A Coastal Christmas

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Taken Thanksgiving Day 2016 on Florida’s Forgotten Coast

This is my third Christmas spent in Florida’s panhandle. Compared to a traditional Christmas in colder parts of the country, Christmas here doesn’t even come close. No snow, no roasting anything on an open fire (inside, that is), no snowmen, no sleigh bells, no frost bitten noses.

Santa arrives every year in Apalachicola on a shrimp boat. I’m serious. And although, the old fellow is about as out of place as a chandelier in an outhouse, he greets children who anxiously wait on the dock, excited to tell Ole Saint Nick what’s on their Christmas list.

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Downtown, palm trees are draped with strands of red and white lights, and the City hung the usual streetlight decorations common to most American towns, large or small.

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The good news about Christmas along the Forgotten Coast is that the weather is sunny and wonderful…not hot, just pleasantly warm. Residents are more than willing to reinvent traditional ways for warmer weather.

My daughter Geni is visiting from France for the holidays, and my granddaughters will be here soon. For twenty years or so the girls have flown from Paris to Atlanta to Birmingham twice or more each year under the supervision of their mother. We figure that Lillie has made the voyage at least forty times.  Three years ago, she made the trip alone for the first time. She did fine. She maneuvered through the Atlanta airport and made her connecting flight without a problem. Now it is nineteen-year-old Charlotte’s turn. She will be making the trip alone for the first time and reconnecting to Tallahassee. She can do it…she can do it…she can do it…we know that she can do it.  Even so, we’ll breathe easier when she is safely strolling through the Tally airport.

To you, I send heartfelt wishes for a season filled with joy and peace. Look within yourself, and be kind to the person you find there…not selfishly kind, but compassionately kind. You can’t share what you don’t have, so seek peace, lighten up and laugh at little things, and focus on what really matters. 2017 is going to be a prosperous year filled with new opportunities for us all. I just feel it in my tired, ole bones.

I will be participating in a two-day mystery writer’s conference in Birmingham/Wetumpka in February, the Authors in Apalach conference here in March, and the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery in April. The first two books in the Curiosity Club mystery series, “Southern Ladies’ Curiosity Club” and “Whatever Happened To Mildred” will be reissued by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, and book three, “Sunken Secrets” will be launched in March. “Whistlin’ Stardust” is presently available in print and Kindle on Amazon.

‘Nuff said.

Enjoy these photos taken by my daughter Geni.

FYI: you can follow her Instagram account for fantastic photography taken on the other side of the world.

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Our Big Tree

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Close up of Big Tree

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Our smaller tree with a coastal theme

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Detail of our Coastal Tree

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Coastal Tree in the living room

Share with our readers your holiday plans and upcoming events. I’m telling you…mark my word…look for good things from this day forth. The time is right for showers of blessings.

From my house to yours, Merry Christmas and blessings galore!

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