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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

Shower Writing

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Shower Writing

I just mapped out a whole blog post while taking a shower. Does anyone else do this? Let’s see if I can get it down in digital form without leaving out the important stuff.

SUBTITLE: Positive Effects of Social Distancing

I know everyone has to be as tired as I am of social distancing. Really, what’s to love about it besides the fact you can work from home – in your pajamas – with no makeup? Believe me, that gets old pretty fast. I also saved a ton of money on gas. Who knew my car could travel for two months on one tank of fuel?

My kids have taken it all in stride:

Kerri has worked from home until last week. Her girls resumed a few dance lessons on Zoom and the youngest finished out fourth grade via distance learning online. The oldest was already attending school through online schooling.

She painted four rooms in her house and started daily walks and a few hikes which they never had time for before. Dance had been the center of their universe.

Out for a hike!

Terri had a house full while trying to social distance. At least she had runners to grocery shop and run errands. She pushed Will through his junior year of high school, but said there was no way in H E double L she was going to home school a senior in high school. One of them would end up dead!

On a positive note, she learned how to crochet and the needles have been working overtime. I just ordered her some yarn to crochet me a throw.

This is the first throw Terri made. Such bright colors!

Jessie has had quite the experience in teaching from home. She has now decided that she enjoyed it to the extent she will be homeschooling the three oldest – grades 1, 3, and 5, in the fall. Pierson is only 2.5, but I bet when he does start school he will be way ahead of his peers.

These four children had cousins who lived a few minutes away so they got a lot of bonding time together in the last few months.

Clockwise – Kerri, Jessie, Cadence, Lia, Sydney, Charlee, Ethan, Davey. Pierson is missing? He may have been napping.

Amie is a teacher and so is her husband, but she learned that teaching her own children through online schooling while trying to also keep her classes going is quite the experience. She also had two college age children home at the same time. I believe she is more than ready for school to start up again and life to return to normal.

She did enjoy that reprieve on her gas budget, and…together with her family, they built a deck!

Alli and Abby enjoying their handiwork!

Andrew had to finish out his second semester of his doctorate through zoom meetings. There is nothing quite like giving a music recital through Zoom! 😂 He was not a fan of that.

He did enjoy the break from all his duties as a graduate assistant to work on his composing, and actually had two pieces finalized and published last month. You can listen to “A Castle In The Air” here.   This is someone else performing it.

He is more than ready to resume normal activity, but wonders how normal a marching band will be in the fall.

Andrew and Xochi came to visit for a few days last week. They brought Mia with them so we did a little dog sitting.

Mia on the hunt for squirrels in the park.

H is still teaching his music lessons through Zoom, but will start teaching back at Playground Music next month. Between you and me, that will be a good thing! 🤫 I know more about Zoom than I need to.

I have not written much in the past few months. I’ve spent a lot of time stocking up pillows in my Etsy shop. Here’s what I worked on yesterday.

Plus – I was still working my regular job making pillows for decorators in the area. I do that from home anyway. I’m thankful my business didn’t go into a slump.

What I want to happen soon is for the restaurants to open back up safely. I’m tired of eating groceries! And cooking them!

Overall, this experience has been a positive one. Kitchens and rooms and tables have been painted. I even found the time to chalk paint this small chest.

We’ve all learned how to get along together in close spaces. The grandchildren have learned to help one another and the parents have learned to practice more patience. Kids have learned to cook and do laundry. Numerous houses have been decluttered and outdoor projects have been started and finished. A lot of reading has been going on with jigsaw puzzles taking up the slack. And Zoom has been at the top of everyone’s learning curve!

How is your social distancing going? Life as we once knew it may not resume. I believe it’s time for a change. Stay safe and enjoy your families!

~Elle

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