Way back in 1977, my Company transferred me from Denver, Colorado to Tallahassee, Florida. I didn't want to go... I was having too much fun skiing Vail and the back bowls of the mountains. Every weekend I was high up in the new fresh powder snow, having a ball. Sometimes in Corporate management, they need you to do a project so bad that they don't care how much FUN you're having. Such was the case in this instance. I found myself meeting a Moving van in the town of Tallahassee, Florida. Never been there before in my life and didn't know a thing about it. Didn't matter, I was there anyhow and had a job to do.
I set about my assigned tasks, happy or not. The job was so tough and involved I didn't have time to even think about it. I was so busy, good thing I was single at the time, because I was working 6 days a week from sunup until sundown. That was a good thing, too, because whenever I did stop, even for a minute, I became so lonesome for my 3 boys back in Nebraska that I would become deeply depressed. My only salvation was to get back to work. With the amount of time I was putting in, it wasn't long until the project showed great improvement and with that it became a lot easier.It didn't take near as much of my time and I at least had weekends and holidays off
When Winter came and Christmas was nearing, I couldn't believe it. I had never been anywhere that it wasn't very COLD and SNOWING in the winter. The City of Tallahassee put up Christmas decorations and the stores started playing Christmas Music. I was in my shirt sleeves in hot, humid weather, listening to "Jingle Bells" playing around town. I couldn't get the Christmas Spirit at all. This was my NEW WORLD.
Christmas day came and, of course, I was alone. Talking to my boys on the phone hours on end didn't seem to cut it. I missed them very much. Christmas Day was a beautiful. sunny day and I had nothing to do. I wanted to get out and go somewhere. I thought about where to go but I didn't know the area very well at all yet. I finally decided I'd go about 45 miles South to the Gulf of Mexico.
I drove down to Alligator Point and stood astonished staring out at the Gulf of Mexico. The Beaches were deserted and I wandered up and down them all afternoon and only saw a few other people. I had never seen so much water in all my mid- western life. This was too much and I only wished my boys were there with me to enjoy it. As I was walking on the Beach, I was thinking "you know, people back home in Nebraska,South Dakota and Colorado just wouldn't believe this"! Walking on the Beach in my barefeet, T-shirt and shorts, looking at all that beautiful water. It was then and there that I made the decision that whenever I was close to a Beach on Christmas day, I would go there, walk and make it a "Christmas Tradition"!
Since then, except for 3 quick years when I was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah to correct another problem, I went to the Beach every Christmas Day. The closest beach to us here in the Rio Grande Valley, is South Padre Island on the West side of the Gulf of Mexico. That's where we are headed Friday. It's about 90 miles and we have gone there the last 2 years. It's not near as pretty as the Florida Beaches, but the water and beach are there and it's very enjoyable. We thank God for all we have.
Here we were last year.
Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and go walk on the BEACH!!!
God Bless you all....
This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..
Nice post Mike:))
Nice post and a great tradition, Mike. Funny, I've lived right by the ocean most of my life and I've never even thought about going to the beach on Christmas Day. It sounds like a great idea though.
Merry Christmas to you and Pat and have a wonderful holiday!
Mike, thanks for this story -- it's interesting how holiday traditions are started, and how they are kept. Wonderful.
Now I know why I hear people calling you a Son of a Beach!
What a wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing. A great Christmas Tradition.
I can feel the sand squishing between my toes....Merry Christmas you two!
WE are in our second year of the beach tradition. Much better than snow. Merry Christmas.
I LOVE your tradition Mike! Our family spent one wonderful Christmas Eve on the beach in Rio..it is a special event!!
Thanks for sharing a wonderful story!
Merry Christmas to both of you and BIG Hugs!
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