A Beach of a Memory

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The good angel finally won. So, thank you very much, I feel worlds better today. This morning though, I realized what brought on my angel struggle.

It was the longing for a beach. Being unemployed, there will be no beach trip this year. Just hearing about that fellow Earl brought back a beach trip memory I thought I might share. Hope you don’t mind.

For years we did a pilgrimage in early October to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I love the place. It is unlike any other coastal community I have visited in the US. However getting to these barrier islands can be somewhat daunting to say the least.

You must first cross numerous bridges high enough to allow for aircraft carrier passage, and then enter a tunnel; which runs under the bay, pop out and then cross more bridges. Only, then do you reach land.

Now I must tell you I do not like bridges, nor do I like tunnels. Getting there and back has always been a character building exercise for me. Earl reminded me of a return trip I once endure.

After spending a gorgeous week in the sun and sand, enjoying our lovely rental house it was time to leave. Why is it you never watch the weather channel on vacation?

Car packed, good-byes said, we started on our return trip home. It was about 20 miles from the dreaded crossing back that we wished we had watched the weather channel. We being, Ms. Twister and I.

The wind kicked up, rain fell in sheets, drivers were slowing; it was a mess. Then right before we reached the first bridge we hit a stand still traffic jam. Slowly we inched toward the bridge and wondered if it was a wreck? Then, as the bridge came into view I panicked!

”What does that mean? I shouted pointing to the sign reading, high wind warning no high profile vehicles allowed. “It’s okay, just keep driving.” Ms Twister is the calmest soul. “Well, is your Camry a high profile vehicle?” “It does not matter, you cannot turn around now,” like that was even an option. I was on the bridge and now could see the bay.

The bay had risen to engulf the bottom of the bridge. There was no space between water and bridge; the bridge appeared to be floating. It seemed as if one more wave and there would be no bridge.

I felt sick, Ms Twister enthralled; like a kid in a candy shop. She was hanging out the window taking pictures and yelling how cool it was. Suddenly a gust of wind caught the car and about blew us into the other lane.

“Cool my butt, I have chest pains,” I thought. “Get in the car.” She must have sensed my fear; turned to say something calming but instead, just laughed.  To what I’m sure was a funny sight. Sitting as close as I could get to the steering wheel, gripping it with death white fingers, and my face red as a beet; from, well her next words say it all.

”If you don’t breath, I’m going to drive.” I had forgotten to breath! We laughed about that all the way to West Virginia.

We made it through the tunnel, across the last bridge, and apparently was one of the last vehicles allowed to cross. The bridges and tunnel shut down right behind us, whew!

That Nor` Easter flooded Richmond, Virginia for days. I vowed right then and there not to return without a weather radio. Now I don’t go anywhere without it.

I hope you don’t mind my memory recall; it was an experience I will never forget. How about you, got any good beach stories? Since I can’t go I’d love to hear some beach stories.


Summer Ross said, 

closest I've ever been to the beech is at a nearby small lake, it wasn't very impressive, the sand so hot you can't walk barefoot and people littered which always bugs me. But I love swimming there during the summers...the water is cool and brisk and so refreshing.

August 31, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Karen Walker said, 

I grew up in NYC, so Jones Beach was a part of my childhood. Do I remember the good times? No, of course not. I remember the time I fell asleep and got second degree burns. Then I moved to Portland Oregon in my 30's. Love love love the Pacific Ocean, but you can't swim in it from Oregon. Way too cold. Now, I live in the desert and miss the ocean. But the desert mesas with their incredible rock formations have their own quiet beauty.

August 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM  
Clarissa Draper said, 

I rarely go to the beach. I'm not a beach person myself. I don't like sitting in the sun and I don't like swimming much. I went to Mazatlan once and we stayed at a house on the beach and I liked getting up early and just watching the waves from my balcony.


August 31, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Alex J. Cavanaugh said, 

I'm not a beach person, but I do know about those tunnels and bridges in North Carolina. Some scary ones in Chesapeake and Norfolk, too.
Next time, don't forget to breathe!

August 31, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Tammy said, 

That does sound scary! I’m glad you survived!

