Chronicle: Beaches, Momma & Memories

My mother called today and we talked the way we always do….for hours…about EVERYTHING! Our conversations are like a stream of consciousness, one thought leading to another, taking us on an uncharted a journey. ( Or, maybe we’re just old and forget what we’ve called for. Lol)  We were talking about death and family heirlooms which in turn led to memories.

I’m not just sentimental, keeping EVERY meaningful gift, child scribbled note and ticket stub, I’m a chronicler. I chonicle lives, the past, memories, preserving them for our future generations.

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We grew up, she and I, in the same place, with the same people and to some degree, together. My mom had me 23 days after her 17th birthday.  My father had turned 18 the month before. My uncle ( her older brother),  my mother and I, each had the same 1st grade teacher! We each spent much of our childhoods on the same street, in the same little concrete house that my grandfather built.

My mom began talking about her memories of camping on the beach with her parents and grandparents….my grands and greats.  The memories, plucked the strings and cords of my own. She spoke of walking on the beach, picking up sand dollars, cooking over a campfire and I realized just then that she’d recreated her memories for me.

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I recall the days that she, holding my tiny hand, lead me along the shore to pick up shells to place in my bright colored pail.  She’d take me camping on the beach, building the campfire and cooking hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks. The moon and stars were never so bright, the darkness free of city light, reflecting off the waves. The tide would roll out and you could walk a mile, leaving wet footprints in the sand that was once beneath the sea.

“I dont think they permit it anymore,” I told her, “and everything’s so different now.”  It had been  many years since I’d been back to that familiar place in the heart, that I call home. It had grown into something near unrecognizable and I fought the sinking feeling of the door closing on all my memories.

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The dunes were dozed to make room for the condo’s that now line the beach.  It’s congested with the crush of people and restaurants every few yards. Tourism and the desire to capitalize on it has destroyed our paradise. I could hear the sadness in her voice as I told her that Mustang Island had fallen prey to the same.

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“All aboard!” called the ferryman
and when he’d see me there again
he’d smile and blow a single kiss
into the salty wind of Mustang Island. 

Excerpt from poem Mustang Island By Laura Bailey

As a teenager, it was my favorite place on earth. There was nothing on the island but a few sparce houses on stilts. I’d take the ferry across to the island, sit in the sand, sipping screwdrivers and writing poetry as the sun slipped below the horizon.

“Farewell,” I waved to the ferryman
he’d smile a dreamy smile
wishing he could go there too
and stay with me awhile

Excerpt from poem Mustang Island By Laura Bailey

I was shocked and heart broken to find my little island consumed by buildings, its beaches swarmed and the ferry replaced by a hwy bridge. Gone, is my childhood and days of my youth…but I chronicle the memories.

Too soon, the ferryman, rang his bell
I left its wide deserted shore
bid Farewell to enchanted Isle
though it’d haunt me, evermore
my Mustang Island

Excerpt from poem Mustang Island By Laura Bailey

 

 

24 comments

    • I am so blessed to still have my parents and although they were so young when I was born having married at 15 & 16 and having me just after their 17th & 18th birthdays, we kind of grew up together. They are as much my oldest, dearest friends as they are my parents.
      As a matter of fact, my mother, her older brother and I, all had the same 1st grade teacher!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing. Funny how different lives can be. I am a child of an immigrant, so never knew what life was like before I came along. Then we moved every two years or so. The permanency you describe is foreign to me, and I can see from your story , very blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My grandparents were my anchor…theirs was the place that I felt of as home. My parents, like yours, moved wildly from city to city, state to state. I, at times, would attend 8 different schools in a year in multiple states. It was difficult for me both educationally as each would be operating at different levels and also emotionally. I learned to disconnect from others. There was no use in making friends when you may not be there tomorrow. I am as an adult, nomadic myself having never learned to grow roots in one place. The longest I’ve ever lived in the same house was 5 years. Therefore, my grandparents stedfast, rooted homes where the only place that was real and unmoving….my rock of stability. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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