Words From Amelia, USA, Finding Myself, Finding Amelia
Finding Amelia was like I said above, finding myself. It is a cross between “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and “Steel Magnolias”. You could just find someone walking an imaginary dog or two down the quiet downtown streets of Fernandina or you will find all the blue-haired ladies chatting about the day’s events at all the local beauty salons. It is a community not only rich in its history, but rich in its loyalty to each other.
I started traveling to Amelia in 1993; my oldest son was only 6 months old then. He spent his first Christmas flirting at the Ritz for dinner, strolling with me on the beautiful beaches, and learning just how cute he was. I became hypnotized by the tranquility of the walks through Ft. Clinch’s live oak covered path and the hum of the life of the town in Fernandina Beach. Watching dolphins and whales migrate up and down the coast is a sight that is a staple for those that live year-round on this wonderful patch of sand. Peaceful and serene is what you get when you walk out onto the beaches or trails of this majestic setting.
The memories which make this my home, is not just the island, but the people in it. From Mr. Felix on his bike who will play “Brown-Eyed Girl” (even though mine are green!) every time he sees me, Mr. Bob –the man, the myth, the legend and Ms.Cyndi who will take you on the most magical horse-drawn tour of down town you have ever had, to Mr. Willie who has single handedly but a whole new perspective on the ‘South’ for me. I learned that being on this island isn’t just about buying a home; it was about buying into the culture and experiences that surround you in this town. I have found just some of the greatest people. Who knew that just buy remodeling your home, you could strike up one of the greatest friendships in the world. I also have realized that it is not the quantity in which your friends are but the quality in which they come in. I may not have many, but the ones that I have acquired along the way are like fine wine, they get better with age and time.
So, I thank you Amelia. I thank you for the memories, the ability to learn my strengths and weaknesses. To learn that my courage does not need to be a constant wall around me and that it is OK to say “help” when the occasion calls for it. I mostly thank you Amelia for my new found friends, for they are the real reason the south is the greatest place to call home. For this is the place where crazy is put on the front porch, we all pour ourselves a glass of sweet tea, pull up a chair and watch.
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