Over the last few days I've thought a lot about how tired I was of this place over the winter. I was deeply jealous of those that had snow and short dark days, and the perfect excuse to cook something slow in the oven, build a fire, and hunker down with a pile of stitching. You see, where I live, when the sun is out as it tends to be the better part of the year, there is this need to be outside, soaking up that vitamin D that so much of the country is lacking come the dark days of February. There is this deep guilt, at least for me, at sacrificing any beautiful day to the indoors. Mother Nature calls me out constantly, begging me to drink in her beauty, not hide inside. Sometimes I found her calls so very annoying when I wanted to be indoors getting a good solid case of stitch ass. But it's not who I am. I am that girl sitting on the porch with a book or some stitching, do I need to admit how dirty my stitching gets from stitching outside? It's one of the reasons I don't find it too hard to stay with good old DMC, I can wash my needlework without a second thought. I am also that girl that wants to be on the beach every single minute of a gorgeous day. Not so much tanning but just sitting on the beach hoping for that random dolphin appearance. They don't swim by as often as you'd think. There's that excitement when walking on the beach in the early morning and you find turtle eggs. There's the thrill of finding an in perfect condition sand dollar. There are pelicans and herons and sea gulls that can spot a potato chip a mile away and then before you know it you are swarmed like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds. There is white sand. There's the scent of Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic. There are the screams of kids getting knocked down by waves and the full throttled scream of that kid whose feet have never touched sand, never seen a wave, and it won't happen this day. These are the sites and sounds of my place. But now that view has changed. Not from a hurricane but a situation created by man.
This is Boom, it's stretched across many, many miles of the Gulf coast right now.
This boom is protecting a bird sanctuary in Pensacola Bay or maybe it's the sound, I get them confused. Should I share with you that after taking these pictures I slipped in some gunk on the sidewalk and fell right on my big old butt, right in front of Sunday traffic on Bayfront Parkway? I am so freakin' graceful it's not even funny.
This morning it was reported that 20 sea turtles were found dead on the beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi. This is only the beginning.
The oil is still gushing from under the Gulf at 210,000 gallons a day, and some experts are saying that it could be more, there's just no way of knowing.
I am not a property owner, I don't live on the beach. We don't own a boat. I don't own a business, but this place, this place is mine. I spent most of my childhood planning my move to Pensacola Beach. I'm not there but I'm close. My dad talked for years about moving down here, after every family vacation, I didn't talk, I did it. I was lucky enough to marry someone willing to go where ever I wanted and it was here. The beaches are so much more than sand to me. They are my church, my cathedral, my holy place. They are where I go to connect with that Higher Power. These beaches, the Gulf, it's where I find strength, it's where I find my peace. The connection is deep and solid and real.
What is happening right now is beyond my comprehension. I am heartbroken and I'm pissed off.
I do not support off shore drilling and I don't vote for politicians who do. There are people much smarter than me who said this kind of tragedy could never happen but I always thought it was a possibility. It only makes sense.
There is so much I want to say and I can't find the words. For many people across the country what is happening down here is nothing more than a phone call or two to change vacation plans, for those of us living and working and raising families down here the oil slick will change our lives for many years to come. Some small fishing businesses and restaurants may never bounce back.
I ask all of you reading this to please pay attention to the news stories, check out my local papers online:
And our local tv station:
Let's hope BP's Dome Plan works because Plan B will take a minimum of 60 days to put into action. As it is Plan A will take at least a week to get in place and it's truly a crapshoot as to whether or not it will work.