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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Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

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When everything’s said and done, how many good friends remain over a lifetime?

Last week, my friend Tonya and her friend Teresa came from Alabama to spend a few days in our little town. Apalachicola, Florida, lies on the banks of the Apalachicola River where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is, among other things, an artsy-fartsy town blessed with writers and artists of various sorts. Karen White’s “Flight Patterns” is set in Apalach. Tonya is a fan of Karen’s and wanted to see places that are part of her story.

Here’s a selfie taken with the pier at Lafayette Park in the background. We didn’t walk all the way to the end because some folks were fishing, and we didn’t want to disturb them. And it’s a long way down there.

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It is the off-season here. The summer vacationers have gone home to get their kids in school, and the snowbirds aren’t expected until December. They usually stay until April when things begin to warm up. Tonya and Teresa pretty much had the Coombs House to themselves. They loved staying in the old house that has been beautifully restored. Continue reading