Monday, March 30, 2009

Where I Came From

I have to confess that I borrowed this photo from a website, but this is the exact place where I grew up, Bradenton Beach. Yes, I'm a beach baby. I was born in Bradenton in 1966, grew up there on the beach, and lived there until I moved to SC in 1996. We didn't live in a house right ON the beach, but our town was on the coast, and it only took us minutes to get a loaded down car over the bridge and to the beach. We really did grow up there. My dad was born in Miami, so I am a second-generation Floridian. Not a lot of us around, since Florida has become the haven for retirees and transplants. I met my first husband in Bradenton, and he was a, gasp, yankee. From Ohio!!! A lot of those around that area! I don't know if growing up in a beach town formed my love for nature and animals and vacations to the tropics, but I don't think growing up there hurt me in any way! We did spend a lot of time at the beach as kids and teenagers, but me, not so much as an adult. I just never had the time to hang out at the beach, even though when I was in my 20's my apartment was close enough to ride a bike there. I found that a job, grocery shopping, house cleaning, cooking, laundry, and plain ol' life just got in the way. I guess I took our beaches for granted because they were just a constant background for my regular every day life, while somewhere up in New York or Michigan there were people putting away their dimes and quarters in a "vacation" jar in order to come down to my hometown. Now that I only get back home maybe once a year, and I live in a landlocked town, I understand how wonderful it was to have a childhood spent on the soft white sands, feeding Cheetos to sea gulls, and having the waves knock you down.

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