…

I can skin a buck, I can run a trot line and a country boy can survive.

~ Hank Williams Jr.

I was immediately drawn to the mystique of the Gulf with it’s amazing, blue-green waters and the beautiful, white sandy beaches. Amazingly, this area of Florida was virtually undiscovered and I could spent hours walking the shore or frolicking in the sun without ever seeing another soul.  These times, spent walking the shoreline in solitude. gave me a peaceful feeling and a deeper understanding of the true joys of my life. The people who lived here and who loved this area and their way of life, gave me a deeper appreciation for living in the now and enjoying the life that I have chosen today.

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It was here that I was introduced to  two delicacies that are still close to my heart…  Apalachicola Bay Oysters and Tupelo Honey.  Apalachicola is the last place in the United States where wild oysters are still harvested by tongs from small boats. These Apalachicola Bay oysters are considered to be some of the finest in the world, if not the finest and it is said that their uniqueness is due to the right mixture of the water flowing from the rivers in Georgia and Alabama, mixing with the saltiness of the Gulf of Mexico waters. Whatever the reason, I,  for one,  think they are the best I have ever eaten. Tupelo Honey is also exclusively native to this area and is harvested in the swamps of the Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers on the panhandle of Florida. This river valley is the only place in the world where Tupelo Honey is produced commercially. Real Tupelo Honey is a light, golden, amber color with a distinctive green cast. It is absolutley delicious, distinctive and has been compared to a rare wine.  Unlike other honeys it is only harvested in April and May and also unlike other honeys will not crystalize or granulate.

I always look back fondly to this time of my life and I feel fortunate for having been given the opportunity to experience this area, this time and these moments.

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Years later, after I had moved away and had children of my own, I would visit this place and always get an excited stirring in my soul as I caught my first glimpse of the Gulf of Mexico. More times than not, I would stop the car, grab my camera and take pictures of the ocean, the shrimpboats, the skies and the shoreline;  the beautiful shoreline of this alluring, enchanting and captivating coast.

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