Road Trips and Clarity

Last week called for an impromptu road trip to the East coast of Florida to beach hop down the coast with my boyfriend, Michael. Packing the cooler with water and snacks, we embarked on our journey at four in the morning. The two of us marveled as the sun came up over state road sixty — greenery all around us and open road ahead. It was glorious. We made a pact to take the back roads as much as possible for any trip we do. We want to see as much of the natural beauty the world has to offer as possible.


Sunrise over 60

Sunrise over 60


 

We arrived on the east coast at 8am ready for some breakfast and a nap. While we ate, we found the nearest beach about twenty minutes away from I-95. Hutchinson Island was delightful; so much different from the beach I grew up on. There are sand dunes with foliage blocking your immediate view of the Atlantic, the wooden stairs were picturesque. They took us over the dunes and down to the beach where the sand was darker than I’m used to and filled with bits of shells that stick to your skin. The roar of the ocean swam through my head as I drifted asleep on the shoreline. A bit colder than the Gulf of Mexico, the waves enticed me in. We watched the storm roll in from the water and decided it was time to move on.


Hutchinson Island D Hutchinson Island R Hutchinson Island L

 


 

We raced the storm and successfully made it far enough south to avoid the rain and hit another beach. Hollywood Beach was a cute little town complete with a fabulous beach front. Instead of dunes we encountered a line of retro, stubby bars and hotels with a stone broadwalk about ten feet wide and two and a half miles long to walk or ride along the beachfront. The ocean was crystal blue with a few patches of brown seaweed, but the water was shallow for a good while which was perfect  for a little crashing around in the waves. The storm was nowhere in sight but as per Florida guidelines it stormed a few hours later and we found ourselves stuck until it passed. Gotta love happy hour showers.


Exploring the Hollywood Broadwalk

Exploring the Hollywood Broadwalk

Michael Lounging

Michael Lounging

Hollywood Beach F Hollywood Beach L Hollywood Beach R

 


 

It is so important to fit in little trips throughout your month to inspire your soul and help you clear your mind. It is a rejuvenating experience embracing what nature has to offer both nearby and far away. Crashing on the beach, driving all day and night, and showering at the beach accesses made me yearn for a cross-country road trip. I am certain that I can live that lifestyle and be completely happy; the vagabond lifestyle has whispered in my ear and I cannot shake it off. I’m convinced that traveling is a drug – heroin of sorts. I don’t care where I get it, but I must go!

xxx

Sam

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All The World’s A Stage So Live While You Can

 **Italic words are links to more information**

If all the world is a stage then why not live in every corner? Stage left, stage right, center stage. Each section of our world has something new to offer. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anybody, so why waste such a beautiful day? The sun is up (or maybe it isn’t) and the sky is blue (or gray) it’s beautiful and so are you. No matter what the day holds you can control the way you perceive it. So open your eyes with an attitude of gratitude and take advantage of the beauty hidden in plain sight. You have already conquered so much by greeting the day.

This year has been a rebuild thus far. I’ve been in a strange place for the last couple of years that I think everybody probably goes through. You know, when you are questioning everything and the meaning of life. When wrong becomes right and right becomes… a little of both? Nothing makes sense and everything is clear all at once then you flip it on its head and drastically change everything around you.

I’ve learned how to appreciate everything the universe has brought into my life and to let everything else go. Sometimes you have to accept that some anchors are meant to be cut and it doesn’t make you a bad person, life is a not a simple journey. So far I have learned to appreciate mornings, coffee, organic fruits & veggies, gardening,  weekly beach trips, and sunshine. Writing has come more freely and less forced. Ideas are flowing left and right.

I’m having a strong yearning to explore Africa. For a few months now I have been dreaming day and night about the continent and all that is going on that I can physically help with. Relax, I don’t plan on going all Machine Gun Preacher and getting too involved in the gun slinging. Although my heart breaks for the children of Africa, I feel that my calling is with something a little more peaceful.

I want to help create sustainable resources for the people of Africa to have clean drinking water in an obtainable, natural way. I want to get involved with bringing clean, solar energy to villages that have never had these things before. My goal is to find a way to contribute my skills as a writer, filmmaker, and ability to get my hands dirty to unify and connect the one earth family that I believe in.

When you care for others you will be cared for. I want to make a lasting difference not just in people’s lives but in communities. I can not only be an open mind and pair of willing hands, but I can document and tell the world of the struggles our brothers and sisters face. The time is coming to be a part of the rejuvenation of our world.

