The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

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Sand Dollar

I’m sitting on a barstool on an island, sipping a non-fat vanilla latte, casually, as if I’ve done this before.  And I don’t wanna go home.

Upon arrival on the coastal islands of Texas (who knew Texas had islands?) I knew I would love this place. Long beaches, scarcely used in winter months; shells different than the shells back home; sun…sun…sun.  What’s not to demand more of?

If you’ve been following our journey you know we left Alaska in November to spend the winter outside, visit with family, and see some sites. Of course, once we drove the week it took us to get to California, we thought, ‘why stop here?’ and kept right on going, landing us by some bizarre twist of fate, on the southern coast of Texas.

It turns out, we liked it here and since we’re carefree, flybytheseatofyourpants type people, we slapped down some money on a rented condo and haven’t worn a pair of long pants in weeks.

We rented a golf cart for one week at off-season rates that would make the summer folk envious, and did almost nothing else but dodge traffic (because around here golf carts are more easily driven than 25 foot long trucks) and fly down the beach at top speeds of 15. It was a blast and we didn’t want to let it go. I dropped the husband at the airport, sending him off to work and he texted sad, deflated pictures of the luggage carts that reminded him of times past.  The days following the golf cart return were dismal, but we’ve moved on now.

We’ve spent entire days wandering the shores, afternoons in the pool and nights walking the shores again.  We’ve seen birds we didn’t know existed, dolphins chasing ships in the canal, and more senior citizens on one place than we’ve ever seen before.

Today we’re off to investigate an alligator sighting and a secret turtle hideaway then perhaps the fog will lift and we’ll head off to the shores again to seek the elusive whole sand dollar.

Next week we half-heartedly leave Texas after picking up the husband at the San Antonio airport. We’ll spend a day at the Alamo, then hit the I40 across New Mexico, Arizona, and up into southern Utah where we’ve been offered a home for rent in March on a lake in the high country.  We’ll perhaps hit some ski slopes, let the kids run the land and search rock formations. Though we look forward to seeing Utah, trying out some kayaking, mountain biking and gold nugget hunting, we’ll miss our little island paradise perhaps more than any of us even now realize.

People keep saying, “Don’t forget Alaska is home…” and of course, how could we.  But honestly, as I flip-flop my bare legs across hot sand in February, it’s hard to imagine a winter tromping around in heavy Sorrels through knee deep snow.

And so I’ll embrace every second, save this day in my memory, and take it home. I’ll keep it on the edge of my mind, easily pulled out as needed to warm my winter days.





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