All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Friday, February 26, 2016

Relax and live by the ocean

When I commuted to St. Augustine, FL daily from Jacksonville, FL, I would drive the A1A highway along Ponte Vedre beaches and see the few beautiful views of empty beach.  This was in 1995 when I began counseling at nursing homre.  There probably aren't any naked beaches without a house or condo on that stretch any more.

Then I was fortunate to find a ground floor apartment just 4 houses from the ocean in St. Augustine Beach, which used to have its own post office, a shell shop, which no longer exists. St. Augustine Beach, not the apartment!

This was the view which changed several times in the 4 years while I lived there.  The pile of dirt behind the power pole indicated where a small 2 story house would be built.  And the grass and prickly pears would be stripped and a Hampton Inn hotel (4 stories) would be built facing A1A.

At the time we moved however, I took these shots.

There was a ruined foundation with a fireplace closer to the water than the house on the far right.  Within a couple of years it had been rebuilt by the family which owned it, and they put in a garage apartment as well.  That meant pile driving 8 utility poles to stabilize the apartment. I met the young family who moved in, and they adopted one of my cat's kittens later on. 

My son moved to St. Augustine his senior year of high school.  A difficult transition I'm sure, but he got his first car along with the situation.

The fishing pier was concrete. I think the building by the pier with boarded up windows was part of  St. Augustine Beach Town Hall.  A couple of blocks further north from there is the Anastasia State Park with lots of empty beach, sand dunes, and camping.  The entrance to the park was quite a bit further away however, so we would walk into the beach area from the sidewalks along A1A.

The rocks formed a sea wall.  Every few years someone would dredge the sand below the rocks and create a beach which could be used mainly at low tide.  The hotel must have contributed to that.  They also built a stairway going down to the water level.

We only evacuated for one hurricane, and that stairway was demolished during it.  The apartment stayed dry however, but waves did deposit sand in our driveway.

I loved watching the pelicans fly by.  I went swimming by myself a few times, but my upstairs neighbors were worried about me.  I stopped doing it eventually.  And most of my enjoyment was standing or sitting by the rocks looking out to sea.  After all, the end of the road was nobody's property.

I'll share this post with Sepia Saturday this week...and maybe find a connection to their suggested meme....or not.  THey let me list my blog posting along with many others down at the bottom of this page HERE>

Today's Quote:

Hope is the deep orientation of the human soul that can be held at the darkest times. 
Vaclav Havel


  1. Such pretty ocean shots. But it sounds like you are describing a Florida that is benign loved to death and Mother Nature fights back...

    1. That's exactly how Florida seemed to me. But many of the beach homes have been empty for years due to the housing slump and high taxes.

  2. That first picture of your son reminds me of our coastal landscape here - about ten minutes away - the rocks and the ocean, wonderful.

    1. Our rocks along the beach weren't native, but hauled in from somewhere inland. A "barrier island" can be wiped away by hurricanes, but the hand of "man" has kept this one intact, for now at least!

  3. Many years ago, my family's home for a brief few months was on an Atlantic beach at the mouth of the Chesapeake. It remains a magical time foe me, and now that like you, I've been transplanted to the mountains, I miss that endless horizon and salt air.

  4. Nice photos -- and looking out to sea takes one's mind off of ironing.

    1. Oh wouldn't it be hard to stay inside and iron if there was a view of the sea right outside the window!

  5. I had been working in the cities of San Francisco & Oakland when I married & moved with my husband to the tiny town of Requa, CA just north of the mouth of the Klamath River on the Pacific ocean. There wasn't much to do in Requa, so I'd often go down to a beach 5 minutes away & walk or sit & relax as I watched the waves rolling in. It was late summer & sometimes pods of whales would swim by, too. And if I went in the other direction, I'd be meandering through a redwood forest. Either way was a respite from being bored. Yeah, & then we had our first child & I was no longer bored - sometimes wishing I could be! :)

  6. Such an interesting post, and one I can relate to, having a couple of nieces and one nephew (different family) growing up in Florida. I remember one visit there, (I drove from Minnesota to Vero Beach, Florida) 1,735 miles made it leaving on a Friday morning and arriving at about 7 p.m. the next day! Had to make a special graduation! The funny thing was when I mentioned the A1A my nieces had no idea what it was!


Looking forward to hearing from you! Since I didn't know the 1000+ people who supposedly looked at my blog the other day, I'm back to moderating comments. If that doesn't help, I don't know why blogger doesn't have a filter that stops this hacking...