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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ocracoke Meanderings

The sweet smell of the salty ocean air greeted me as I scrounged around on the beach and gathered a little dried driftwood and threw it in a pile not far from the rising dunes just North of the ferry landing on Ocracoke, The ferries had quit running for the evening and no one hangs around there much after the last ferry leaves for the night, an occasional fisherman maybe but the main action and the real touristy draw to Ocracoke is the bar scene and those who wish to learn more about the famous Pirate Blackbeard, we were pretty much to ourselves, me and my wife. We took the mischievously piled wood and made a small log cabin, put some kindling in the middle and stretched a small grate across the top to create an efficient wood stove and set the kindling ablaze the rising smoke stung our eyes and the pungent smell of burning driftwood competed with the salty air for dominance, we both settled down on the two Adirondack chairs we threw in the back of the truck. the fire grew high and sparks flew from the crackling wood. We shared a funny cigarette and a couple of beers and watched as the night sky gave us the dependable show that it always gives when the stress of life makes a man wander to the beach for respite. We relaxed and roasted hot dogs and grilled vegetables on kabobs until we were no longer hungry. The cool wind was out of the west and tried to blow the flames off the fire.  but being unsuccessful, the wind settled for providing us with a small case of wind burned cheeks, the result of our midnight rendezvous with the beach. The eternal waves that slipped up on the shore over and over with the sound as ageless and relentless as the beginnings of the earth itself provided the symphony we have always enjoyed. I honestly can't tell you how long we tarried there as we ignored the movement of the celestial sky's in favor of sharing the simple pleasure of another homegrown, hand rolled "cigarette" along with a 1/4 split bottle of wine we purchased from the "On Sale" bin at the grocery in Avon. The air was cool and the breeze was brisk and the wine warmed us to the point that we didn't know we had any cares in the world. At this point in prior years the passion of youth would force us to explore each other in a really physical way until we would pass out under the stars, but these days we spend most of the time just gazing at each other in the fire light and enjoying the blessings that the years have given us. I can't say which way was better, but I can say that after 35 years, my wife is more precious to me than words will allow me to say. And these moments under the stars on Ocracoke will haunt this beach long after I'm gone. And I will in my ghostly way prod future lovers to spend time with each other and enjoy this beach and it's timeless wisdom to love each other in a way that no one in these perilous times understands. And my wife and I's ghost will smile and coax other troubled lovers to the beach that healed our marriage saved our lives! 


  1. Wonderful post. Time to return, my good man.:)

  2. You are a truly lucky man, I don't know what I would give to live right next door to you! I plan it daily.

  3. Really would like to come for the Pat Com but shaky, will firm up a date and let you know. I have business in Fredericksburg sometime next month but not firm. I will keep you posted, I will try to arrange my schedule to meet up with you. I'm looking forward to it.