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Why live on a coast prone to devastating hurricanes?
My grandparents lived for a time about a quarter mile from the famous Flora-Bama. The bar divides Alabama (Gulf Shores) and Florida (Perdido Key). A quarter mile is a long walk in the sand after some drinks, by the way.
Perdido Key is the quieter side — more families, fewer shops and restaurants. Gulf Shores is more popular with college kids because of the bars. But the birds and the dolphins don’t know the difference.
Perdido Key is a barrier island, like Galveston. Left entirely to nature, it would move with the currents and possibly disappear. One hurricane buried our deck and let us jump off the balcony. Another sucked the sand away.
That’s something people love about the ocean: it’s different every day. A fisherman or shell collector can expect anything. Storms dredge up stuff from deeper water for beachgoers to enjoy.
Cousins, aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, third cousins, friends, and adoptions gathered every year at that house until a hurricane finally picked it up and placed it on the road. C’est la vie.
It has been a while since I’ve been back. But, rain or shine, that shore will always be my home away from home.
The closest we get to paradise on earth isn’t an endless peace. It’s renewal.