Finally the weather is warm enough that I could get over to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. It’s been so long! It was a beautiful bike ride and we found a few surprises along the way!
My Friend from St. Louis, Sheree Nielsen, (You may remember her from this earlier blog post) just won the first place award from the Warriors Anthology Competition for a wonderful photo she took while she was visiting Sunset Beach earlier this year. The photo is called “Dear Kindred Spirit” and it captures her husband, an Air Force Veteran writing his thoughts and prayers for the veterans of the armed services in one of the journals provided by the Kindred Spirit. The shot features the American flag flying high in the background adjacent to the mailbox.
I wanted to congratulate Sheree on an excellent photo and take the opportunity to share it with all of you, and encourage you to take a look at her blog. She writes ‘Sheree’s Warm Fuzzie’s’, a blog that explores new places, the beauty in everyday life, and things that will make you smile–certainly something we could all use once in a while.
There’s a little known second mailbox hidden up a path on the dunes that’s not always visible. It was dedicated to a woman who died, by her family and friends a few years back. There was some controversy when it was first installed, but it’s become accepted by the locals now. It’s got a great view and has its own rustic little bench like the original mailbox. It’s even more quiet and secluded than the first mailbox. It’s just another one of those hidden treasures you find when you come to Sunset Beach.
It’s been an amazing summer so far, an incredibly busy summer but a great one! Summer is my favorite time of year, the days are longer, the weather is hot, and I take the time to stop and enjoy the little things just a bit more. So here’s what I’ve been up to this summer:
This summer I pushed myself writing-wise by putting out two books, Cemetery Kids: The Ghosts of Bird Island and Ocean Isle: Gem of the Atlantic Coast with Miller Pope. It meant a lot of writing, editing, reading, and re-editing. But I was able to do some of it outside, even a little by the pool. It also meant doing some research, which I always enjoy, I love learning more about where I live and the history of this area. The first book is out and it’s my first novel for all ages (I’m broadening my horizons!), and the Ocean Isle book will be out in mid-August.
As for my free time, I’ve been taking several bike rides over to the island, and getting plenty of exercise–it’s quite a trek! I’ve gone to a couple of baseball games at Pelican Stadium in Myrtle Beach, our team won each time I’ve been which means I must be a good luck charm. I have given growing some herbs in my garden another go around, it seems that I was born with a black thumb, but my basil is still alive and kickin’.
And most importantly I have taken in those precious moments of summer on the coast, where summer is like no other. Moments where you can feel the sand between your toes, moments where you can watch sea turtles lay their nests on the sand, moments where you can smell the light scent of gardenias wafting through the air, moments where a night on your porch with a glass of wine feels like heaven on earth. These are the reasons I love summer.
On my weekly bike ride over to the island this week I saw something I had never seen before in my 17 years of living at the beach. I saw a turtle nest and the volunteers for the watch program gathering each egg and moving them higher up on the dune to protect them from danger.
This particular turtle had chosen her spot right next to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, I guess she heard about the famous landmark too? It was an amazing thing to see, just one sea turtle had laid 115 eggs! My friend went back the following evening and was lucky enough to see another nest hatch and watch them as they crawled out to the ocean. It was such an amazing sight to behold, and it’s one of the wonderful and unique parts of living in this area.
If you’d like to get involved with helping the sea turtles and their nests, The Sunset Beach Turtle Watch is always looking for volunteers, even for something as simple as a 30-minute beach cleanup. You can find out more information or contact them through their website www.sunsetbeachturtles.org.
My good friend Sharon was kind enough to make a video of one of my Friday night book signings at the Sunset Beach Trading Company. Check out this great video and if you’re on the island on a Friday night (from 7pm to 9pm) stop by and say hello! I’ll be there through Labor Day! They have great ice cream there too!