Category Archives: Anna Maria Island

Saturated in serenity…

I’m in the midst of one of those weeks that I’d rather read about later ~but in an abridged version that makes no mention of bats, computer viruses, an upcoming surgery, or my grandma’s steady decline. Lacking the ability to pull off such a real-time edit, I’m initiating an internal refocus. Peace (and joy) grow from the inside out; so here’s what I’m planting today…



It’s bigger (and smaller) than what I can see.

I can’t give more (or less) than my very best.

I am so glad to be alive in a world bursting with surprises and endless possibilities…

because we find what we look for, and a grateful heart finds still more blessings.

Sunset views from Anna Maria Island

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Still savoring the sand…

Sand ledge at Fort De Soto

I love sand in my suitcase. I even like finding stray grains of the stuff in my running shoes. Like fingerprint smudges knee-high on a window, they’re a tangible reminder of sweet moments.

Ahhhh (sand on toes)

My feet may be solidly back on Ohio soil, but my mind still lingers on Anna Maria Island… Not surpisingly, the world spun on splendidly without me while I was away with my daughter.

This week is a steady jog that will soon build into an all-out run to catch up again, but I want to drape the serenity of our extended weekend across the frenetic details of September.

Fresh memories of my daughter… I taught her to find buried sand dollars in deep water with her toes; not so practical a life skill as cooking perhaps, but it’s better to teach what we know… She shares my natural curiosity, so we explored without the random constraints of time or justification of purpose. Why wonder when you can know with but a few more steps or a couple of questions? We kayaked, swam, snorkeled, sailed, and jet-skied far out into the deep blue… We balanced atop rafts in the ocean on our knees, just because we could (more firmly within her skill set than mine!) and built sand castles at water’s edge just to watch their inevitable erosion. We ran along the surf in the mornings and photographed exquisite sunsets in the evening. Sunset at Sandbar on Anna Maria

Altogether perfect.

I’ll be sharing photographs and discoveries from our Florida adventure this week. Today, I’m digging through laundry and e-mails, still smiling when my fingers brush against the granular remnants of our get-away.

Anna Maria Island Things To Do

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A “Girls Get-Away”…

I’m smiling…Because I’ve managed to crack open a window at the end of the month for my daughter and I to slip through. Just the two of us and and an ocean. With time to drift in and out of ideas and conversations; with time to slip away in kayaks or run down the beach…I’m a big believer in gifting my kids with unique, “separate from sibling”, travel experiences.

When married, I would plan a one-kid adventure around most of my then-husband’s business trips. As a ten-year old, my oldest boy climbed rocks in Joshua Tree National Park in California. On another trip, he and I rode bikes from Fisherman’s Wharf, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and riding north to Sausalito, before racing to catch the last ferry “home”! My daughter (pictured above and below at age 6) fell in love with the energy of Chicago during our multiple explorations there by foot, bike, boat and trolley. My youngest son’s most recent “alone” trip was a spontaneous weekend visit to the Newport (Ky) Aquarium and Cincinnati museums.

As a single mom of older (very active) children now, the opportunities are less frequent, but the investment remains just as valuable. When we can’t manage out-of-town time, we at least arrange out-of-the house days and play “in-town tourists” (which I’ve written about in previous blogs). My youngest son has “called” just such a day for himself next week, which also makes me smile…

Years ago, I worried about “excluding” my other children. I wanted all of them to see everything (still do!), and we’ve shared some amazing experiences in the US, Mexico, and Canada. -But you don’t give everyone on your gift list a football for their birthday; the best gifts are obviously fitted to the recipient. And I guess that’s how I view these single child get-aways… While a “family” vacation is generally a blending of diverse interests, a one-kid trip is time tailored to a particular child at a specific point in their personal growth.

These shared moments become virtual memorials implanted within their lives’ timelines, marks from which life will surely change, but where it can also stand still for us, encapsulated in the memories we’ve created for “keeps”.

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