I have always had a love of the gulf. I was born and raised in Clearwater. I grew up going to the beach with my family. We would spend the day there until the mid afternoon rains would come like clock work. On the way home we would go through Farm Stores drive thru for bread, milk and ice cream. It was a ritual. We didn't even have to get out of the car.
I married and moved away. My husband was in the Air Force and we would be traveling a lot. Something I had looked forward to doing. But I began to miss my coastline. The relaxed and calm feeling I got from just being near the water. The sand under my feet, the sounds of the sea and the smell of the salt air were all things I needed. We have lived near lakes but it was not the same. Not the same feeling.
We tried to get stationed in Florida but it never happened. We got close and moved to Ocean Springs MS. It was great to be near the water again. But still we did not have those beautiful beaches like in FL. We would have to take the boat to the islands just off the coast to get to the clear blue waters. But it was fantastic to be on the water. The beauty of the open sea. Nothing quite like it.
It wasn't until we retired and my husband found a job in FL that we made it back here to the beautiful gulf coast. We are on the emerald coast this time. Different than where I grew up but beautiful none the less. As much as I had wanted be back once again near the water I had a difficult time with this move. Leaving two of my sons back in GA was the hardest thing for me. It's still hard. But I love the gulf and what if offers us. And now I can share that with my kids.
The beautiful sunsets it gives to us. The amazing wildlife that is on its shores and in its waters. Fishing is a part of life for so many. It it something we enjoy as a family and something so many depend on as their livelihood. That is all now threatened. What happens now I do not know. It saddens me to know that the oil is right around the corner from us. It saddens me to know so many already have been affected by this horrible tragedy and so many more to come.
It must be kept out of our marshes and bayous. It will destroy too much. I hope that a solution can be found. Not only to keep it out but to stop it altogether. For I want the beautiful gulf to be around to share its splendor with not only my children but my grandchild to come.