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Author Archives: Elle Knowles

It’s Too Peopley Out There

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It’s Too Peopley Out There

We live in the most perfect area to have a staycation. The gulf with its white sand beaches are only five minutes away. We have the best restaurants with fresh seafood and seats with the best views. The charter fishing experience is top notch. Evidently, this is not a best kept secret anymore.

The only problem with living in this beautiful setting is that there are too many people. Summer vacationers are coming in droves, clogging the streets and highways, making every trip that should take us a few minutes to complete, hours sometimes.

The grocery stores are teeming with out-of-staters pulling things off the shelves as fast as they are stocked. I try to limit my grocery buying to early morning at our neighborhood Winn Dixie and Dollar General, staying clear of Walmart as much as possible.

The few restaurants that have opened have standing room only. We’ve noticed they are not as busy at lunchtime. That’s beach time for visitors. The drive thru’s whose dining rooms have still not opened, have lines of cars wrapping around the building. We find ourselves eating our own cooking more often than not. H just got his new Traeger grill put together. I’m hoping he will be taking on the cooking for a while. 😂 One can only hope!

I understand the downfall of living in paradise is that it’s open to others. The tourists are the ones that keep our businesses open through the summers and the Snowbirds keep them on their toes during the winter months. Spring Breakers open the season as soon as February sometimes.

All these people have never really bothered us before. It comes with the territory and we’ve become acclimated to it. But…you would think…during this time of uncertainty…our number of visitors to paradise would be nil to none.

Nope! License plates from eight out of ten cars are from out-of-state. No one’s afraid to travel and stay in condos that have been vacated from the last guest, only hours ago.

They don’t mind sitting shoulder to shoulder in crowded restaurants with their young children running up and down and between the tables, touching everything in sight.

The parking lot was overflowing at the Gulfarium over the weekend, as we drove by on a leisurely drive, just to get us out of the house for a few hours. I can’t breath in there under normal circumstances because of the humidity.

There is a sea of rental chairs and umbrellas, as far as the eye can see on the beaches that are just as crowded as ever. All I see are too many people trying to give a little bit of fun to their families who have been home bound for months. I can’t blame them.

We have yet to venture out to the beach. We aren’t that brave. Our new beach chairs and umbrella we purchased at the end of last season, are still unused. We should have gone a few times when the beaches first opened back up. Hindsight.

This week we met out-of-town family at a favorite restaurant in Destin. We went for lunch so the crowd was small. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we reminisced – a good time. We need any sign of normalcy that we can get these days.

“I miss the beach,” is not usually in my vocabulary. This year I do. The Fourth of July weekend is in sight. I don’t see the people problem letting up any time soon. I hope they stay safe as best they can.

~Elle

Hair, Embrace The Change…

Hair, Embrace The Change…

I’ve been thinking about hair lately. Supposedly, it’s our crowning glory. Whether your hair is long or short, thick or thin, straight or curly, sleek or frizzy, or balding on top, we all have or had it at one time, or still do. I think of this song as I write this. It tells it like it is.

Salons and Barber Shops have been shut down for so long that in the past few months I’ve seen wives wielding scissors and sculpting their husbands hair as though they think they know what they are doing. Clippers have come out of storage and heads have been shaved. Women are chopping off their bangs frantically so they can see underneath the fringe. Mothers are shearing the curly locks of their children.

Jessie was tired of having to pull Pierson’s hair out of his face with barrettes so out came the scissors. Andrew has never had long hair, but when he came to visit a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised at the length. He said he was going for that Ben Mankiewicz look. You know, the guy on Turner Classic Movies. He may be able to pull that off! I, for one, have not had a haircut since November!

Before lockdown began, sometime around the middle of February, I decided I was forgoing anymore dye jobs. Of course I color my hair. Doesn’t everyone? I don’t know when I started coloring it and I don’t believe it was because of graying, but because I wanted it to be a little brighter. And once you start, it becomes addictive!

I did not run this by H first! I knew what he would say and I knew he would notice eventually. By the time he did, I was three months in. Too late to turn back now.

After the first month I decided I didn’t have as much gray as I thought I did. But three months later – yep – it’s there. I’ve been following a Facebook page, Going Gray Gracefully. Women are embracing their grays and loving every minute of it. Some are very brave, and not wanting to go through the demarcation line transition, have buzz cut their hair, leaving nothing but a 1/4 inch or less of gray stubble. Once growth occurs, the natural color will shine. Do I dare? NO!

Others have taken the pixie cut route and shorn their tri-colored locks in a cute cut with most of the dye job falling to the floor. Most can pull off that short haircut. Not me.

Some, like me, have let it grow until they can’t stand it anymore and then cut off a few inches themselves, giving it some life. Without hair salons open, the results could be catastrophic.

I have a hair appointment tomorrow. I can’t wait. It’s been scheduled for six weeks! I’ve been tempted to bring out the scissors and trim a little here, a little there. After all, my scissors are close at hand most days as I sit at my sewing machine.

My bangs have taken on a life of their own. Not wanting to look like a elderly graying chicken, instead of pulling them straight back off my forehead, I let them flop and push them to one side when I need to see.

Should I go shorter than I ever have or cut a few inches? Bangs or no bangs? Cut so I can straighten it or let it go curly? Layered or cropped? Time is running out. My appointment is at one pm tomorrow. I must decide. The clock is ticking.

No matter what happens, I can always pick up a box of hair dye and return to the past if I hate it. That’s my decision- no one else’s!

~Elle

 

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