This mug gives me a happy smile...and a little shiver!
Another trip with my parents, this one was in 1994. We went to the Golden Isles of Georgia for a week. We stayed on Jekyll Island in a room with a kitchen and a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean, right across the street from the beach.
Along with other sights and fun that week, stopping in Savannah for a night on the way and bringing pralines home with us, spending a night in Florida after driving on the beach in Daytona, we really enjoyed having that kitchen! We bought fresh, and I mean FRESH, shrimp in a fish store in Brunswick. The shrimp we had for dinner had been swimming in the Atlantic that morning! We had boiled shrimp and hush puppies with fresh coleslaw that Dad made. It was heavenly! Pop was just loving all the restaurants that Mom and I had introduced him to. We’d been through Savannah and Jekyll Island the year before and were anxious to show him all the wonderful things we’d seen.
On our day trip to Florida we visited St. Augustine and want to The Fountain of Youth. We tasted the water from that eternal spring. YUCK!!! I’d rather grow old or sacrifice some teenagers to stay young than drink that stuff. We also went to some of the open air shops where I got to taste alligator fritters. The gator was okay. Similar in flavor to a mild lobster, but with the texture of a fried super ball!
What jars my memory and gives me a shiver thought is that first morning in Georgia. It was early November and for the Georgia Coast, cold! I mean it dropped to freezing at night. 32 degrees! In November! The folks on the Island were just not prepared for that kind of cold snap so early! I’m not at all being sarcastic here. The heat wasn’t tuned on in the hotel yet the first night we stayed!
Yet still, there was a east-facing beach and palm trees. Ahhhhhh.... I cannot resist being up before sunrise when I’m on the Atlantic Ocean. Any other time I’d been on the coast before, mornings were predawn, in shorts and bare feet to walk on the ocean in silence and watch God paint the morning. It really is a truly spiritual experience for me. The roar of the ocean waves and the silhouettes of the palm trees growing more defined as the brilliant colors of daybreak slowly fade into morning splendor, it’s sitting in the Master’s studio and watching him turn out another masterpiece. I really don’t believe I could ever reachthe point of taking it for granted, even if I lived on the coast.
But this day, the thermometer read 32 degrees Fahrenheit ...0 Celsius ... FREEZING just before dawn! But still, here I was, about a half hour before sunrise, putting on shorts and not putting on shoes to go out to the beach. Pop thought I was nuts! Mom went to the beach with me! (but she had pants, a jacket and shoes!) But the sunrise that morning was just breathtaking! The clear sky and chilly air made the colors that much more brilliant. The while experience of watching that sunrise was warmer. To this day, I don’t remember feeling cold once the sun started rising until after we’d gotten back to the room. It was magnificent!
Mom told me, with a wink, maybe my feet just went numb from the cold! But I know that every trip to the coast, sunrise on a new day is not just a sunrise over the ocean for me. It’s also a warming sunrise within!