August 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

Oh Jules I feel almost guilty I live only 2 mins from the beach. I walk along there most days and when I lived in Spain I was nearby to the beach.I have so many fond memories as I wrote many poems inspired by the waves and tide and the beach atmosphere,

Your expereience sounded scary,
If only you live closer!!!!!!!


August 31, 2010 at 4:47 PM  
Gail said, 

It was a delight to read your memory! Too funny, thanks for making me smile...I could picture you behind that wheel.

August 31, 2010 at 6:42 PM  
Jules said, 

Summer, find a beach it,s worth it.
Karen, oh yes a beach umbrella and cooler.
Clarissa,Oh I don't like sitting in the sun but I do love walking the beach.
Alex, I've heard about those. NO Way is all I can say.
Tammy, it was! to me not Ms Twister.
Yvonne, Don't feel guilty, feel lucky. :D If we loved close to each other they would put an age limit on the play ground.
Gail, I'm so glad I made you laugh but I'm sorry you had that picture :D

I'm so glad you guys enjoyed the story. I guess it really was a "Had to be there moment," sorry.

August 31, 2010 at 7:09 PM  
a sojourner said, 

...a bit late here. had a scare once like you did on a bridge i thought that nothing could reach that high. thought i was losing my mind. instead of water, it was moving ice at eye level. an ice jam down stream brought that ice up 40 ft.

my favorite all time beach was Edisto Beach State Park in south carolina. you ever been there?

August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM  
The Words Crafter said, 

Wow, that would have been terrifying! I lived through Hugo...and I didn't even know he was coming. I was staying with a friend who lived in a mobile home (I know, right?) and she came and woke me at about 2 am. The walls were literally moving in and out, as if the home were breathing. We drove quickly to her parent's house, near Newton, NC. Power lines came loose above us, transformers blew up, but we made it. The next morning, we drove around and saw all the places where dozens and dozens of twisters had brought down trees in near perfect circles. That whole area was out of power for about three weeks.

As I wrote this, the part about the transformers reminded me of the ice storm we got in 1996. I worked second shift and got off at midnight. I drove from Hickory (by that time, there were eight inches of snow on the roads) to Dudley Shoals to pick up my sister and her family, then back to Granite Falls. Transformers were exploding so rapidly that it looked like a war zone. By the time I got home with everyone, there were more than twelve inches of snow and ice....weather-it's a wild beast!

August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM  
Mary said, 

I could never go there. No big bridges --ever. Just can't do it!
I'm sorry I didn't laugh I just felt your fear.

August 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM  
Damyanti said, 

I live in a country of beaches, and have stopped longing for them altogether. Cool photo btw.

August 31, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Glynis said, 

I was born by the sea, and always have to live no further than a 30 min drive to one. If I feel down, I sit for hours watching the waves. I feel at home.

Thanks for sharing your story, how scared you must have been. I am glad the good angel won!

September 1, 2010 at 5:53 AM  
Journaling Woman said, 

Great memory and told very well. You are a good storyteller.

I've never been to a real beach.


September 1, 2010 at 7:10 AM  
N. R. Williams said, 

The only beaches in Colorado are attached to reservoirs or lakes. So, no beach story here. But I do love to go in the mountains. Fire danger in the summer and avalanche in the winter. My scariest experience occurred when I was 16 and my brother was behind the wheel. We were on a icy patch sliding out of control toward the edge of a mountain. Another car stopped our slide or I might be dead.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

September 1, 2010 at 7:30 AM  
Ellie said, 

I live near the Outer Banks, but haven't been all the way down. It sounds scary as hell! I could really feel your fear! I once followed hubby to Maine from Florida.
We were in Maryland crossing this bridge. Ten minutes prior nothing on the radio and You could hardly see...I was scared to cross the bridge, I could sense a twister or something no traffic. All I could think of is the scene in the movie
Twister where they show 3 twisters. I hesitated, my husband is on our 2way radio...hollering at me to go as fast as I can. I tried later to find out...you could see across the water, it was churned up all gray, sky was gray.
I have never felt so blind in all my life, except pea soup fog in New England, but this was worst.

September 4, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
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