Hurricane Florence has me on edge and as much as I have been praying that she will make a hard right turn and miss the U.S. completely, I have accepted the notion that its highly unlikely. Won’t stop me from praying though.
But yeah, I’m nervous. For all of us and especially for the coast of North Carolina.
See, the coast of North Carolina is very special to me. While many residents flock to Myrtle and Virginia Beach when given a chance to go sit by the Atlantic, I am always in a state of contemplation wondering how long it’s going to be before I can get back our coast.
I fell in love with Coastal NC at a young age, thanks to my mama. She has always believed in exposing me to new things and experiences and trips to the beach were no different. We spent many summers trekking down the highway to The Crystal Coast aka the Southern Outer Banks for fun, adventure and family time. Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach were our shores of choice.
At the time, the beach was just the beach to me. One was no different from the other. I had the same amount of fun at those beaches as I did at Wrightsville and Myrtle. However, as I got older I began to fully understand why my mother was partial to those beaches.
Back in the summer of 2009, I was unemployed. I was adjusting to my current normal and was yearning for a trip to the beach. I knew I needed to be saving my cash that was coming in so my plan was a no go until someone made a suggestion: take a day trip.
Interesting idea. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I was only two and a half hours from the beach. I could arise early one morning, get down to the beach, spend the whole day and part of the evening by the water and still get back home at a decent hour. Perfect idea and that is what I did.
I decided to go to Pleasure Island, a barrier island in the southeastern part of the state, which consists of Carolina and Kure Beaches and Fort Fisher. Kure Beach was my choice for that day. I played in the ocean, slept, talked with fellow beachgoers, ate ice cream, hung out at the pier and relaxed. It gave me everything I needed and more. As I was leaving, I passed back through Carolina Beach and said to myself the next time I come down, that’s where I’m going to hang out.
And I did and the love I had for Coastal NC excelled to a higher height. Now when I refer to Carolina Beach or CB, I call it “My Happy Place.” When I am stressed, I want to go to “My Happy Place.” When I am frustrated, I want to go to “My Happy Place.” When I want to escape for a few days to pray and hear from God, I want to go to “My Happy Place.” At CB, I find a peace and a tranquility that cannot be measured and that is why I’m nervous. Florence is threatening to possibly do damage to a place that means a lot to me.
Matter of fact, she’s threatening my coast and I don’t like it. Over the years I have spent numerous hours traveling up and down the roads of Coastal NC. A lot of that time has been spent with my mother. She and I continue to embark on adventures just as we did as a child. We have sought out locations many of our family and friends don’t travel to. We enjoy the simplicity, quietness and natural vegetation of our coast. Our coastal communities aren’t overrun with hotels, motels, malls, outlets, shopping centers, restaurants, amusement parks, souvenir shops and bars.
So Florence if you’re listening, I need you to back up. I need you to turn around. I need you to leave the places alone that have provided me with some of my favorite moments. I need more days spent enjoying all that Carolina Beach, North Topsail Beach(My Happy Place #2), Southport, Oak Island, The Outer Banks, New Bern, Morehead City, Beaufort, etc. have to offer.