48 – Return


Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

After arriving, then unpacking, grocery shopping, and a supply trek to Costco, today is my first full day of our respite as snowbirds.

It’s good to return to life as my alter ego – the time without appointments – a time of minimal commitments – a time without the feeling that I have to do something – a time when I try to leave my daily burdens behind. I still carry some of life’s baggage with me to this place – that’s what life does – but it’s different than a year ago.

It’s good to see the fine, off-white sand from the balcony for the first time since a year ago.

It’s good to see the sand that is always moving. The shifting sands of change cause me to wonder where the beach will be different – as in more narrow or wider. From the balcony, I notice the beach at the waterline is more scalloped than in the past – so I wonder if the recent hurricanes made the difference.

It’s good to see a seemingly endless vast view of water that will help me discover metaphors for future walks.

It is good to see the vast sky – today blue with puffy white clouds. Yesterday was a blanket of gray. I am confident that the days ahead will bring many different skies that are yet to be seen.

It’s good to have the first struggle with the fine, soft sand on my way to the water’s edge while hearing the sand squeak.

It’s good to smell the freshness of the sea air – that hint of salt with a skosh of marine life – a different scent than the air of my inland home. I also know that future winds will vary from a light touch to a fierce force.

It’s good to know that the sea will probably show me many emotions on its face – those emotions varying from placid calm to raging anger.

It’s good to feel the packed sand at the water’s edge that will serve as my pavement for the weeks to come.

It’s good to see the string of shells marking high tide. Each year we’ve focused on different shells, but because we have enough, we will give preference only to any unique shell we encounter.

It’s good to feel the water moving across my feet. It’s a bit brisk at the moment, but I’m confident a truly refreshing temperature is approaching.

It’s good to see the seagulls are still present and squawking – but I wonder when I’ll see them gathered as a large group on the sand.

It’s good to see my first group of sanderlings – the small birds with the fast-moving legs in their ongoing hunt for food at the water’s edge. Their presence always makes me smile.

It’s good to see the lanky sandpipers carefully strolling the water’s edge.

It’s good to see the pelicans effortlessly gliding just about the water’s surface, then redirect upward only to turn around to dive after unwilling prey below the surface.

It’s good to see the Great Blue Heron still patiently standing and staring toward the water – waiting for its next meal.

It’s good to hear the sounds of the beach – the water coming ashore – the whistling of the steady breeze – the squawking seagulls – and even the air traffic from the nearby naval air station.

It’s good to feel the warm air. I will encounter cold days here, but no matter how cold here, it will be warmer than home.

I wonder about the first glorious sunrise and the first beautiful sunset.

I wonder when I will see my first group of dolphins passing by on their hunt for food.

I wonder when I will see my first sand crab moving sideways toward a hole after sensing my approaching footsteps.

I wonder if I’ll see a beach restoration project because one year, we observed the process of moving sand from the channel to the beach.

I wonder if I’ll see people I’ve met in previous years. Will they return? If so, when will I see them?

I wonder how this year will be different than past years? That is, in the times of Covid-19.

I wonder when I’ll have my first Bushwacker – think an alcoholic Frosty.

It’s good to start the process of letting the sand jettison the old skin from the bottom of my feet. If the past is any indicator, my feet will have a warm glow by the end of the stay.

Let the exfoliating begin because I like walking on the beach. After all, it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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103 thoughts on “48 – Return”

  1. What spoke to me most is “It’s good to smell the freshness of the sea air – that hint of salt with a skosh of marine life – a different scent than the air of my inland home.”
    I grew up by the sea, with a small wood area between our home and the sea. The scent in near by woods is so different there than in the woods inland. Scents, of the sea and lakes differ and I have to say, they bring back so many memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ritva,
      Glad I was able to spark memories. Isn’t it interesting how every location has a “typical” smell … and no question that the smells of the woods and the sea are different. It also interesting how our sense of smell triggers memories!


  2. I love the captures you provided in this one. And the dolphins? They’re busy chasing respectability, and I hope they get it.

    Toasting a Frosty to you. Well, not now . . this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      The dolphins are interesting. I can go stretches without seeing them (a week or more), but several days in a row. Somethings in a small group of 3 or as many into the teens. They can be cruising by far offshore or in a playful feeding frenzy near the shore. Nonetheless, they are a joy to see. Meanwhile, in terms of the Fins, I foresee a WR at #3 – but the question is who? Oh … A new version of the alcoholic Frosty – an additional of Peanut Butter Whiskey. WOW!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t mind to see Miami trade down a few spots, get Pitts out of Florida and more picks.

        And wait . . what? You got your peanut butter in my whiskey! Well, you got your whiskey in my peanut butter!

        HEY . . . it’s DELICIOUS!


