Friday, June 17, 2011

The Beach is Back!

Ah. . . in less than two weeks I will be lying on a white blanket of sand, soaking in the sun, salty breeze, and the bliss that comes with not being at work. Not that I don’t have a spectacular job, mind you. I work at a great place, and they don’t even have to pay me to say that. (Thankfully, they still do!)

Ben, our creative director, will beat me to the beach by one week. He’s always doing that, beating me to the beach. But he’s native to the Gulf Coast, so I guess he’s got that advantage. He’s from the Mississippi stretch, so I’ll give him that one. (Goodness knows Mississippi needs an advantage.)

The Gulf Coast has taken some hard hits. Katrina chewed up the soles of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The rabid hurricane took the lives of 1,800 people, the homes of 75,000 more, and a big bite out of the Gulf Coast economy. The beaches, hotels, restaurants were wrecked. With nowhere to stay, people still came to help.

After a few years, people were coming back to the beach just for fun. But that still helped. Our vacation dollars helped get the struggling coastal towns back on their feet.

Then came the Gulf Oil spill last year, perhaps the worst spill in history. It dumped about five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf. The oil washed up on the beaches, bathing wildlife and coastline in brown goo. 

Nobody wanted to eat the seafood. A friend of mine in Mobile lost his restaurant because of it. In October my mom and I went down to the Panhandle. Workers were still cleaning up oil when we got there, but by the end of the week, the beaches were clean. At least from a distance.

This year the beach has been revitalized. The sand and water are pristine, and I can already hear the waves calling to me. I’m glad to do my part to support the maritime merchants and coastline industry. The beach is back, and I am back to it! (And when I return, I will get back to making fun of Ben.)


  1. You know, I went to Gulf Shores in early October last year. It was a last minute trip and was one of the best beach trips ever.

    On the way down, I thought about my past experience at the Gulf - jellyfish, seaweed , honestly the gulf has never been fun for me and then there is the oil situation.


    To my surprise, the water was more beautiful than I've ever seen it. Clear, full of fish - like SCHOOLS of fish - NO jellyfish what-so-ever. Dolphins and other fishy stuff I didn't recognize. I did see remnants of tar balls in the sand, but they were so small they were no bother. It was just sad to know what those black pebble-like thingys in the sand were oil and I knew how they got there and what disaster had caused it.

    Nevertheless, the Gulf was beautiful last October and I hope to go back again this year - same time, same place - we'll see!!!

  2. Jean, about the great job you mention: I've been meaning to talk with you. :)

    Seriously, I have saltwater in the veins and sand in my crack from way back, so I can't wait to get down there again. I miss the seafood and surf. Will post pics upon my return and may even be inspired to create a few beach scene photo cards to upload. Family beach shots make the best personalized photo cards.