|my handwriting in the sand at Jacksonville Beach|
We continue to marvel that the Lord has brought us to this different part of the country where we wear flip flops and shorts every day and it's easy to escape to the beach within thirty minutes from our home.
While too many sunburn episodes and skin cancer scares have pushed us into that season of life where lounging in swim suits all day is no longer considered fun, we do enjoy seeing the waves crash on the sand and scavenging for sea shells.
I noticed that more people are covering up at the beach than they used to in years past. The warnings about skin cancer are making an impression.
|looking north toward Jacksonville pier in the distance|
It was only last October when Hurricane Matthew slammed into this very beach, destroying the farthest end of the pier. We saw it on our television news in Colorado, never dreaming that months before the anniversary of that destruction, we would be living here!!
|Atlantic Ocean waves|
As the waves rolled in, I imagined how violent this water must have become to cause such upheaval.
The hurricane seriously eroded the sand dunes. Efforts are in progress now to rebuild them and plant a new 'crop' of Sea Oats to establish and strengthen the sandy hills.
|Sea Oats are on the horizon of this dune|
I don't remember Sea Oats when I grew up along the Pacific Ocean in southern California. There was a lot of Ice Plant. Both coasts have their own personalities.
|the sky was mostly overcast -- rain was expected a little later|
No trip to the beach is complete without the small planes flying above with banner advertisements. This one was for Geico insurance.
|a collage of our lunch|
We walked, I don't know, maybe a quarter of a mile in the southerly direction on the beach, picking up sea shells all along the way and then retraced our steps to get back to the car.
Lunch was just a little farther north at Joe's Crab Shack. Beloved, who is for the most part not a sea food lover, turned down a cheeseburger to order clam strips and clam chowder. He does like a good clam chowder and makes a point to order it when we are in places that should know how to cook it up.
I shared some of my stuffed shrimp with him and he allowed that it was pretty good. Of course, bacon was involved, and who doesn't like bacon, anyway?!
|taking a picture of the shark suspended from the ceiling|
They keep saying on TV that this is "shark week." I'm not sure what that's all about and don't especially care. We had our own encounter with a shark (no one was hurt) on the Florida coast about twenty years ago, so I don't relish entertaining myself with the creatures; but I did feel it was safe to take a photo of this one inside Joe's Crab Shack.
|a T-shirt and sea shell shop|
Back outside again, we took the 'boardwalk' (actually a brick-paved side walk) but didn't go into any of the shops. We mostly wanted to stretch a little before getting into the car.
Before leaving we took a couple more shots of the Jacksonville Pier. No one is allowed on it at all these days. The powers that be are haggling over who gets to pay for the repairs, which will probably take about two years.
It was good we left when we did. The forecasted rain storms rolled in from the Gulf coast as we drove home.
|today's harvest of sea shells|
Safely inside our house, we stood in the bathtub to rinse the sand off our sandals, our toes, and our legs. Beloved had brought a large jug of water to the beach so we could rinse off before getting into the car, but if you've been around ocean sand, then you know one rinsing usually isn't enough.
I used a kitchen colander to rinse out the collection of sea shells we had brought home. The pink ones strike me as the most unusual, and I like the conical ones, too. I could launch myself into a little homily regarding these shells' colors, shapes, origins and purposes, but that should be a post for another day.