            1. If the trade down to say #10, he could still be there – but danger is someone else trading up to cut them off …. but then settle on Northwestern guy. They need help … lotta help … and usually aren’t big players in the free agent market. Simply not a good org.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. We missed our annual beach holiday due to the travel restrictions…This looks like heaven. We hope that we, too can return to our favourite beach in the fall. I miss the pelicans and the neighbourhood heron. I miss the sunrises & sunsets. I miss that sea air…..thank you for the morning trip with my coffee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

              1. We can do the drive in 3 days, but as we get older and are now retired, we take 4 or even 5 days and visit various sights along the way. There is so much beauty everywhere. We come from southeastern Ontarion, near Kingston & cross at the 1000 Islands Bridge into New York State. I will keep positive thoughts for open borders for both of us.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s good to see and hear your nostalgic walk on the beach. It feels like I’m there in that warmth. Here it could be another 3 months before the sand is warm enough. As for swimming, Lake Michigan isn’t ever warm enough for that! Your photos are wonderful, but it’s also nice to be back in your other “home.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura,
      Glad you enjoyed the walk and the heron photo, which is courtesy of some treatment the phone camera does. Interestingly, I wrote this post regarding my arrival and the anticipation – but true confession is that I’ve return home – so beach time is over. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      When I arrive, my custom is to go out onto the balcony for my first look and my first photo down the beach, which is what you see. Meanwhile, in real-time I can say that I’ve returned from the beach because I am currently at home.


  5. I think I need to get to the beach myself now, Frank. As soon as I can, I’ll make it my first priority. For now, though, the Lake will have to do! And reading your posts, of course! 😘

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m just a bit jealous, Frank! Our beaches are still out of bounds and it seems probable will remain so until 5th April. The fear is that freedom over Easter would generate the surge we had after Christmas. So I walk as close as I can get to the sea, through the salt marshes, and sit on my roof terrace to look at the sea in the distance. Welcome back to your holiday home 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jo,
      In general, I think many beaches in the US are open … at least from what I’ve seen. I know Florida is wide open because of the way they have treated restrictions. I have no idea about the west coast. These pictures are Alabama (Florida is in the opposite direction (literally steps away). On the other hand, I must be honest – my time there is done as I returned home.


    1. Janet,
      Thanks for the welcome back. Glad to know that I achieved the relaxing tone. Truth-telling time. I’m actually back in Cincinnati. So although the walk is about returning to the beach, I actually returned home less than a week ago.


    1. PD,
      You can definitely see quick and easy access to the beach. In the view of the first image, one can walk two miles before reaching the point. On can continue down the channel and back for about another mile (round trip). But in the opposite directions, double-digit miles. 🙂 Glad I was about to establish curiosity and wonder! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. and also It’s so good to see you dear Frank, and it’s so good to visit your blog,… By the way this post reminded me or made me to think about this, the sea always gives back what she gets… something like that…
    Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crispina,
      Glad to be able to pass along either warmth or the appearance of warmth. With the early stages of spring underway, that also means the warmth of summer is getting closer. In terms of shifting sands, keep in mind recent hurricanes impacted the area.


  8. Lovely photos, Frank. And I guess this post answers my question of whether or not you would be able to snowbird this year!
    Do enjoy the soon-to-be warmer sand and waves. And especially, the freedom to do as you please.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Such beautiful words and pictures that are a gift to the senses Frank.
    Leaving the baggage behind is a daily process of opening to our inner peace.
    Oh and that cold water will wake you right up!
    Welcome back. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, just be a careful Snowbird!!!
    I’m still a prisoner of now, in Toronto.
    It official, I’m not getting email notices about new posts, now.
    I just have to come here on the days I know you will post.
    I can feel how happy you are to be back on the beach!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Resa,
      Glad this post gave you the sense that I;ve returned. Well, true and false. I wrote this post from the perspective of arriving. So true – including the first photo which I took on shortly after arriving. On the other hand, I have just returned home – so snowbirding season is over. Make sense? PS: I’ve had the WP Gnomes knocking subscriptions off my Follow list – I just refollow, which usually works.


  11. Frank, sorry but I am a bit confused. I thought you have been at the beach and when you just told us you returned to Florida, I was like “huh?” Are you at a beach all year round just someplace different? I can hear the gladness in your voice about coming home. Yet just where have you been the past few months? Confused here ….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am very taken with your time with the Great Blue Heron, “patiently standing and staring toward the water”. It might as well have been you or I. This image resonates with me particularly this week in large part because I spent some time watching herons this week as well – Purple Herons. There were a large number of them nesting and they were quite a sight to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann-Christine,
      I had several choices with this post. Keep in mind that I didn’t announce my time at the beach – but I was there. I also thought about publishing it during the stay, but scheduling was going well – so I decided to post it after returning home. However, I couldn’t lie in comments. Ok … now I’m rambling –


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