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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Under the Coconut Tree

Well, I'm just back from Key West, my former island home where I lived for 14 years before moving my life to New Orleans.  Many happy memories there, I have to say, but things change, as they will, and the old island is no longer the same.  Big development, cruise ships and ruinous retail stores have changed

the face of the once laid-back  community.  Now, don't get me wrong, we always had to work hard just to be there but it never used to be the land for the landed gentry like it is now.  I did hop on my bike and cruise around the island to the more residential side of things and there I found more peace and quiet and things as I had remembered them.  The houses are still lovely to look at...from the tiny Cigar maker cottages to the big two-story Conch houses with carved gingerbread details. The ocean is still clear and turquoise;  the big puffy clouds still hang over the horizon and the sun still melts gloriously into the water every night.  I did ride around the beach to a part of the island known as Houseboat Row where I once had a two-story houseboat moored among the  mangroves.  All of the houseboats are gone now.  Hauled off in the name of progress.  The sign posted there said "Seagrass Reclamation Project"...another way of saying that they are dredging and putting in a fancy marina.   I sat on the seawall and cried a little but then thought about it for a minute.  I am so very lucky to have lived there in that time and blessed to have had the opportunity to enjoy something so beautiful and special.  A good life lesson.  Enjoy what you have because you cannot go back in time and reclaim that moment.