I recognized this concession stand right away. 4th of July 1992 - Worst day of my life (till then). I left Fort Lauderdale in the morning in a Volkswagen with no air conditioning and drove aimlessly up the coast for hours. No food, no water. Just me and my thoughts. I don't really remember what plans I was formulating. Best forgotten I suppose. But I do remember stopping here for a Coke and a walk down the beach. It took a while to get away from the crowds and to a part of the beach that looked like this. I was very close to passing out at the wheel but the reviving powers of caffeine and sea breeze cleared my head.
Eventually I calmed down, stopped torturing myself, got back in the car, and took the highway home. Had I known how bad my life was soon going to be I would have kept on heading away. If I had been informed how the true worst day of my life would have made this day seem like a 4th of July picnic, I may have driven off the bridge. If someone told me how wonderful my life would eventually turn out I never would have believed it. Like a Sea Turtle surviving many hardships, I've returned to the very same beach on which I once decided to fight back and not give up on life. The beach I had totally forgotten till this moment.
Last time I was here I don't remember such nice sand castles. I didn't see a row of beach chairs outside so my guess, this is a home and not a hotel. I could investigate but since there is no chance I'll be staying there either way, I would rather not.
As I was walking back to the car I spotted an unusual collection of artifacts. A mini shrine to Melissa Marie Brooks. That I did investigate. Sadly she drowned in a Rip Tide in 2011. Click her name to get the story. She was about the same age I was when I thought all was lost and there was no more to life.
For a long time my story has been one of setting goals, sticking to the plan, never giving up even when everything you work for or wanted is swept away. Her story reminds me that no matter what you do, it can all end in a blink of an eye so make the most of every day. Never waste a moment.
Changing the subject a second - I found some solar powered trash and recycle cans. Apparently they compact the trash so they can hold more and need emptying less. Very innovative. Makes me feel we will survive as a species through better technology. Just across the parking lot are the warning horns for the nuclear power plant reminding me how close I live to a potential disaster.
I set out in the morning to enjoy a peaceful beach moment. Instead I encountered a mini emotional roller coaster ride filled with life, death, hope, fear, and who knows what crazy taxes they pay on that house. A whole bunch of life wrapped up in a mile and a half walk. I'll leave you with a few waves and maybe a few thoughts of your own life.