Amelia Island holly

Amelia Island holly
Amelia sand dune

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goblins and Hoblins and Witches…oh my!!!

Halloween is a BIG DAY on the Island….this morning we headed downtown for the very special extravaganza.  Every year on Halloween eve morning come herds of preschoolers and their parents or sitters.  They have come to trick or treat all the shop owners who are often also in costume.  It is a delight.  We went by one two story brick building and the owners had lowered a rope with goodies in it for the kids.  Everyone has a great time…you can see that from this little unicorn's delightful smile.  We love it. Another of our Island traditions we try not to miss…  My little red camera was busy, as I asked Moms and Dads if I could photograph. They all agreed and each child obliged with a smile, 
it was a treat for the heart!

                             Even the littlest are arrayed, along with a pirate sibling too tired to walk.

                  Another precious Halloween moment as Wonder Child and her veggy buddy
                                                      reach for fallen goodies..

   As I said, shop owners get into it, like this fantastic clown.  
Note the blue skies today, it would dare rain.

Now, we have come to the end of our tale…
what was your Halloween eve like?

Friday, October 25, 2013


Find yourself an island, inside or out.  Everyone needs a place to go, to center, to appreciate. It does not have to be spectacular.  

Well, we found one that is spectacular, in its own simple way.  

 Here on Amelia Island we found such a place.  Now everyone knows it! This week in our local biweekly newspaper The News Leader we find out that we are #24 of 25 of the best Islands IN THE WORLD to visit!! This according to Conde Nast Traveler's Choice 2013. In the world, folks!   For the seventh consecutive year it was also voted among the top ten U.S. Islands in the Reader's Choice Awards along with Maui and Kauai, Nantucket,MA and Hilton Head, S.C.  

As I may have said earlier in this blog, we are only 12 x 3 miles in size with two not very long bridges that connect us to the "mainland".  Before we found Amelia, we had never heard of it.  When we visited friends here, our connection, we fell in love.  I guess a lot of other folks fall in love with it, too.
We are always discovering new little corners.  Just taking a short ride around or walking downtown or off the beaten path we get a sweet time-out.

I found this photo on Pinterest, it was not taken here.  But, I love the spotlight effect on the sea...and it works for me!  It tells the story pretty well. 

 So where is your island?

Saturday, October 19, 2013


One never knows what will be the surprise of a walk or drive to downtown Fernandina Beach.  Today we actually found the beating heart of this Island we call home.

 We began to see the empty boots along the street curb, then more and more and more on both sides of the road from down at the beach to just before downtown proper, nearly two miles.  Each boot had clipped to it the photo of an American fallen warrior whose life's blood was spent in defense of freedom along with his/her story.  The boots were neatly placed with an American flag standing proud in each of them. It must have taken all night to set them in place.

 We fetched the camera and decided to stop near a gathering of people.  There we discovered a young man who told us about what the boots meant.  His is the back of the shirt you see here:  he had tears in his eyes when he described how an Island  mother of a fallen soldier had taken it upon herself to identify each soldier slain in the line of duty and attach it to a boot. He was running for the fallen from the Kings Bay military installation nearby which was part of the remembering day.

This woman has approximately twenty five hundred boots and photos thus far and her goal is 10,000: one for each casualty and soldier slain since 9-11.  Some are only cards clipped to ropes as she has not yet been able to purchase all the boots. Further down in the exhibit were fireman's boots with identifying cards and flags as well. Her major goal is to take this all over the country.
 I cannot descibe the emotion this evoked in us.  It further angered us that a callous government could actually close off open air monuments to our war dead here and abroad in a senseless lack of respect for the enormous amount of blood shed to keep us all free.  We applaud the actions of WWII veterans to open the WWII memorial.

Recently, a letter appeared in our local paper that the mother of a young serviceman from nearby Yullee
had received.  Her soldier son had written that if she received that letter it would mean he had fallen.
Not to mourn said he, he had a wonderful mother. a wonderful life in a wonderful country.  He was 23 years old.

                            Makes one proud and so very small in the face of such heroism.

                                          Today we found the beating heart of an Island.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From the the ocean white with foam

We have been away from our Island for a bit leaving the sea for the mountains. Specifically, Blowing Rock North Carolina.  Traded in the heat of an Amelia summer for the coolness of the mountains, about 7 1/2 hours drive away.

                                           We left the sight of a beach sunrise in Amelia .....

...for the beauty of sunrise in the mountains with its cloud rise as the forest exhaled its breath. This was the view from our deck in a lovely rented home.  Different manifestations of the beauty of nature.

                 From the majesty of the ocean swells to the sweet lullaby of a mountain waterfall.

As Americans we are blessed from sea to sea with bounteous vistas of all kinds where we find repose and peace from daily worries and work.  Here in Amelia, we are not far from the mountains either in N. Carolina or Georgia or from ocean views.  We both were born in southeastern New England, not far from New Hampshire mountains and not far from the ocean in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  We are grateful for all of the blessings of the past, present and our tomorrows.

                                             It is always good, though, to come home.....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Speaking of Healing

The aspects of healing found in exercise are myriad.  Consistent warm weather makes exercise a treat instead of a treatment.  Hence, the sweet all-year climate of Amelia Island with its soothing sounds and sights of sand and sea are definite assets for a healing process.

                                                     Above:   Nana Sand Dune in Amelia Island
                                                    Below: walk onto Jekyl Island Beach, Georgia

              But, even if one lives in a little paradise, it is always well to wander off to other places.

 For us those places are high above our Amelia landscape. They reside in the mountains of North Carolina.  It takes us about a 7 1/2 hour drive to get up to Blowing Rock, N.C.  At least once a year, more if we need it, we drive all the way up to sights like these.  We are blessed.  The sounds of the sea and the immense silence of the mountains heal our hearts and souls in different but beautiful ways.

Joseph Campbell said, "Follow Your Bliss."  This is what we try to do.  Sometimes we wander farther off, sometimes closer.  But, no matter, Amelia is home.

Even though the "Woods are lovely, dark and deep, we have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep."  Robert Frost, one of my favorite poets said it so well.

                    Photograph of woodland landscape by my mother: Angelina Motta Souza
                      All others by myself.  She was my photographer and artistic mentor.
                                                               Amelia is home.  
                                          Below - our Island backyard in morning light.