The last time I was on Fort Myers Beach, we went on a tour of the Mound House and I learned about a plant that is an african native called the Moringa Tree. The seeds of the Moringa Tree can be used to purify water by crushing them down in bowl and adding the powdery substance to a gallon of water. One seed per gallon, let it sit for twenty four hours. Thats it. This tree is native to a land that is in desperate need of clean water, which leads me to believe the answer lies within. We need to educate the people about the tree and find alternative ways to collect water. These seeds are also a possible source of biodiesel which could be a profitable export for Africa. Another beautiful thing about these trees is that you can harvest them without damaging the tree. So we could plant fields of Moringa Trees and seasonally harvest them without having to replant the trees again. They won’t die.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think like this, but I don’t want to just be a dreamer; I want to take action as well.  When I was in London, I went to a Michael Franti & Spearhead concert at KOKO. I was so inspired by their song, Hello Bonjour:

I dont need a passport to walk on this earth

Anywhere I go ’cause I was made of this earth

I’m born of this earth, I breathe of this earth 

And even with the pain I believe in this earth

If you watch footage from satellites orbiting the earth, you will be able to see the difference between land and sea – you will even see lights clustered around cities. You won’t see any borders though. We weren’t meant to live so divided. If we are all born of this earth then we are all meant to take care of the earth and other creatures in it. We shouldn’t need a passport to walk through the earth. Why do we need to classify people into little boxes? I understand protection, but protection at the cost of unity and education? that seems preposterous to me.

Until next time.

xxx Sam

 **Italic words are links to more information**

Newton Park: The Lost Story

“Once you leave home, you can never go back.” These words echo through my childhood; I refused to stay in my one-lane town. As I grew older, an education and a yearning to see the world pulled me away. One year when I arrived home, they had torn down everything from my childhood home except the fireplace. I found myself surprisingly devastated.

The last place that my family was a family was now gone and I felt my hope go with it. A house built in the 20s, that withstood hurricanes, water surges, and fallen trees is gone, washed away. All that remains is the pathetic outline of the rooms that held many family memories – not just my memories but the memories of children before me. The fireplace that brought christmas wonder to so many families is nothing but a few stones in the sand.

I sat and stared at that sandy stone fireplace and remembered the dark brown bowl we kept our dog’s toys in nestled in the corner. She would be asleep on those red tiles with her head on the toys. I remembered breaking my elbow on the opposite corner and trying to climb the tree out the window with my arm in a cast.

I can’t speak for the families that lived in that quaint beach cottage before mine, but for us it was paradise. My father turned the garage into his ‘home office’ where he kept all his tools and fixed boat motors and hung his speed bag.

Every once in a while we would have visitors in the apartment off the garage. Frequently Reeve Lindbergh would stay as she was friends with Jim and Ellie Newton. When I was in the fourth grade, she came to my school and read some of her poetry – I was in awe.

The Newtons owned the property and lived next door; they were such fascinating people. Ellie told the most amazing stories and showed me pictures of inspirational figures like Thomas Edison. Jim swam every single day even through his nineties – even in stingray season! He never got stung, but I was so afraid he would. They were such kind, loving people and the feeling they gave me has imprinted on my being.

Our driveway was magical, Hibiscus trees separated us from the street creating an archway over our sandy driveway. On the other side of the trees, we had a trampoline and jet ski to play with. A little garden lined the side of the house where I planted flowers and vegetables while learning about the victory gardens of World War II.

The wooden stair case was small and lead into the ‘shoe room’ where my father insisted we keep our microwave for fear of our brains getting fried if we stayed in the same room as it. Entering through a white door with windows you would find an open kitchen/dining room combination with an indoor window that lead to the adjoining closets of two rooms. Throughout the years all three of us girls lived in both those rooms and shared the jack and jill bathroom. We all used that window to sneak into the kitchen and out the door.

The archway from the kitchen brought you into an open computer room and living room with french doors out to the patio and beach. I’ll never forget coming outside as a child and finding strangers using our outside shower. My mother was always very nice when telling them it was private property and not for public use. My parents bedroom had a huge window out to the beach with tye dye sheets on the bed. I was the wild one climbing from tree to tree and building sandcastles.

 

Today those trees are further gone than the home itself. All that is left are a few bricks, stones and benches. The beach is still the same, they can’t take that away. I’ll always be able to sit on the beach that I learned how to add and subtract on, how to ride a bike and surf. My father’s ashes live at that beach.

Tourists may eat their lunch and wash their feet, but I remember the family that ate dinner on that porch every evening and loved their beach cottage almost as much as each other. I wonder what other memories lie in that beautiful home from before the nineties. Seventy years of being other families home, of being on the island before any condominium or hotel was built.

Maybe I was wrong, you can go back home. It is acceptable to visit the memories and go back to a place you have lived so long as you have grown as a person. No matter your surroundings, you are still at your core who you are – everywhere.

xxx

Sam